Using Augmented Reality Animation to Make Sense of the World

When I first learned about Hans Rosling and saw several of his presentations, I realized the strong bond between the editorial and the “interactively technical.” More than ever before. In the industry that uses vast amount of public data to provide context and explain larger socio-economic, political and medical developments, it is becoming increasingly important to present that data in a way anyone, anywhere, anytime could understand.

Rosling has pioneered an “out of the box” creative phenomenon of explaining data using augmented reality animations - so that we can make sense of the world. The software the Gapminder team developed – Trendalyzer – turned numbers into a meaningful, enjoyable, animated and interactive graphics. Even Google liked it. It bought the software and hired Gapminder developers in 2007.

The BBC documented Rosling’s love for the statistics in an hour-long program The Joy of Stats in which Rosling proved that statistics could be fun too.

This section of the BBC program particularly demonstrates Rosling’s creative approach of understanding data. In four minutes, Rosling tells the world story in 200 countries over 200 years by using 120,000 numbers.

For those of us who end up covering business or medical beat or any other beat that uses an excessive amount of numbers to explain concepts, hopefully Rosling would inspire you to think outside of the box when using new tools to make sense of the world. Enjoy!


Adapting in the News Business

After our discussions about the pressures journalists are under for deadlines and my research over the past week about my newspaper that I'm following, the Los Angeles Times, I thought that this article was especially relevant about the decline in newspapers and the shift to a need for multi-platform journalism. This article by the AJR is rather large, but it sum it up, it really gets into the pressures that the newspaper business and publications as a whole are under as well as just individual reporters. When I was researching the Los Angeles Times, there were article by other publications that talked about how the circulation has been down in numbers over the past few years. Newspapers were traditionally just for print, but with new websites, this basically requires them to step up their game and add more multimedia elements. I think that it's interesting because, now, it seems like it's more important to have multiple elements for each story and continue updating it on the web as soon as new information comes in. Reporters are under pressure to report quickly but so are newspapers in general in order to survive.

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