Monthly Archives: November 2017

From The Archives: Where Do You Stand or Sit On The Train?

One of the best parts of working at DNAinfo was our ability to experiment. One of the our most successful experiments came out of a discussion I had with a few friends that was based around this question: “What’s your favorite seat on the Chicago ‘L’?”

I took that question to our small team dedicated to data and visualization projects. From that, after months of iteration and testing, we produced two features examining ridership preferences in New York and Chicago.

You can still can take these theoretical commutes! So please take a ride now.

Merging Data Visualization With Video: An Appeal Video For Belt Magazine

Check out this appeal video I made for Belt Magazine, a fantastic publication based out of Cleveland that puts a focus on the Rust Belt and Midwest. You can contribute here.

Jordan Heller, Belt’s editor-in-chief, asked me to produce the video by merging compelling photos and article screenshots from Belt’s archives, with visualization and data that addresses the region’s journalism decline. Some information I gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • In 1996, the six states of Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana had 9,470 working “reporters and correspondents.” In 2016, that number was just 6,640.
  • The Chicago area has just 1,090 reporters and correspondents. Buffalo has just 50. Cleveland and Detroit have 400 each. The Washington, DC area has 3,010 while New York City has 3,610.

Starting This Back Up: Summing Up Five Years At DNAinfo Chicago

I haven’t updated this site in a while, mostly because of a lack of bandwidth. But since the sudden shuttering of DNAinfo last week — a place where I worked with some of the most-dedicated, talented and caring journalists I’ll ever meet for five years — I realized it would be good to restart the site that shares my name.

Ido plan on updating the look and functionality of the site eventually, but for now here’s an update on where I’ve been since my last post here in 2013 and how I plan to move forward in the next step of my career.

I’ve been at DNAinfo since fall 2012 up until last week. At the urging of the supportive and amazing Jen Sabella, I successfully pitched they make me the “data reporter and visualization producer.” Fundamentally, that means I’d tell stories with graphics and numbers, but rather than simply produce staid maps and line graphs, I was empowered to learn new techniques on the job and experiment with journalism. It was simply the best job.

Here are some of the features I produced, either independently, or with the fantastic team of John Ness (former DNAinfo Editor-In-Chief), Nicole Bode (former DNAinfo New York editor of everything), Nigel Chiwaya (my former DNAinfo New York counterpart) at the team at NiJel Mapping.

Special features:
How Every New York City Neighborhood Voted In The 2016 Presidential Election (Nov. 9, 2016)
How Every Chicago Neighborhood Voted In The 2016 Presidential Election (Nov. 9, 2016)
Where Do You Stand or Sit on The ‘L’ (Feb. 2016)
Where Do You Stand or Sit on The New York Subway (Feb. 2016)
This is Where Chicagoans Say The Borders of Their Neighborhoods Are (Sept. 28, 2015)
Chicago Craft Beer Atlas: The Ultimate Map Of Chicago’s Craft Beer Scene (April 2017)

Chicago crime databases:
Where Shootings Have Occurred in Chicago Since 2010 (MAP) (Since July 2015)
Chicago Murder Timeline (2012-2017)

A selection of census-based stories:
How The Racial Makeup Of Chicago Has Changed In The 21st Century (MAP) (May 16, 2016)
Young Black Families Move Back To Woodlawn, Reversing Exodus (Dec. 12, 2016)
Downtown Keeps Growing As Rest Of Chicago Shrinks (May 20, 2016)
Polish Population Plummets On Far NW Side As Residents Head To Suburbs (June 1, 2016)

Other data and visualization-based stories:
Less Than 25 Percent Of Chicago Kids Go To ‘Neighborhood High Schools’ (June 19, 2017)
Future Looks Bleak For Cabbies As Rides Dip 41%: ‘The Worst It’s Ever Been’ (Sept. 21, 2017)
Over 150,000 Cars Signed Up for Uber, Lyft and Sidecar in Chicago (Nov. 23, 2015)

It was a pleasure to tell stories about the neighborhoods of Chicago and New York in this new and exciting way. My hope is to build on what I’ve done at DNAinfo and help a new audience engage with information in new, exciting ways.