In this project, I coded myself, 4 economic experts, and 5 economic indicators in 3D. The idea was to invite the readers to explore with me the economic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic in Canada. Since economic numbers could be boring for the general public, I decided to create a video game like experience to inform and entertain the readers at the same time!
The readers loved the experience and emailed me saying they wanted more topics explained this way! The fact that it worked very well on mobile phones was also something they enjoyed a lot.
What was the hardest part of this project?
I had to learn how to use the ThreeJS library by myself. It’s mostly used for commercial purposes or video games. But I couldn’t find great examples for journalistic data visualization purposes! So I had to figure out many things by myself. I also coded several Node.js scrapers to retrieve the indicators data.
What can others learn from this project?
With this project, I think other reporters can learn how 3D dataviz could help to explain complex topics to the general public. 3D scenes have an extraordinary potential for immersive experiences. On top of it, it uses WebGL technology which makes the dataviz very efficient, even on mobile phones.