Giorgio Comai

Preliminary note: All code for this post is available at this link. Various operations described in these posts were facilitated by a new R package, latlon2map; the package has already a basic vignette, with the title “Removing the boring parts from geocomputation with European data”.

For a number of data visualisations and data analysis it is useful to have the coordinates of the centre of a town or municipality. In a lengthy post (in Italian), Andrea Borruso highlighted why this can be useful, pointed at a number of alternative solutions, and to some of their shortcomings. …


How might we best tell data-driven stories on social media? Deutsche Welle and EDJNet want to experiment with different approaches. A guest post by Kira Schacht and Gianna-Carina Grün.

The post was originally published on DW Innovation blog.

When we as a data team finally publish a long-term data-driven investigation, we are super happy we made it across the finish line, but exhausted at the same time.


Lindsay Green-Barber (Impact Architects)

A few weeks ago, we asked Lindsay Green-Barber to animate a webinar for EDJNet’s members and partners. She helped us think about the impact of our work and possible ways to increase it — both for EDJNet itself and for European data journalism more in general. Here Lindsay shares some of her thoughts.

Lindsay Green-Barber

Journalists across the world agree that their work is crucial for engaged citizens, government and corporate accountability, and successful democracy. However, there is still little agreement about how to define, measure, and communicate the impact of journalism. …


Giorgio Comai — OBC Transeuropa

Almost one million Romanian citizens cast their ballot for the second turn of the Romanian presidential elections in November 2019 from abroad, largely thanks to the fact that more than 800 polling stations around the world remained opened from Friday through Sunday over the election week-end. In some parts of Europe, polling stations were available not only in capital cities or major urban centers, but also in relatively remote locations.

Indeed, it took me about 25 minutes on a rainy Sunday to drive my wife to a polling station from the small village in the Italian Alps where I live.


© atm2003/Shutterstock

It has been two years since the European Data Journalism Network (EDJNet) started making collaborative data journalism in Europe. It is high time to take stock of what has been achieved and what can be improved.

After a few consultations with our 28 media partners, we launched a survey which aims to:

  • gather information on the practices of newsrooms, data-teams and individual journalists with regard to the use of data techniques in their reporting, in particular when covering European and cross-border issues;
  • understand the challenges they face, in terms of type of skills, of tools, of content and formats for…


di Giorgio Comai e Gina Pavone (OBC Transeuropa)

Nel pomeriggio del 27 maggio, il giorno successivo alle elezioni europee in Italia, i risultati degli scrutini sono praticamente definitivi. La comunità dei data journalist freme in attesa dei file con i dati. Sul gruppo facebook Daninja qualcuno domanda come ottenere i file con i dati diffusi tramite il sito ufficiale del Ministero dell’interno e con cui vengono alimentati i grafici pubblicati sullo stesso portale. Come mai non è lo stesso ministero a diffondere dei file, ci si chiede. Già, come mai?

Un dettaglio è importante: finché i dati definitivi non vengono…


by Giorgio Comai (OBC Transeuropa)

Among the many debates that follow elections, there is one that usually gets most attention among data journalists and people with an interest in data visualisation: electoral maps. This is not a purely aesthetic debate, as both newsreaders and political pundits make sense of election results through these maps, reaching often debatable conclusions.

A common one, for example, is the idea of a “country divided” as highlighted by Giuseppe Sollazzo in a post focused on maps published after the 2018 election in Italy. Maps with the north of Italy completely green have been common after…


Lifestyle discover/Shutterstock

Disinformation campaigns, dubious practices on social media, murkey financing of political campaigns and lobby groups, timed hacked and leaks: new structural vulnerabilities to our democracies are there for anyone to exploit. It’s time to focus our public conversation on new policies and practices that can mitigate these risks

15/02/2019 — Giorgio Comai

Recent electoral contests in established Western democracies have been followed by media reports, research efforts, and inquiries suggesting that Russian political actors may have interfered with the integrity of democratic processes through various means (including through non-transparent funding of political forces, disinformation campaigns, computational propaganda, as well as targeted hacking).

There has been a highly polarised public conversation about alleged or confirmed interference from Russia, which has however been of little consequence. …


by Giorgio Comai (OBC Transeuropa)

A few weeks ago, the European Data Journalism Network (EDJNet) released a new dataset including yearly average temperatures between the year 1900 and 2017 for over 500 cities across Europe, and made it possible to find key data on each of them through an interactive web interface. Since these are lenghty and meaningful time series, I decided to use them to test-drive data animation with R with ggplot2+gganimate.[1]

About the data

Through the analysis of data made available by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), and by harmonising historical time series with recent data obtained from a variety of sources (satellite…


The European Data Journalism Network published an analysis of temperature trends in 558 cities and their surroundings in Europe on Monday, 24 September 2018, starting at 08:00 CEST, in partnership with several news outlets. A few hours after publication, several commenters pointed out that the temperature data for some cities in Sweden, which had been described in the analysis as the fastest-warming in Europe, were probably erroneous. Swedish blogger Göran Johnson, for instance, used the Swedish weather service’s data to point out the problems in our data for the city of Kiruna.

The mistake was identified on Tuesday, a day…

OBC Transeuropa

Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso is a think tank focused on South-East Europe, Turkey and the Caucasus, based in Italy

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store