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I made an interactive for this last year, which was nominated for a Data Journalism Award. That one took a few weeks of dabbling. I made this one in a single night after putting it off for far too long. The end product used the Fusion Tables API to dynamically query the data from the dataset. I really wish we could easily create our own database installs with PHP, but the FTAPI worked quite well. It definitely has the highest  traffic and most engagement of any interactive I’ve made. This has less to do with the content and everything to do with it leading the home page for several hours that day. Promotion = traffic. No promotion = no traffic. Simple as that. View the entire interactive



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What a fun project this was. I contacted MLB to see if they had any data on R.A. Dickey, the Jays’ new knuckleball pitcher. Did they? Ha! They have reams of data. In a spreadsheet. And they’ll email it to me right away. And answer questions promptly. The exact opposite of almost every government source I’ve ever reached in Canada. The beauty of working with professionals. The data had a multitude of columns, from batter name to pitch type to result and speed. But the most interesting potential came from the coordinates: it tracks where the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand and where it crosses the plate. Enough to reconstruct every pitch. I started working on a Raphael interactive (naturally — Raphael is the very best interactive engine in the market today in my opinion… yes, better than D3!). I designed an entire top-down version that tracked the ball’s movement from […]



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This project took about a year. Really. Because we had to collect the data from a dozen sources in between other projects that kept demanding our time. But we finally got it out and it was a huge success. The incredible Rob Carrick wrote a great column to accompany the interactive. It looks at how young people today have it much worse than a generation ago. This is old hat to some people, but it’s never been dealt with so objectively before. We finally dug deep across several metrics to identify the trends. View the full interactive



I adapted this print graphic into an online interactive flow chart. Choose what type of investor you are and find custom advice. View the full interactive



As part of The Globe’s new series “Reinventing Parliament,” we decided to investigate how often Members of Parliament voted against the majority of their party. The undertaking took weeks of number crunching, programming and visualizing to put together. The end product shows a clear trend: MPs rarely break ranks, with most voting along party lines more than 97 per cent of the time. But Conservative MPs are overwhelmingly more likely to break rank than members from other parties. The project began by scraping 600 pages of parliamentary voting data. We designed a scraper in Python that trudged through these pages, scraping the MP’s name, party, riding and vote. All told, we had 162,280 votes between June 2, 2011 and Jan. 28, 2013. The next step was determining whether the MP voted with or against their party. We first believed we could check this against the whip’s vote. But we ran into […]



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I came up with an idea to show videos and annotations side-by-side for the U.S. presidential debates. While I was making the thing, I discovered YouTube has an API. And it’s pretty neat. You can trigger different events and so on. We decided to write about specific moments in the video and link to them, so you could watch the moment you’re reading about. The idea is weeks old but, unfortunately, the NYtimes published their version a day earlier than us. Check out the full version.



This was made very quickly for the 2011 census release on family. We sort of forgot it was happening and realized only a few days earlier. I could have done something simple… but decided to try a new kind of data interactive for the Globe: a customizable infographic narrative with dynamic charts. Check it out here.



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  This is one of the largest multimedia projects I’ve seen at The Globe and Mail in over a year. I’m not exactly sure why the 1972 Summit Series holds this title, but there you have it. It’s an amazing story: a few dozen interviews with some of the most interesting people involved talking about Canada’s greatest hockey moment. I didn’t know anything about the Summit Series when it started, but now I’m an expert! Harry Sinden, Phil Esposito (much respect for this man, he’s hilarious), even Alan Eagleson (okay, a convicted criminal, but also a hell of an interviewee). The final product is this sortable tile interactive created by Alisa Mamak. My involvement was everything inside those tiles: I cut most of the audio, edited all the videos (except the introduction), chose the music, cropped the photos, filled in created the spreadsheets, etc., etc. It was exhausting. But very […]



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I don’t quite have a name for it, but this moving infographic thing was released today after a frantic coding/collab marathon over the past few days. Our friends in Community unleashed a poll on ROB readers about their smartphone use. They had more than 5,000 responses and came to me asking if we could do something. I mulled for a bit and considered the possibilities. At first I wanted to do some kind of sortable bubble chart interactive where you could track respondents’ movements between different smartphone brands. But this was canned after seeing the data, which didn’t give a linear narrative between each respondent. After ditching a few more ideas, I remembered the ubiquitous ”long infographic,” very popular on the web and Mashable. But I also wanted to make it interactive. I started with spreadsheets and crunched the numbers. Then I sent a draft script to the community editor and started working […]



The long list for the Information is Beautiful Awards has finally been published and two of my interactives made it onto the list (plus another large interactive package I contributed to). They were all nominated under the Interactive Visualization category. With more than 1,000 submissions from around the world and judges including the esteemed Brian Eno and the Guardian’s Simon Rogers, it’s a real honour to be included. What made the list? I’m really excited to see my two pet projects on the list. These were both entrepreneurial projects I was really passionate about. The first was the bicycle collision project, an idea I had to turn massive amounts of collision data into an interactive tool. It was one of my first experiments with the Google Maps API and Fusion Tables. I was able to do some neat querying across multiple fields… something I haven’t really seen elsewhere. Kaleigh Rogers and I worked […]



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This folio package was a two-page spread in the paper focusing on poor prospects for recent grads. It wouldn’t translate well online: not only would the text appear in a linear way, but you’d lose the scanability from the blurbs. I built this interactive using gRaphael… for some reason. Really, it would have been easier to create static images since the interactivity was low. But it was good practice and an exercise in turning around an interactive very quickly. See the full version.



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This interactive lets you explore mucho data behind Vancouver’s high schools, from capacity to graduation rates. It was created using Raphael, a Javascript library that creates vector images, so it’s great for maps. I also used gRaphael to create an animate some pie charts and bar charts. My favourite part, though, came from mapping the location of all the students. It took a lot of work — resizing the dots, scaling and positioning them to match the native data. But the final result is pretty cool. See the full interactive.

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Designed and developed by Stuart A. Thompson