RP maps

RP maps

Organisation: Rheinische Post (Germany)

Publication Date: 10/27/2016


RP maps is an interactive map aimed at the reporters in our newsroom at the Rheinische Post. The maps puts on display the amount of articles about the city of Düsseldorf, filtered by districts. Combined with actual population data (density) RP maps is delivering intuitive insights to the editor about which districts might be underrepresented regarding the amount of reporting we do on it. The goal is to point out blind spots in our daily business, encourage editors to tackle and fill those blind spots by adjusting their investigative focus, and in the end enhance publication quality for all readers by increasing relevance. Obviously the results are not binding for the editor. They are just indicators for the possibility of an existing blind spot. The project is designed to be rolled out to the entire Rheinische Post, also pointing out which entire cities might be underrepresented in our overall reporting. Also we are interested in finding out how our competitors in the market are performing under those premises. The hypothesis is: The filter bubble of daily routine is leading to a misrepresentation of districts and cities in our local news coverage. RP maps is designed to either prove or disprove that hypothesis for the individual city or district and to deliver valuable background information to the individual editor.

Technologies used for this project:

For RP maps we are scraping our own website using Ruby. The data is stored in an Elastic Search database. For the map we are using Mapbox as a wrapper for Open Street Map. The front end uses HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The population data was pulled from Wikipedia and merged with our data. The first mockups were created using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop as well as Sketch. In the future we are thinking about adding artifical intelligence (AI) measures like CLIFF in order to automatically geoparse news articles from any site without having to look at their position in the content structure of the site. Ultimately, RP maps could be an open source project in order to become the Google Maps for news.


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