Project leader: Carolina Ávila
The submarine ARA San Juan set sail on Monday, November 13, from the Ushuaia Naval Base to Mar del Plata.
On the seventh day of the search, the first official indication was unveiled: a \"\"hydroacoustic anomaly\"\", recorded hours after losing contact with the ship, almost 60 km from the place where the last communication took place on Wednesday the 15th at 7.30 am.
In LA NACION DATA we accessed the data to geolocate the ships that approached the search point with satellite update (from Marine Traffic), and managed to visualize the route of the vassels and tankers arriving from Chile, Brazil, Africa, Antarctica and the coast of Argentina.
This same day we made captures on the position of the vassels to deliver visual and context material for the extensive coverage that took place this day. We also worked with the infographic team on a huge visualization that was going to be published the next day.
On day 8, the Navy indicated that had received information from Austria about a violent event consistent with an explosion. This coincided with the data on the noise broadcast the previous day.
With this new details, the Navy managed to specify an even more specific search area, and in LA NACION DATA we were ready to follow the movements of the ships to that new area, thanks to the satellite update of the position of the boats obtained from Marine Traffic.
What makes this project innovative?
It was the first time we worked with satellite geolocated data and updatable in real time. We used Marine Traffic, the global pioneer in vessel tracking that we learned in a data journalism course at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy. This platform.
This platform requires a payment subscription to access all the information. But we only used the data during the free trial period (14 days), and it reached us for all our coverage.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
We were the only ones who accessed the route of each vessel during the search. With the satellite update in real time we were able to report on the status of ships, such as the Sophie Siem (who had a rescue mini-submarine), that had to return to land to stock up. We were the first to report it. In times of great uncertainty, every movement that made a boat was relevant. We wrote some stories about this, you can read them in Link 2.
Source and methodology
We used the Marine Traffic database and set up a fleet with the vessels we knew (by official information from the Navy) that were approaching the search site. We could have worked through an API, but the breaking news hurried us and we decided to use other resources: video captures and static infographics.
All the information was dumped in static infographics, text in notes and video captures