THE SENATE TODAY – 6/10/2018
The most ambitious project of my work in 2018 was mapping the power struggle in the New York State Senate. The 63-seat state chamber was controlled by Republicans with a one-person majority and that one person was a Democrat who chose to vote with Republicans (colored yellow).
If I created a map based on the election districts, the large number of tiny Democrat districts (colored blue) in New York City would blur together and larger Republican districts (colored red) would misrepresent the balance of power.
Our political reporters advocated for a map of the seating layout of the Senate chamber, but I argued that the seating map was meaningless to the average reader of a local newspaper like ours, and the seating map did not represent the geographic location of each member.
So I followed the example of the national tile maps that have been created to balance the visual weight of districts that vary in geographic size. It required making a map from scratch: plotting the districts by hand with small squares of paper on a conference room table and translating that into the tool I used to design the interactive.
The result, lovingly nicknamed the Crazy Giraffe, is a state-wide tile map that that accurately illustrates the power struggle.
THE OPIOID SURVEY – 24/06/2018
Our newspaper initiated a large, community-based effort to educate people about the opioid crisis and bring together stakeholders that could do something about it. The Times Union commissioned Siena College Research Institute to conduct a survey of the general population and stakeholders about their beliefs about opioids. My assignment was to visualize the responses of more than 100 survey questions. It was challenging to say the least.
I created an interactive grouped by major topics with step-by-step navigation. Each page shows the results from one question and allows the user to look at how different people (grouped by political leaning, age, education level, gender, race…) answered the questions.
CORRUPTION SCORECARD – 13/6/2018
About a dozen educators, political operators and contractors were indicted on corruption charges in a scandal called The Buffalo Billion. They were accused of rigging bids for $1 billion in state money. Most of the people arrested were not public figures and were not well known by our readers. I created this baseball card style interactive to inform readers about who they were, what they were charged with and the status of their cases. It was very accessible to the average reader.
TIMELINE TO TRAGEDY – 8/11/2018
This infographic timeline captures the dogged reporting of our newspaper’s journalists, who day-by-day, week-by-week, uncovered details about a limousine accident that killed 20 people. It was a stretch SUV limousine that had been cut in half and made longer. Our reporters discovered that it had never been correctly certified and had failed multiple inspections. The chronology was difficult to follow in the narrative of the story, so this timeline summarized it.
HOW WILL TRUMP’S TARIFF’S AFFECT MY PORT? – 19/11/2018
The Associated Press compiled an outstanding database of imports and exports to all of the nation’s ports and how Trump’s tariffs would affect each one. My interactive allows users to look up their local port and toggle between imports and exports to see what is affected. I don’t think most people have any idea of what is coming through their local ports so this made the information accessible to the average reader.
FREIHOFER’S RUN FOR WOMEN – 30/5/2018
Albany is home to a historic women-only race. My interactive captures 40 years of winners, winning times, prize money and the size of the field.
JULY 4th TRAFFIC – 29/06/2018
I used historic tollbooth data to show the most congested travel times during the July 4th weekend. In my research for this project, I discovered an early birds create their own mini-traffic jam at the start of the day.
TICK-BORN DISEASES ON THE RISE – 15/11/2018
This is a a straight-forward but clean interactive that allows local readers to explore the spread of tick-born diseases in New York state.
In the link section on the contest application, I provided links to where the interactives are hosted. Below are links to the stories with the interactives embedded.
What makes this project innovative?
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
Source and methodology