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At New York Media Summit, Google Touts Fusion As New Visual Storytelling Tool

youthjournalism.org

 

Daniel Sieberg, Head of Outreach, Google for Media, spoke at the Google for Media Summit about changes in the way news is presented and consumed.

 

By Mary Majerus-Collins,
Yelena Samofalova and Mugdha Gurram
Reporters
NEW YORK CITY, N.Y., U.S.A. – Ordinary data can
be presented in a more interesting, visual way on a map or graph by using a new Google Drive application
called Fusion.
Journalists got a lesson on the application, which is still in the
testing stage, and how to utilize it in their work at the Google for Media
Summit Monday in Manhattan.
Anyone who wants to share their data on a map can now do so with
relative ease by using Fusion, according to Vanessa Schneider, Geo Media
Program Manager for Google. At the media summit, Schneider led a workshop on
creating custom maps using Google Fusion Tables.
Fusion combines spreadsheets with the familiar Google Maps
technology and database to generate unique maps for each data set.
In the workshop, participants used Google Fusion to map insects in
Costa Rica and to add color-coded gradients to show the number of workplace
deaths in varying U.S. states.
With various customizable features and complementary tools,
journalists and others can use these visuals to engage their audience and
enhance user experience.
Using Fusion, people can upload a spreadsheet with a location in
one column and other pieces of information in other columns. Fusion then
creates a map with points at the specified locations. Users can add tabs with information
associated with each particular place.
When collecting information for Fusion on a spreadsheet, for
example, there could be columns with latitudes and longitudes or just the names
of cities. In other columns, users could put in any kind of information
associated with those locations that they need for their company, news story or
research. 
Fusion then creates an organized, interactive array of information
from what had been just writing in a spreadsheet.
With more people accessing news through mobile devices, it’s
becomingly increasingly more important for journalists to take advantage of
technological tools like Google Fusion in order to keep their viewers’
attention. Visuals like maps help add to the audience’s understanding of a
story.
“Journalism still matters,” said Daniel Sieberg, who is head of outreach for Google for Media. He said Fusion tables can help represent data effectively in a visual way.
At Google’s Media Summit, presenters from The New York Times, ABC News, and Time joined Google executives in talking about new tools
journalists can use as well as other innovations that can help them tell
stories. 
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