The hidden digital divide

The hidden digital divide

Organisation: & Kiln (United Kingdom)

Publication Date: 04/08/2016

Size of team/newsroom:small


This data-driven interactive feature investigates the ongoing global issue of the 'digital divide', using exclusive research commissioned by SciDev.Net to topple some common misconceptions about how to bridge it. The research shows how, despite an increasing proliferation of devices capable of connecting to the internet, the real divide lies in the quality and speed of the connections. The project combines stories from SciDev.Net’s regional correspondents with cutting-edge data visualisation work by Kiln. The stories chart how disparate communities across the world – from refugees in the Middle East to health providers in Chile – are making the most of the limited technology and bandwidth available. The visualisation uses an enhanced interactive scatter plot with Talkie voiceover to explore how internet access – and the digital divide – has evolved over time. The piece was well received by readers across the developing world through syndication by leading publications, such as Pakistan’s Dawn, as well by SciDev.Net's own audience of development professionals, policymakers, researchers, journalists and informed members of the public. The visualisation has gone on to be used as a key example in City University’s well respected data journalism course.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

This project is an innovative combination of a scroll-driven long-form interactive article and a high-end multimedia data visualisation. The visualisation extends a Gapminder-esque scatter plot with specially developed features such as lines that track the nodes over time (to provide visual context to any given timeslice), dynamic linear and logarithmic axes (to allow the data spread to be visible throughout the time series) and region/income highlighters.

Technologies used for this project:

JavaScript, Python, D3, Talkie, ShortHand
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