Who you gonna call? (Bugbusters!)

Entry type: Single project

Country/area: Spain

Publishing organisation: SUR

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 2022-04-16

Language: Spanish

Authors: Encarni Hinojosa


Encarni Hinojosa (Spain, 1982) is a visual journalist with 15 years of experience. She is a specialist in infographics and data visualization and has been awarded for her work on several occasions: SND and ÑH (SND Spain) awards, ‘Ciudad de Málaga’ journalism award or Spanish Ministry of Defense journalism award.

She also teaches design, infographics and data visualization at several colleges and universities.

Project description:

> Who you gonna call? (Bugbusters!)

The **confinement** due to the Covid-19 pandemic caused a **35.9% increase in actions against rats and cockroaches** in Malaga (Andalusia, Spain).
Thanks to the Open Data laws, the City of Malaga offers **detailed data on pest control in the city**: day by day, street by street, species by species.
To simplify the information, I focused on rats and cockroaches and in the **pre, during and post confinement years**.
This visual piece is composed of **maps**, static **infographics**, a **scrollstory** with map and **charts** with **Mapbox, Illustrator, JS and Datawrapper**.

Impact reached:

This visual report was first published in its entirety, as submitted to this contest.

The success of **the map with the street search engine** (more than **2,000 loads in a week**, a lot for a small newspaper like SUR) led us to publish **two additional pieces** only with the maps, so that the user could search if the ‘Bugbusters’ had acted near his home.
* By [streets](https://www.diariosur.es/malaga-capital/buscador-calles-malaga-ratas-cucarachas-20220422132734-nt.html).
* By [neighborhoods](https://www.diariosur.es/malaga-capital/mapa-plagas-barrios-buscador-ratas-cucarachas-20220422142856-nt.html).

**Both: 9,400 loads in a week.**

Both generated **a debate of 16 comments** (when in SUR we have an average between 1-2).

Techniques/technologies used:

The dataviz elements are:
* 3 static infographics: scheduled performances, species and evolution of total performances (Illustrator + ai2html).
* 2 comparative maps: before and during confinement and during and after confinement (Mapbox and JavaScript).
* 1 scrollstory with map: areas with more actions against rats in 2021 (Mapbox and JavaScript).
* 1 interactive map with street finder: actions against rats and cockroaches in 2021 (Mapbox and JavaScript).
* 1 map and table of neighborhoods: actions in 2021 (GeoJSON and Datawrapper).
* 1 scatter plot: seasonal distribution of actions in 2021 (Datawrapper).

Context about the project:

**The hypothesis:**
Some citizens of Malaga had denounced the proliferation of rats and cockroaches in the city after the confinement.

**Valuable unused data:**
The Open Data Service of the City Council of Malaga does a commendable job offering a large amount of data on different aspects about the city and in great detail. However, as Malaga is a small city, not many media outlets are able to take advantage of it. As a visual journalist at SUR, I am allowed to dedicate time to this data work and, therefore, the citizens of Malaga and our readers benefit from a simpler, more direct and attractive communication of this large set of data.

**Confirmation of the hypothesis:**
By mapping the data we confirm not only the hypothesis, but identify the ‘hot spots’. We also consulted official sources who also confirmed the hypothesis and clarified that the proliferation of actions was also a confirmation of the good work of the city’s Pest Control Team.

What can other journalists learn from this project?

Working in a small city (and newsroom) doesn’t mean you can do big data-driven journalism.

Precisely, there is an **advantage** in that there is almost no competition, since the other local media do not have the capacity or talent to carry them out and the big national media do not focus on local data.

Project links: