Organisation: Yleisradio (Finland)
Publication Date: 04/07/2017
DescriptionWhat if we made the matters of municipalities more approachable and familiar. The idea of Municipality Radar was born. We looked at every municipality in Finland and investigated how they are doing. Over the next five months we gathered data from municipalities to create easily adoptable content which gave the audience simple, approachable and quick overview of the status of your municipality through 4 five-star rating. Municipality radar gives the reader a summary about town’s 1) vitality 2) economy 3) health care and 4) atmosphere. Municipality radar is a news data application that ranks every municipality and town in Finland (all 295 of them) based on data analysis which includes 39 data variables. It tells the reader how well his home town and neighbour towns are doing and what their future looks like. However it also serves those who want more specific information about the indicators: for example how much town has loan per each inhabitant or how many schools there are in the town. In addition Municipality radar gives reader information about how the neighbour towns are doing on the same indicators. Although the indexes were in focus we made the data more approachable by creating tailored text and headline for each municipality describing the municipality's status. Also municipality arms, municipality map, panorama of municipality's downtown and related news articles made the content feel like it was specifically personalised for the reader and it was about the selected municipality. Municipality radar was an early start for Finland’s municipal elections which are held on April 2017. Its objective is to get people think about the matters of their home town. Motivation for this project were the upcoming elections in Finland and that all of us live in a municipality, but we know very little about our municipality’s status. And maybe that is the reason why municipality elections in Finland have one of the lowest turnout percents. The main obstacle was that there was not full data from all Finnish municipalities as it was not available or even gathered. In addition it was a challenge to combine data which was gathered from different sources as the datasets didn't have for example same year or municipality structure. It was a challenge to coordinate every nine regional offices who made the municipality texts. Generally it was challenging to make distinctive and successful story/application from dry data. In addition we had to learn statistics to make the indexes and make a method to represent the different ranks and towns in a versatile way. The application was made in five months. The project started in summer 2016 and was finished in the end of October 2016. Second version with updated data and additional text for each municipality concerning specifically the election status and keywords was published in March 2017. Project included one coder, one graphic artist, two reporters and reporters from Yle’s regional offices.
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