My initial concept for this project was to investigate press coverage of the presidential candidates running in the 2016 race. After researching multiple options, I found that the New Yorks Times offers an API that can be used to search for articles on their website. Next, I looked at the types of data that could be pulled from the API in order to determine how I could use this information in an infographic project. I found that the API could return article headlines, word length, published page number, publication date, among others. The article length and page number could be used to determine how important the candidate might be considered. The publication date could be used to show possible trends and changes over time. An article count for each candidate could also be used as a measure of their popularity.
The next step in my process was to sketch out different possible ways that I could use the data from the New York Times. Sketches 1 and 2 show a bar chart and scatter plot that show the word length of the article. Sketches 3 and 4 quantify how many times candidates are mentioned in the same article together. Sketch 5 shows how many times a candidate was mentioned in a specific geographic location. Sketches 6 and 7 show how many times a candidate was mentioned with certain key words.
After further brainstorming I determined that I wanted to create three charts. The first would be a scatter plot with the x-axis being the publication date of an article and the y-axis being the page that the article was published on. The radius of the point representing each article would be determined by the length of the article. This planning led to the initial mockup shown below on the left.
Following that iteration, I added the option to select the date range of the data. I also made the candidate selection list larger, with images for the candidates. I moved the callouts for longest, shortest articles, etc. below the pie chart and added a section in their place to populate information about the candidate when hovering over the chart. The revised mockup is below on the right.
The infographic was displayed at the digital visual infographic show in October 2015. Below is a photo of the piece in the exhibition and a video demo.