Project description

Finnish authorities have opened a lot of geographical data during the past years. This is a part of open data that has been barely used in the media. An investigation into Finnish Environmental Institute’s data showed that about one thousand villages, one in every six, has vanished during a generation due to slow but massive changes in Finnish population. The population shift from the countryside to cities has been continuing, and it’s a much discussed issue in Finland. This project shows in a very visual way the change in every part of Finland.

What makes this project innovative?

HS’s newsroom has been spending time to learn to use geographical information. The idea came from looking into several data sets and realizing how combining those sets could tell a new story. The story also contains an interactive part, which gives reader a chance to look at the geographical data from her own municipality.

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

The story had a huge number of readers. It created discussion on the population changes in Finland and also the policies that impact the phenomena.

Source and methodology

The data was gathered from Finnish Environmental Institute’s and Statistical Finland’s open data sources. The main work was made by a three member team of a journalist, a coder and a graphic designer. The data was gathered and analysed over some weeks, and the layout was created part time during a few weeks.

Technologies Used

The data gas gathered from various sources. It required data crunching using Ruby scripts and QGIS geodata tools. The actual article was a "scrollytelling" application using JavaScript scrolling libraries. The interactive map was built on Mapbox.

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