Interactive map: How the Ukraine war is developing, day by day

Entry type: Single project

Country/area: Switzerland

Publishing organisation: NZZ

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 2022-02-26

Language: English, German

Authors: Interactive Map: Simon Huwiler, Michel Grautstück, Kaspar Manz, Adina Renner and Roland Shaw. Data collection and verification: Julia Monn, Simon Huwiler, Manuela Paganini, Nikolai Thelitz, Eike Hoppmann, Florian Seliger and Forrest Rogers.


Simon Huwiler was born in Lucerne in 1989. Since 2021, he has been working as a data journalist at NZZ. Michel Grautstück. Michel’s focus is on intuitive and visually appealing front-end solutions. Front end developer. Adina Renner. Born in Basel in 1989. Since mid-2020 as a visual journalist in the Visuals department of NZZ. Born in 1982, Kaspar Manz studied theater sciences. In 2020, Kaspar Manz moved to the NZZ and is the head of the graphics team. Roland Shaw. From 2015 to 2022 research assistant at ETH Zurich. Since February 2022 working as a visual journalist at NZZ.

Project description:

Unlike past conflicts, the world public can follow the Russian invasion of Ukraine almost in real time. Our interactive map gives our readership an up-to-date picture of the situation and helps them classify daily developments.

On the map, we show events, territorial gains and losses, satellite images, videos from social networks, and the position of Russian troops. A team of visual journalists, developers and data journalists updates the map daily, checks events for their veracity and writes summaries. The result is a contemporary document that depicts the course of the war from the time the first soldiers entered the country.

Impact reached:

The map is used by several 10’000 NZZ readers ever day, including various large media outlets in the German speaking world, to understand what’s happening in the world. The map also accompanies the NZZ newsrooms liveticker.

In total the map has created several 1000 registration leads to NZZ paid content section.

The original version ist German: https://www.nzz.ch/visuals/ukraine-krieg-karte-zum-aktuellen-frontverlauf-ld.1671603. We machine translate the German content for a growing English readership of the mapped. The English translations are checked by a team of translators.

Techniques/technologies used:

– Maptiler
– Google Spreadsheets
– An array of OSINT research tools

Sources: We obtain our information from our correspondents, agencies, other newspapers and from social networks. We show only those events that our experts have been able to verify and for which several independent sources exist. UAMAP (areas), Henry Schlottman (troop movements), agencies, own research.

Context about the project:

The timeline allows past time periods of the war to be displayed. Short summaries explain what was important at that time. Important events are highlighted with different symbols on the map and can be clicked for more information. It’s a novel way of reporting on the events on the ground – and documenting them for posterity.

What can other journalists learn from this project?

How to work in a team of fact checkers, visual journalists, data journalists and software developers with tight deadlines.

Project links: