More on visualizing data: Guardian Datablog

I really enjoyed the excellent panel discussion on visualizing data in stories at the recent NASW meeting. [Shameless plug: my reading list for that and other sessions.] Tonight at a Royal Society panel discussion on data, Simon Rogers, an editor at the Guardian, talked about some cool things they do with data.

And lately, they’ve had a lot of data to deal with.

The Guardian launched its Datablog earlier this year. They even started a Flickr group where users can upload images of their own data analyses. Datablog includes posts that look at the data behind the figures used in the paper, and they take it a step further: they dump the data into Google spreadsheets for readers to view or download. For example, the top post today provides a spreadsheet of United Nations data on the burden of AIDS.

Wikileaks has provided them with truckloads of information and data to deal with. One example Rogers showed was the graphic published in the paper about IED attacks in Afghanistan. Online, they were able to create an interactive graphic that maps significant events over time.

Rogers talked bout how the embargo requirements have tied their hands a bit on what they can report, so for one of their graphics, they focused on what they were allowed to publish: Where did all the embassy cables come from?

I’m sure the journalists at the Guardian and elsewhere will be mining the Wikileaks data and finding stories for years.