MAPA post

Portfolio – Invasive plants Interactive map

One of the goals I set for the science communication  project where I was working was to build some interactive features. I built this phenological calendar and, more recently, an interactive map.

This map shows the origins of the most important invasive plant species in Portugal, and some Portuguese native plants that are invasive in other regions. It’s a simple, straightforward project , directed to a younger audience.

I used two different tools to build this. The navigation and content support is taken from the Fullscreen Pageflip Layout, as seen on Codrops, one of the most inspiring websites I ever came across, and a must follow. I made a concession here, because I’m not a huge fan of flipping pages on a screen, but I felt it worked better that way. It all works with HTML5&CSS3 plus Javascript wizardry.

The map was built with amMaps, a Javascript library package, that had just the right solution for this. I must send a shout out for their impeccable support, they were just awesome. Their maps can be used in so many different ways it made me want to use amMaps again for other projects. Try them out, and look at amCharts too. As a Javascript noob I thought it would be more complicated, but it was easier than I expected to build the map.

The flags’ sections were handmade by me and I got to apply some CSS expertise. One thing that I learned though, not all flags have the same proportions: some are wider than others. Go figure.

If you missed the two links to the map at the top, follow this one, and let me know what you think about it.

 

istambul to europe guardian game

The Guardian creates the refugee game

Again, The Guardian. They have a new interactive story dedicated to Syrian refugees situation, and their hardships to find a safe haven far from the civil war afflicting their homeland.

The premise is that you are “a 28-year-old Sunni woman from Aleppo, and you have two children, a girl aged eight, and a 10-year-old boy. Your husband was killed in a mortar attack three months ago. The air strikes have continued – a recent bomb, you hear, killed 87 children – and you now feel you must try to leave Syria.”

At the end of each section, describing different scenarios faced by real refugees, dictated by legal, logistical and political parameters, you are presented with options. You have to choose carefully, to find refuge. The results are – to say the least – bleak.

The game logic applied to this story is a good way to empathize with the refugee situation, it looks simple, and it’s frustrating enough to gain awareness about the issue and, in the comfort of our homes, step into the refugees’ shoes.

macrmeteorites

Best Interactive Stories: Maps, Graphs, Timelines & Scrollers

The Visual.ly blog made a list of the Top interactive visualizations of  2013. The formats are pretty much the same as in years before: maps, data visualizations, timelines, but this year we have “snowfallers” which is to say scrollers or stories you have to scroll along to navigate.

If you’re interested in this type of structure, there is a spreadsheet with snowfall-like stories available on Google Drive. I doubt the Scroller will become a standard narrative structure, because it doesn’t feel mobile friendly, which in essence is more modular than linear.  But it definitely set a standard for production: lengthy and expensive.

But like David Sleight said:

But there’s a bigger picture that extends beyond debating specific executions and business models. These things are about experimentation: necessary design and technical experimentation, something news organizations need to shine at if they want to thrive. That means stopping to shake out how they think about content, again and again.

In Portugal, the setting is pretty much the same as before: only a couple of media companies are regularly producing multimedia journalistic content. This year the major winners of the ObCiber awards were the same as in previous editions: Jornal de Notícias, Público and Rádio Renascença.

Some narrative devices are pretty much well established by now, but there’s still no norm. And that won’t be defined by the end product, but by the investment in production processes.

 

 

best-of

Best of me

 

I just updated my “Best of” page with these links. Check them out.

Google Media Tools: playing with Earth Engine Timelapse

When Google announced their Media Tools page I immediately tried out some of the available features. These two videos were made using Google Earth Engine Timelapse, and they were quite easy and fast to do. Check out the other tools and examples, these can b quite handy for your stories. And the best part, they’re free.

bits, hands and feeds on digital media