A new report done by digital journalist and open data expert, Alex Howard, published by the Tow Center at Columbia Journalism School has mentioned the work of our Lab and its geojournalism platforms as groundbreaking trend on reporting and story telling.

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InfoAmazonia was the first of all the geojournalism plataforms

The report “The art and science of data-driven journalism” , published on May 30, brings a rich study of the evolution of the journalism practices that have led to the emergence of data journalism. Howard, who is a visiting scholar at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, argues that the adoption of technology to extract, analyze and present data is revolutionizing media companies as whole. According to him, 2014 was the year when data journalism went mainstream with the launch of new ventures, such as the site FiveThirdEight.com, and tradicional media houses embracing the practice, as The Economist 

The Lab of O Eco, a project started in 2013 with the support of the International Center for Journalists, was cited on chapter “Geojournalism, Satellites, and the Ground Truth”. The author recalls the trajectory of InfoAmazonia, the first large plataform of data launched by O Eco in june 2012: 

“Since its launch in 2012, InfoAmazonia has been training Brazilian journalists to use satellite imagery and collect data related to forest fires and carbon monoxide. It has now published 18 interactive maps online based upon gigabytes of geographical data that show deforestation over time, among other subjects.
 
This approach to storytelling using maps has been dubbed “geojournalism” by its practitioners, or the practice of telling stories with geographic information systems’ (GIS) data generated by the earth sciences. “
 
Howard also tells how this first experiment led to partnerships between O Eco and other environmental initiatives around the world.
 
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The report from Alex Howard, who is a visiting scholar at Columbia´s Tow Center for Digital Journalism

“The Environmental News Lab, a multidisciplinary team at Brazilian nonprofit media company O ECO, has published a Geojournalism Handbook in partnership with the ICFJ, Internews’ Earth Journalism Network, and the Flag It! Project. The online handbook explains how to use a series of open source and/or Web-based tools to collect, organize, visualize, and publish data,with a specific focus on contributing to and using the growing geocommons of Open Street Maps—the Wikipedia for maps. 
 
Other examples of geojournalism include the Oxpeckers Center for Investigative Environmental Journalism in South Africa, where journalists are tracking poaching of rhinoceroses in the country’s national parks. Internews Kenya launched Land Quest in the country to increase the capacity of Kenyan journalists to report on international development and private financing.”
 
Read more about the lab´s initiatives at our project page