30 of the Latest and Greatest Data Storytelling Tools

Victor Hernandez
Mar 4, 2017 · 8 min read

A comprehensive roundup of new tech on display during our ‘30 tools in 60 minutes’ workshop at NICAR 2017.

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Downtown Jacksonville | Photo: Creative Commons/Rob Bixby

At our fingertips today we have tremendously powerful processing devices.

Society of Professional Journalists and Google News Lab trainer Mike Reilley and I recently braved the treacherous winter weather of Jacksonville, Florida, the host-city of NICAR 2017, to present to a room filled with data journalists. This post is an extension of that 30/60 NICAR session.

In addition to this list, there was lots of social interaction via the #nicar30tools hashtag. Let us know what other new tools have recently caught your eye.


Hernandez | 1–15

Ban.jo

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Heavy Police Presence at Tense Protest in Copenhagen, Denmark

Hypothes.is


Raw Graphs

Example: from @TheHindu

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The Belgians in the Panama Papers / Maarten Lambrechts

Mindful

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Your to-do lists will never look/feel the same again

Pocket Reporter

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Pocket Reporter from Code for South Africa is available for Google Android

Trends24

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With timeline view, watch trending topics history for every hour of the last 24 hours

ShortHand

Example: from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

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BuzzSumo

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Shared content results for #NICAR17

Twitter List Copy

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Twitter lists are among the most under-utilized features of the Twitter universe

Twitter Audit

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This by Tinrocket $1.99

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Made with This by Tinrocket

Momento

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10 month-old Maddux Hernandez FTW | via Momento app

Typeform

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SoundCite


Ricoh Theta S $299

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Reilley | 16–30

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Google Fusion Tables

Google MyMaps
All your maps where you need them. Start making a map on the web and keep editing it in the app — or make a new map on the go.

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My Maps

Derek Eder’s Searchable Map Template for Fusion Tables
Put your data on a searchable, filterable map. This is a free, open source tool and template powered by Google Fusion Tables. And while you’re at it, give Derek a follow @derekeder.

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Search map template for Fusion

Datawrapper
An open source data visualization platform helping everyone to create simple, correct and embeddable charts in minutes.

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Datawrapper you can make a chart or a map that can be embedded onto a website

Data Scraping Code | Exercise

Scraping code: =ImportHTML(“url”, “elementtype”, numberElement on page)


Calcbot
If you’re constantly looking up unit conversions because you can never remember how many cups are in a pint or how many kilometers make up a mile, Calcbot makes simple versions like these — and hundreds more — a joy thanks to its beautiful interface.

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Calcbot

Thsrs.com
Unique tool that finds you shorter synonyms so you can tweet more. Also terrific for writing headlines and labels for graphics.

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Thsrs.com is a single-serving site that provides shorter synonyms for long words

Over and Adobe Post
With “Over” you can add beautiful text to your photos, simply choose from 25 fonts available, and add captions, quotes, more… you can then resize, align and position your text, when finished you can quickly publish your creation on your social networks.

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Over app for iOS

Similarly, Adobe Post is a free online and mobile graphic design app. Great for producing compelling text-overlay-on-image graphics for social media.

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Adobe Post app

Ripl

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Ripl

Landscape Social Media Image Resizer
Landscape is a free tool that allows you to resize images at the perfect dimensions across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more.

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Sprout Social

Bubbli
The next best thing to being there. Bubbli is the app for making dynamic spherical photos called bubbles. Available for iOS.

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Bubbli app for iOS

Hyperlapse
Create time lapse videos with Hyperlapse. Using Instagram’s in-house stabilization, Hyperlapse shoots polished time lapse videos that were previously impossible without bulky tripods and expensive equipment.

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Hyperlapse app from Instagram

Tape-a-Call and Recorder Apps
Record phone conversations on these iOS apps. Be sure to download afterward as it charges for storage over certain time limits.

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TapeACall Pro app

Google Streetview and Cardboard Camera

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Downtown Bangladesh | Google Street View

Google Translate
Use the camera and audio functions for VERY ROUGH translations. Good in a pinch, but has some issues with verbs, etc.

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