More than a dot on the map

If you’ll notice, we have a new tab on our website: Story Map. It takes our stories to a whole new, interactive level as it tracks the exact places in Durham our stories have focused on. All of the red pins that are clustered around northeast central Durham on the Google Map have a story attached to them, so all you have to do is click on the pin to get a link to our story. Brilliant if you ask me. Simply brilliant.

Brian Fanney

Brian Fanney

Our wonderful co-editor, Brian Fanney, is the mastermind behind it. He has really done a lot for the Voice this semester and his enthusiasm is contagious. He completely revamped our website as well as The Carrboro Commons (what the other half of our class works on), added The Lens to our site, and designed and helped launch the Community Calendar. He’s done so much for this publication, and the Story Map fits right in with the other great additions he’s thought of and helped with.

“The Durham VOICE is all about community journalism,” Brian says. “We want to hear stories about neighborhoods from neighbors. We try to sort those stories into categories and tags to make them easier to find, but I wondered if there was a better way. I considered making tags or categories for specific areas of Durham, but wasn’t quite sure how to classify for display them. While looking at the Frederick (MD) News-Post website, I got the idea to make a map. I had some experience in online mapping from writing an article about euthanasia rates across North Carolina. I created a color-coded map to make the data meaningful for people across the state using Google’s Fusion Tables. I thought a map of stories would similarly make the VOICE’s journalism relevant to communities across Durham.”

Now, with just a click of a button, it’s easy to see just where we’ve been able to highlight. It’s a visual representation of the diversity of Durham, and shows that we’re more than just a dot on the map. And the more stories that come, the more the map will look like a sea of red. Red’s a good color.

By: Allie Barnes

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