Visual and Beautiful

Data visualization is not new but constantly evolving along with the development of graphic design tools and complication of different kind of data. There are many application of data visualization in our daily life, simple as electronic health record like the sports record on Apple Watch.

Many journalists are finding that data-based visuals are doing a better job of explaining and summarizing what would have been a lengthy report in print.(Brigham,2016) Data visualization is closely related with data journalism, like what I explained last week in ‘Data journalism and air quality’, issues are directly perceived through the senses of the great quantity of data. Moreover, datas are enforced by the unmistakable power of images. The visual shouldn’t just be a pretty picture; it should also provide insight and a greater understanding of the data.(Brigham,2016)

屏幕快照 2017-05-30 23.14.02

This graph is well conveyed how to design a insightful visualized infographic. (by Information is Beautiful) The four essential elements of a successful visualization include:



STORY -concept


GOAL -function


VISIUAL FORM -metaphor

Each part has overlap with other parts, but not all are good. For example in this methodology, the lack of function is will cause the visualization useless and without concept it will be boring. Four parts must be satisfied at the same time, with accurate and consistent datas, relevant and meaningful concept, useful and efficient function, and proper visual structure you’ll get yourself a great infographic. 

Reference: Tara J. Brigham<Feast for the Eyes: An Introduction to Data Visualization>



Data utilization in the journalism

Since the concept of big data was proposed, it has been spread into all expense and subtracts all of the world. In big data is already applied in journalism and in different kinds of mass media by using different kinds of cutting edge technology. Data journalism is nowadays a new form of the way in storytelling. Compared to the traditional journalism in visualization techniques. Nowadays the journalism is using a lot of advanced technology, the information can be collected in from the place to the center of the media by transferring using the Internet. Data can be explored using the camera and even cellphone, a lot of social websites can help with the fast spreading speed. At the same time, the feedback can be collected and sent back to the information center, according to the new analyse tools, the taste of audience can be found and more news can be posted in order to attract more audience.

For example, the very famous video ‘A Bite of China’ actually came from a series of videos talking about different kinds of culture in different regions in China. By collecting the feedback from an advanced technology from audiences, the CCTV realized that the one episode talking about food culture was very popular, therefore they started a new series of videos focusing on the food culture in China and then became super popular. Therefore, from my point of view, the new technology should be applied to journalism and big data collection and analysis are crucial for the journalism.

Google map save my life ; Data visualisation save my life

The Google map has been my best friend since I start my international student life in Australia. Before the invention of Google map, people travel with holding an actual map is very tiring yet some of the people still do now. Google map is so convenient that it contain the whole world in one database and deliver in visualization form. It has largely saved the time for people to do all the research before hand and read all the maps before their trips. The traveler can access the Google map once they connected to the internet and they can immediately search the place they want to go along with the direction and even people can double-click to see the actual outlook of the place. This visualisation presentation has made the whole become much closer and realistic than ever. I can open the Google map anytime to search the actual street view of Paris and the realist visual makes me feel like I am actually on the street.

1 Macquarie Place, Sydney, New South Wales - Google Maps

Google map is a brilliant product of utilizing the data visualisation. With the use of infographics techniques, people can explain things and stories more easily also it is more easily for people to perceive and understand the details. Data visualisation lived in every corner is our daily lives. We used to watch the change of currency by a simple chart with just an up and down line, it has actually presented the group of data, another example is the chart to present the people population that makes the whole bunch of data into something very simple to understand.



Image result for curiosity killed the cat

Journalists for years have been analysing information but they’ve kept it a secret where exactly they are getting this data from and we want to be in on the secret! (side-note. I am aware they do reference where it is from and no cats were injured in this post.)

As public’s, we have a curiosity and a greater need for making our own interpretation and opinions on the information we have presented in front of us.

We want it raw, in all its real beauty. Sometimes merely seeing the data is enough to cure that curiosity. KISS – keep it simple stupid.

For example PR week used infographics to explain ‘influencer marketing’. 

It is great when the work is all done for us, where journalists have already chosen the best and most juicy bits of information from data, but the time has come where we want more. (Of course there is data I’ll never be able to analyse, so yes I will leave that up to the professionals)

See below professionals job to analyse:

Image result for complicated data

BUT we ‘want an active role in determining its own meaning from the data’. We want to deconstruct and construct the data.

Never fear though journalists, you haven’t lost your role and or responsibility of investigative narrative journalism, we don’t want to kill the journalists job by doing it solo, we do still need the journalist to find or access this data to then present to us, we aren’t the ‘reciprocal participant in the journalistic process’.

Rather the data being there just enhances our understanding and meaning more. It is important that the journalist is able to tell a story through the data. According to an article on Forbes data story telling includes three important aspects: data, visuals and a narrative.


Feed us things these three aspects and it won’t only explain and engage us but it will also invite us to be enlightened.


Better Journalism With Data Visualization




I love reading news online, especially since I don’t subscribe to any newspapers anymore. And over the years, online news have gotten to a level where they create much better narratives than newspaper’s journalism, especially narratives full chock of data based story.

Online journalists nowadays use infographics to help them create better narratives especially ones full of data. Infographic is, by the definition of the internet (and by internet, I mean Wikipedia), is the visual representation of information and data to present information clearly.

A particular reason why I love infographics in any online news story can probably be explained by Segel and Heers’ article. In their article, they mention how visual media can engender a narrative experience to direct our attention to the whole news story.

This is particularly true for me who often gets distracted while reading a news online (which, I assume, happens to everyone as well). Infographics really help me to stick through the whole article, even the long ones. And infographics also help a lot in terms of delivering the story by condensing them into images.

So, whether it’s a story about Elon Musk’s many failures or a brief story about the users and usage of Spotify, infographics have really helped in delivering succinct information to be consumed by our rapidly decreasing attention span.




Serious Game

Serious Games are the games that have another purpose than just pure entertainment. ( As I mentioned on the previous post that, nowadays the world has become more to technology status. Most of the companies and education industry are using game technology or game design platform for presentations, such as branding & marketing, education & children, and training simulation. (


Besides that, graphics has become more interesting to us comparing with tons of words while our minds need something more interesting to remember it. Through the education industry, we can train them and make sure they actively focus what they have learned with some example of game demonstrate which can attract them easily. Is just like a team building for a company or an entertaining activity for family and friends (

By having an interactive training, those leading companies who want to create a higher engagement and improved training. To have an educational expert and game designers to create a research and assessment is to make sure everyone is aware the theory and practice on it before facing the reality is better than just reading from the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).( )


Therefore, the purpose of the serious game is to show all the users that by using the games to create direct real world outcomes and to promote a meaningful message to all the players.

Data journalism and air quality

We’re living in the era of big data, almost every online action of our daily life can be traced and calculated by numbers. Also, we’re no stranger to storytelling using datas. But why data is important to journalism industry? “Gathering, filtering and visualizing what is happening beyond what the eye can see has a growing value,” said Mirko Lorenz in Data Journalist Handbook. We usually say that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, the infographics and videos are easier to understand and more effective and memorable when convey a message via visualizing material.

Take air pollution problem for example, a post from The Guardian a few month ago contains several lists of cities with the most dangerous air in different regions, that is not only report the indexes but also cross compare and provide insights to understand this issue from a large scale.

屏幕快照 2017-05-21 18.34.31

Also, a video report ‘Under the dome’ about China’s air pollution situation presented by a Chinese journalist Chai Jing also referred large amount of data and pictures to arose awareness and educated the public about this sever emerging disaster. In this video, she quoted datas like PM2.5 index of cities in China, reports from World Health Organization, satellite photograph from NASA and increasing number of lung cancer due to the haze and linked together. All of these datas and analysis gave people a direct-viewing of the problem and start paying attention to it.

屏幕快照 2017-05-21 21.20.24

This is just a common application of data journalism, the ability to report facts is no longer belong to journalists only, but through different social networks. However, data journalism will interpreting the reports to be more meaningful.

<Under the Dome> video link:

DATA JOURNALISM; the essential tool

Now a common fabric of journalism, Data Journalism (DJ), like all aspects in the realm of journalism practice, has to continuously adapt and keep up with the maturing digital market. This creates challenges for those invested in DJ but also excitement as it means innovation and creativity, ensuring journalism will continue to progress and adapt to its digital environment.

The creation of ‘Global Editors Network’, where ‘data journalists, editors and their teams’ come together, ensures exchanges of ‘best practice and new models’ will be shared internationally as well as challenges shared to overcome.

DJ requires updated ‘digital literacy’ by both the journalist and their audiences. Growing these skills can take time, and with digital media and technology changing rapidly, there is a greater need for us as students to be aware of these changes.


An additional challenge is the reluctance that exists by journalists to invest financially into DJ, carrying out journalistic practice that truly enters into the more deep-rooted issues of inequalities in their countries, especially those in developing countries. The counter argument though is that there are journalists who are transforming traditional journalism, and embracing DJ to uncover ‘corruption and mismanagement hidden just below the surface and citizens are hungry for accountability’.

Data journalism provides transparency to its citizens. Just recently, Ben Wellington, a ‘quantitative analyst’ revealed that the NYPD had been issuing parking fines to cars that were legally parked. His investigative analysis brought up several other issues, including questions of ‘open data’ but also demonstrated the power that is held by a data-driven investigative journalist and what difference they can make to citizens along with consumers purchasing decisions.


Is Data Journalism Supposed to Be Accurate?

Data journalism is a relatively new subject in the world of journalism. According to Appelgren and Nygren, data journalism is about stories that “are usually based on large data sets that often consist of public data or data collected with the aid of the general public.”

However, I often question whether data journalism can actually represent the actual situation that we have in real life?

Compared to traditional journalism, data journalism has certainly provided an alternative narration for news such as election news. In an article by Solop and Wonders , they examine how both modes of journalism present each of their own narratives in the case of 2012’s Presidential Election in the USA. They found that traditional journalists had inconsistent data where Obama’s lead over Romney was very slim and some media even reported that Romney would win, and it was the result of different ideologies and perspectives driven by pundits. On the other hand, data journalists constructed a narrative that Obama was consistently leading and it came to no surprise that he eventually did win.

However, in another case, data journalism might not be as accurate as it might seem. A good example is the recent gubernatorial election in Jakarta, Indonesia. In this article, it is discussed that the then incumbent governor would probably lose in the first round of the election.


However, the result turned out that Ahok, as the incumbent governor, won the first round of the election as specified in this article.

Jakarta election’s first round result. Source:


The different outcome could be a result of various factors, including the change of voters’ decision in the last minute. However, with two different results in two different countries, I can safely argue that we should not always take data journalism at face value. With that being said, I can also vouch for data journalism as a source of legitimate news because it presents more integrity than the politically driven traditional journalism. However

With that being said, I can also vouch for data journalism as a source of legitimate news because it presents more integrity than the politically driven traditional journalism. However, data journalists should also fully disclose their source of data in order to be trusted by the audiences.


Web 4.0 – Facebook owning the 4th dimension

Much like a real estate giant or tycoon owning every physical lot in sight, so does FB own every relevant platform in the online world. Facebook has covered all the corners, from how you391ee12077ba9cabd10e476d8b8c022b network with your social cirle, to where you choose to communicate (Whats app, FB messenger), where you express yourself (Instagram), and where you game (Oculus Rift). As Zuckerberg goes shopping buying out mobile tech companies we see a privatization of the digital landscape. What is concerning is that this digital behemoth owns all the data that is being produced on said platforms. They have become the ultimate landlord. As the SNS has grown much larger and has surpassed its original purpose, it comes to not only own spaces in which others operate; they have complete access to all those interactions occurring within. What is fearful is that years ago films such as Gamer showed us how we can have a ‘virtual self’ or an avatar if you will on the fourth dimension where we can all play together socially thanks to the networked effect. Shortly, that won’t only be possible, it will be the norm, and Facebook will own that digital imprint, your digital soul. More on how “you don’t own your online life” can be found: HERE