Four news apps tutorials for Digital journalism days

This post contains the tutorials for my presentation at Digital journalism days in Warsaw, Poland.

This excercise is to make interactive map with Google Fusion Tables. The idea is to get data on life expectancy from World Bank, merge the data with country borders and style it.

1) Go to world bank website: Get data Life expectancy at birth, total (years) Direct link. You have to download the excel file.

2) Remove all empty years from the data with Excel.

3) Open Google Fusion tables here. Upload the data you have saved to your computer.

4) Next you have to merge the World bank data with country borders. Do the following:
– Choose File / Find a table to merge with
– Select World AEM borders
– Select Country code and ISO3 (Country code as well) Check the match and click next
– Click merge, and click view table

5) Add a map (Click on the red + sign) and open the Map tab

6) To change map colors, do the following:
– Choose Tools / Change map styles
– Choose Polygon and Fill Color
– Go to Buckets-tab. Select Divide into buckets and choose 2010 as the variable.
– Click use this range to select range based on data

7) To style popup, do the following:
– Choose Tools / Change info window layout
– Select country name and 2010 to be only active fields
– You can style the popup more, if you know HTML

8) To publish the map, you must make it public. Use Share-button on the upper right corner.


This excercise shows how to use Datawrapper.

1) First log on to and make an account

2) With Excel, make data that contains 10 countries and their life expectancies (Use the data from previous excercise). First row must contain headlines Country and Life Expectancy

3) Go to datawrapper. Click Create chart

4) Paste your data to the field. Click Upload and continue

5) Describe your data in tab 2. Put the link to the world bank data here.

6) Click visualize and style your graph.

7) Click publish and get the iframe code.



This is tutorial for making interactive timeline with TimelineJS. You’ll need a Google account for this.

1) Go to TimelineJS page here

2) Go to “Make a timeline”. Click on the button that says Google Spreadsheet Template

3) When the window has opened, click “Use this template”. You will see a Google Spreadsheet document. This document contains the content of the timeline. One row is one slide.

4) Remove rows 5 to 9 from the file.

5) Go to row 2. In the cell “Headline”, write the headline for the timeline. To cell “Text”, write content for the cell. If you wish, you can include a picture as well. Add this link to cell “Media”: “”

7) Repeat part 5 for rows 3 and 4. Just make up some content

8) Click “Publish to the web” from pull down menu “File”. When a dialog opens, click “Start publishing”

9) An url will appear to the bottom of dialog window. Copy it to clipboard. The URL looks like this:…

10) Go back to TimelineJS page. Paste the link you copied to field “Google Spreadsheet URL”

11) Click “Link to preview”. You’ll be seeing a working timeline.

12) You can add rows to Google Spreadsheet. When you reload the timeline, it should reflect the changes.



This is an excercise to make small crowdsourcing project with Google Forms.

Remember, that Google won’t accept too large datas: size limit is 400 000 cells.

1) Go to Google Drive and select Create Form

2) Enter name and select the default theme

3) To Form Description enter the headline and some explanation, what you are asking

4) Enter the first question and add more questions.

5) Edit the confirmation page to reflect what the user will see when he or she sends the form.



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