ockpeckers

This year’s death toll of rhinos killed in South Africa by poachers – 635 animals so far – is on track to match the number killed in 2012, and to double the number killed three years ago. Most of this illegal hunting happens inside the country’s most famous national park, Kruger.

These striking statistics appear in a new interactive map built with a breakthrough set of tools that make it easier to track and display geographic data visually.

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Journalists worldwide who want to improve their data-wrangling skills to better cover the environment have a new resource. The Geojournalism Handbook is a free, online guide to mapping and visualization technologies. It explains environmental data such as satellite imagery and even shows you how to build your own balloon to take aerial pictures.

BNDESamazonia

The prediction of two icons of the communications field—that journalists would become data wranglers—is rapidly becoming a reality.

Reporter and professor Philip Meyer stated in his classic 1970 book Precision Journalism that “the world has become so complicated, the growth of information so explosive, that journalists need to be a filter as well as a transmitter; an organizer as well as an interpreter.”

Forty years later, Tim Berners Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, predicted that journalists in the future would be “data analysts.”