Texts and database organization: Brice Le Borgne and Muriel Pichon
Graphics and design: Fred Bourgeais and Maud Butin
Development: Clément Procureur and Jacky Fong
Departement heads: Alain Bommenel, Sébastien Casteran and Aude Genet
External translation and contributions: AFP bureaus
Since 2015, the AFP Interactive team has published many innovative web projects designed for integration into our clients’ sites. They are based on data journalism, in part using data from several projects developed within the agency.
After the 2017 French elections we were able to start work on quite different subjects, both in length and form. The goal of the Largest Eclipses in History project was to describe the background of a recurring, well-known phenomenon by visualizing several angles of alignment of the Earth, Sun and Moon. Recalling historical events caused by the eclipses provided a broader view of the phenomenon.
With regularly updated projects on prisoners executed in the United States, global temperature anomalies, and the legal woes of former president Nicolas Sarkozy, we also propose a visualization of evolving news stories.
In addition, we seek to explain the principle of calculating certain statistics, such as in our global inequality project where we allow the user to calculate their own net worth using data at the origin of an Oxfam report which notes that \"since 2015, the richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet.\"
Finally, for visual subjects, we combine images and content produced by AFP\'s global network to create immersive projects that capture reader\'s attention. Three examples are projects on the Rohingyas camp in Bangladesh, the events of May 1968 in Paris, and an investigation into victims of stray bullets in Brazil.
What makes this project innovative?
Each project is conceived using contemporary computer techniques to extract and analyze the data, and to integrate external content (e.g. historical maps for the May 1968 project or open-source algorithms for eclipse trajectory calculations).
All of our projects are highly responsive, run on a majority of internet browsers and mobile devices, and are easy to integrate into our customers\' sites.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
The purpose of these projects is to propose a new offer for our customers, so that they can cover major events with complete web applications, and the daily news with interactive educational modules to integrate within their articles.
(We translate the majority of the projects into the languages used at the agency [French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Arabic] and we publish them in several countries.
Source and methodology
We try to be as diverse as possible in our data searches. For the eclipses, we combined information provided by NASA with prior AFP research on historical contexts, and published results of \"eclipse hunters\".
In the case of prisoners executed in the United States, we use data from the Death Penalty Center Information Center’s website.
For global inequities, we used financial data compiled by Credit Suisse, along with Oxfam’s annual report on the subject.
The data visualization of global temperature anomalies was based on information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Finally, we obtained data from the Fogo Cruzado application for the Stray Bullet Victims project in Rio de Janeiro.
All of our infographics are created using a model designed to aid their integration into our clients’ sites in a responsive way, to be deployed within high-capacity architectures, and to work on a maximum of desktop and mobile browsers.
For some projects, we use Open Source software like D3.js for data processing, or JSOrrery for 3D visualization of spatial trajectories.
The data and texts are processed either on Google spreadsheets exported in JSON and stored independently to be available in the application, or in ArchieML files converted into JSON. This architecture strikes a balance between eased access for editors without strong technical skills, and structuring of data for subsequent use by developers.