Pre-conference Workshop: Digital map making for science journalists: How and why to incorporate maps into your reporting and storytelling

Pre-conference Workshop: Digital map making for science journalists: How and why to incorporate maps into your reporting and storytelling

Science journalists are experts at distilling complex information and presenting it clearly. A good map does the same thing, and can also add another dimension to a story. But even with the emphasis these days on multimedia skills and new ways to tell stories, maps continue to be underused in science journalism.

The maps we do see are usually created by big publications with graphics departments and lots of resources like the New York Times and the Washington Post, or specialty outfits like ProPublica. Several recent trends have cleared the way for this to change, putting the ability to create great online maps within the reach of smaller newsrooms and even independent journalists. Web-based digital mapping tools have become more affordable, and much easier to use. And public access to all sorts of geospatial data has dramatically increased.

This hands-on workshop will demonstrate the power of maps as tools for visualization. Attendees will learn how to make digital maps using Mapbox (an online digital mapping platform with a robust free account level), where to find relevant geospatial data, and how to import and scrub the data. We'll cover cartographic principles and best practices with a focus on journalistic use of maps. And we will explore recent examples of effective use of maps in science journalism.

Attendees should bring a laptop and are encouraged to come with a spatial dataset they would like to map. Data will be provided for those who don't bring their own. Everyone will come away convinced that making maps is within their reach and inspired to make their own maps!

Pre-registration required.
Cost: $45

Time:
Friday, October 25th, 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
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Speaker(s):
Anthony Robinson
  Associate professor of geography, Penn State, State College, Pa.
Lo Bénichou
  Interactive developer, Mapbox, San Francisco, Calif.
Betsy Mason
  Science journalist, freelance, San Francisco Bay Area, Calif.
Organizer(s):
Betsy Mason
  Science journalist, freelance, San Francisco Bay Area, Calif.