How to Build Data-Driven Maps

May 142014

To tell better stories with data, journalists should learn to make digital maps, said environmental data journalist Gustavo Faleiros. Most data sets contain location-related information, which makes them good candidates for mapping.

“Maps are also a great tool for allowing user interaction,” Faleiros said, “and just a great way to tell stories.”

In 2012, Faleiros, as part of his Knight International Journalism Fellowship, launched InfoAmazonia, a news site and mapping platform that uses satellite and other publicly available data to monitor the Amazon rainforest.

In May 2014, he led a Google+ webinar hosted by ICFJ Anywhere and supported by Dow Jones Foundation that covered basic information on mapping for journalism. Participants in the webinar learned how to acquire data from primary sources, transform it into a display-ready format and map it with the right tools.

Read IJNet’s takeaways from the webinar. Image courtesy of OpenStreetMap contributor macrofight under a Creative Commons license.


The International Journalists' Network, IJNet, keeps professional and citizen journalists up to date on the latest media innovations, online journalism resources, training opportunities and expert advice. ICFJ produces IJNet in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. IJNet is supported by donors including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. _Image courtesy of SumAll.com with a Creative Commons license.