Yesterday’s technical issues have been resolved,* so here, as promised, is a guide to using Google Fusion Tables.
Once you learn the basics of Fusion, it’s possible to build a fairly sophisticated map or chart in a matter of minutes — but those basics can be tricky to master. There are lots of steps and lots of places where things can get wonky so, before we get started, remember:
This week’s Summer Tech Camp session was focused on Google Fusion Tables, and I had planned to post detailed instructions and other information today. Those plans are on hold for the moment, though, because I’ve been mysteriously locked out of Fusion.
In the meantime, here’s a story from Poynter.org that explores some of the challenges of finding solid electronic information. Just like in any other kind of journalism, your final Fusion project will only be as good as its data. No amount of fancy styling can make up for inaccuracies.
For the next couple of months, I’ll be leading digital storytelling workshops at Northeastern University’s journalism school. We’re calling them tech camps because a.) it’s summer; and b.) learning new skills is always easier if it’s fun. (It also leaves open the possibility of commandeering the microwaves in the student union to make s’mores.)
Users can link to any website, but ThinkLink has special display features for YouTube, Instagram, SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and dozens of other sources.
There’s also a social component to ThingLink, which has a community structure similar to Twitter. It looks like some newspapers are using ThingLink accounts to promote their content by creating a quasi e-edition based on an image of the day’s front page. Here’s one example from the Patriot-Newsand another from USA Today.
ThingLink plans to release a mobile app sometime soon. In April, Washington Post reporters were allowed to test it at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in April. How else might journalists use a mobile version of ThingLink?