Last week, Abby from the infographics desk came and spoke to our class. She talked a lot about the importance of having a visual representation of the story you are telling, especially when there is data that might be difficult for your reader to understand.
I completely agree. As a photojournalist, I am always thinking about visuals and how we can tell the story in another way. We are visual beings and that is something that we all desire.
On Friday and Saturday, the school of journalism also hosted a training focused on Google mapping. When I heard about this opportunity, I was quick to go. Maps are an amazing tool that can tell complex stories with hard-to-digest data and information in a simple form.
As well as journalism, I am studying Geographic Information Systems, which in essence, is mapping and analyzing data. I know how to use the more complex mapping tools, but loved learning about some of the quicker and more user friendly tools from a journalist’s view point.
While I am all for journalists using maps as storytelling tools, it worries me that the accuracy of the maps might decline. When making maps, accuracy is key, but if you have people who are untrained in GIS analysis and cartography, getting it right is going to be difficult.