zondag 20 december 2015

Data journalism made easy

Data services on the web lower the threshold to data journalism. No tinkering with statistics in Excel or maps in Google FT. Just upload your data push a button and there are the graphs and maps, either as an embed link, pdf of jpg.
I looked into one of those services: datawrapper . The prices are quite reasonable; for 12 Euro a month you are in business. However datawrapper is also open source. you can clone it from Github and install it.

It is not an easy job but datawrapper is working locally on an Ubuntu server. The manual provided  is very limited. Found an other more extended manual on the web. Finally I got up and running. You can extend the possibilities of datawrapper by installing plugins. One of the plugins makes it possible to create data maps.

 It works, except I cannot publish and embed. That option only gives me a print option. The plugins I have installed are not doing the job. In the issues section of datawrapper, I found an other one . Now I got an embedded url, disappointing to see that the directory with visualizations is empty.
The reason is simple: datawrapper is not going to undercut its business model by given datawrapper away for free. All newsrooms would install a free basic version. On the other hand a totally handicapped version of datawrapper is not an incentive for working on further development.

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