Adding images, sound, story, humor, animation

Visualizing data and telling stories
in multimedia, e-media, and mixed media

The Internet hugely expands our ability to search for text, images, and information. Digitalization allows us to explore many kinds of media on a laptop. New technologies provide new ways not only to explain complex subjects but to make old explanations and stories come alive. VidLits, resembling movie trailers, are increasingly used to promote books. Personal historians are not only helping people write their memoirs and family histories but are producing tribute and memorial videos (check out the tribute to Suzie, an old man's dog). Graphic novels are expanding our concept of fiction. Newspapers such as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune are exploring online multimedia presentations of their big series. All of these changes make the head swim. What new skills must we learn, what new technologies master? We may have trouble keeping up, but think of the possibilities.

Visualizing data (infographics etc.)

• Big Data Visualization: Review of the 20 Best Tools (Edoardo L'Astorina, Blu Frame, 11-23-15)
• Small Data Is the New Big Data (Marta Bausells, Literary Hub, 10-14-16) Two designers explain why personal documentary trumps the quantified self. Dear Data is an invitation to step back, enjoy, and interpret the imperfect, subjective data of daily life.
• How Long Would You Have To Work To Buy A Burger In Your City? (Quoctrung Bui, Planet Money blog, NPR, 4-17-14)
• Half the World’s Population Lives in Just 1% of the Land (maps, Metrocosm)
• Who Owns the West? (Max Galka's map, on Twitter, showing percentage of each state owned by the federal government) Follow Galka on Twitter for more wonderful examples of data visualization.
• A language family tree (The Guardian)
• Making Sense of Science Infographics (Science Friday, 10-18-13, guests Stephen Kosslyn and Gareth Cook). Scientists look for patterns. Good infographics make patterns visible. Think about the Periodic Table of Elements, one of the first examples. ("Use words. only to disambiguate.")
• The successful 70-year campaign to convince people the USA and not the USSR beat Hitler ( images pour comprendre) "In 1945, most French people thought that the Soviet Union deserved the most credit for Nazi Germany’s defeat in World War II — even though the Soviets didn’t play much of a role in France’s liberation, relative to the US and Britain. By 1995 and 2004, however, the French had changed their minds, and were crediting the US as the biggest contributor to victory in Europe." (Survey data from the French Institute of Public Opinion)
Visualizing the Most Miserable Countries in the World (Jeff Desjardins, Visual Capitalist, 5-11-16)
• Price Check: How Companies Value Body Parts (Lena Groeger and Michael Grabell, ProPublica, 10-14-15) Body parts/​Benefit plans.
• How Information Graphics Reveal Your Brain’s Blind Spots (Lena Groeger, ProPublica, 4-20-16) How graphics, including charts, interactives and other visual tools, can help show us our mind’s shortcomings. "What if your doctor told you “of 100 people who have this operation, 10 are dead after 5 years”. Now do you want the operation? The same exact information, framed in two different ways, can drastically alter people’s choices (and does in study after study)."
• 5 free Web-based tools to create infographics (Bashooka, which offers many such links)
• NY Times infographics (tweeted)
• The Best American Infographics 2013 by Gareth Cook
• Edward Tufte answer questions dealing with information design (Tufte is author of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information See, for example, Narrating and imaging an aortic dissection (Tufte, writing about the story My Telltale Heart (Robert G. Kaiser, Washington Post, 2-29-04)
• The Power of Visual Explanations: Infographics Explained (Slideshare by KAP Design and Guelph Chamber of Commerce) Infographic = The combination of visual content, text and data to communicate complex information. You can contrast quantities, show qualities, explain spatial relationships, clarify data, and identify patterns
• Show, Not Tell: The Rise of the Infographic (Becky Fogel, Science Friday, NPR, 10-13-13)
• The Difference Between Infographics and Visualization (Robert Kosara, EagerEyes, 8-10-10). Among other interesting points: "The visualization is created by a program that can be applied to many datasets, the infographic is hand-crafted for a particular dataset. It’s obvious, which is why it’s so hard to figure out." "Visualization is context-free, infographics are context-sensitive. " Check out his blog roll.
• 20 great Infographics of 2012 (
• 50 Great Examples of Data Visualization (Web Designer Depot, 6-1-09)
• Word Clouds Considered Harmful (Jacob Harris, Nieman Journalism Lab). "Every time I see a word cloud presented as insight, I die a little inside." Please compare these two visualizations — derived from the same data set — and the differences should be apparent:"
---A Deadly Day in Baghdad (NY Times)
---word cloud of titles in the Iraq war logs (Fast Company)
Infographics help readers visualize a massive amount of data. Sometimes you have to plow through ads to get to the meat on the following examples:
• Obama's 2011 Budget Proposal: How It's Spent Rectangles in the chart are sized according to the amount of spending for that category. Color shows the change in spending from 2010.
• Visual inspirations (Visuals for Science Writers). Links to excellent sites showing data visualization or multimedia approaches
• Data Visualization: Modern Approaches (Vitaly Friedman, Smashing Magazine 8-2-07)
• Murder: New York City (NY Times)
• Mad Money (well-illustrated interactive story about Museum of Arts and Design Donors, on
• Making Data Dance, an Economist story (12-9-10): Hans Rosling, a Swedish lecturer on global health, "has become an online star by using data visualizations to make serious points about health policy and development." Do not miss The Joy of Stats, a 4-minute video clip from BBC4, or No More boring data, a 20-minute TEDTalk video, among other videos available online (including HIV: New facts and stunning data visuals (where he converts the best available data from UNAIDS and WHO into understandable Gapminder bubbles). Go to Rosling's Gapminder website for more videos or info on how to use available software to animate data.
• Employment Future: The Decade Ahead In Jobs (NPR, 12-24-09) Roll over the circles to compare 2008 employment levels with those projected for 2018.
• Time-lapse visualization of worldwide protest, 1979-2013 (Penn State doctoral candidate John Beieler created a time-lapse visualization of every protest on the planet since 1979 (250 million of them), posted on
• The Making of a Mac Cover Peter Belanger's time-lapse vimeo on the photography, photoshop, and design work that go into creating a Macworld Magazine cover
• More examples of time-lapse video, on Vimeo
• Gratitude (Louis Schwartzberg's video talk for TedTalkSF, 10 minutes worth watching). Using time-lapsed photography he creates living images, some of which accompany an inspirational talk by an elder. See more of his work at

,Information Is Beautiful displays data beautifully (hover on images for more info; click on them for data sources). Credit David McCandless, author of The Visual Miscellaneum: A Colorful Guide to the World's Most Consequential Trivia and collaborators. Some examples:
• Snake Oil? Scientific evidence for popular dietary supplements (version 2)
• Which Fish Are Okay to Eat?
• The HBO Recycling Program How the network keeps your favorite actors in Premium Cable Purgatory (Andy Greenwald, Grantland 6-8-11) with visualization enlarged.
• Information Is Beautiful Several examples follow.
• The Varieties of Intimate Relationship
• Left vs. Right (U.S.) and Left vs. Right (World)
• Wikipedia's lamest editorial wars
• When Sea Levels Attack!
• Visualizing information flow in science (
• The Fall of the Mall (Leftloft, NY Times, 5-31-09) What does a recession look like? Here’s one view, as seen through retail sales. Color in the bottom map indicats the depth of the drop — or the height of the rise — in sales. The deeper the red, the steeper the loss.
• Generic Names for Soft Drinks (by county) (the visual display of quantitative data, showing which parts of U.S. use pop, coke, soda, or another word)
"Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive but what they conceal is vital."~Aaron Levenstein

Document Design. These books may be helpful:
• Dynamics in Document Design: Creating Text for Readers by A. Schriver
• Type & Layout: Are You Communicating or Just Making Pretty Shapes by Colin Wheildon
• The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (2nd edition) and his other books: Envisioning Information, Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative /a> (and there are others!)
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Charts, one way of visualizing data

• How to Choose the Best Chart for Your Data (Alan Henry, Lifehacker, 5-11-12). Love the illustration: "Every time you make a powerpoint, edward tufte kills a kitten." (He also said, "Power corrupts. Powerpoint corrupts absolutely.") See also How to Find the Right Chart Type for your Numeric Data (Digital Inspiration, Tech เ la carte, 1-14-09) and Chart Chooser (Juice Analytics). Use the filters to find the right chart type for your needs. Then download as Excel or PowerPoint templates and insert your data. Filters: Comparison, distribution, composition, trend, relationship, table.
• How to un-suck your PowerPoint slides! (Dennis Meredith, author of Explaining Research: How to Reach Key Audiences to Advance Your Work.
• Announcing the Slide Chooser (visual decision tool, Extreme Presentation Method). That excellent tool seems to be a descendant of EP's popular Chart Chooser, which is also helpful.

• The world’s languages, in 7 maps and charts (Rick Noack and Lazaro Gamio, Wash Post, 4-23-15)
• Check the Y-axis when reading a chart (Skeptical Scalpel, 6-27-14)
• Chart Girl (Hilary Sargent sums up complicated stories and issues in easy-to-follow black and white infographic charts, which you can download as ready-to-print PDFs)
• Ben Greenman's Museum of Silly Charts (I Love Charts)
• Telling the truth with charts (Seth Godin)
• England's Immigrants Database (1330-1550, Resident Aliens in the Late Middle Ages) visualizations
• Six Decades of the Most Popular Names for Girls, State-by-State (Know More, Wonkblog, Washington Post). Watch an army of baby Jennifers take over the United States
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Timeline Tools

• 45 Stunning Timeline Designs (Bashooka, 2-12-15) A timeline is the presentation of a chronological sequence of events along a drawn line that enables a viewer to understand temporal relationships quickly.
• 7 Eye-popping interactive timelines (and 3 ways to create one) (Media Bistro, 10,000 Words 10-30-08). One of the methods has disappeared from the Web. For portfolios always screenshot your work, advises a handout from the 2012 ACES conference.
• How to Use Interactive Time Lines in Breaking News & Ongoing Stories (Mallary Jean Tenore, Poynter, 3-10-10, updated 3-4-11)
Some timeline-building tools:
• Dipity
• Timetoast
• Timeglider
• ProPublica Timelinesetter
• Intersect (has timeline creating tools)
• Memolane (has timeline creating tools)
• Timeline JS (beautifully crafted timelines that are easy, and intuitive to use--free; a project of the Knight News Innovation Lab)
These are sources recommended in the linking workshop at the ACES 2012 National Conference.
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Making use of humor

• "Ha!: The Science Of When We Laugh And Why" (NPR) Cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems joins Kojo to discuss the latest scientific research that looks to explain why jokes and well-timed quips cause us to smirk, giggle and even burst out laughing.
• The Science Behind Humor: Examples (Kojo Nnamdi show on NPR), snippets from Lenny Bruce, Dave Chappelle, Peter Sellers, Groucho Marx, Louis C.K.
• Cloud Computing (YouTube) Simon Wardley's smart use of images, concept, humor in a PowerPoint presentation
• Introducing the Book ( Scandinavian humor, with subtitles, about medieval tech support, (, ุystein & Meg)
• Anita Renfroe | William Tell Momisms . Video of Anita Renfroe summing up the things a mother says to her children in a three-minute number called "Momisms" set to the William Tell Overture.
• How to Write Better Using Humor (Leigh Anne Jasheway, Writer's Digest, 8-9-11) Also by Jasheway: 10 Ways to Improve Your Writing While Thinking Like a Comedy Writer
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Visual storytelling

• Faced with a Five-Page Limit, Lawyer Files Cartoon Amicus Brief with Proper Font Size (Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal, 9-5-12) "A lawyer who opposes the Justice Department’s proposed antitrust settlement with three publishers of e-books has filed an amicus brief (PDF) in the form of a comic strip....“His rendering is brilliant—not only is it a not so subtle jab at the court for limiting such a complicated case to five page briefs, as a comic strip, the brief will be widely digestible for the general public who may not have the gumption to plow through a typical legal brief"... Here's the brief.
• James Rebanks: How a Lake District shepherd gained a flock of followers on Twitter (Pip Courtney, ABC News, 7-15-15) "I didn't want to do Twitter. I thought Twitter was a waste of time, to be honest. I am too busy, I am working, and then some friends nagged at me to have a go at it and persuaded me to open an account and I started putting pictures of the farm up. One day I put some pictures on and I went out to do my work and when I came back in, hundreds of people had retweeted their favourites and dozens and dozens had asked questions and I think that's what got my curiosity." Now he's published a book: The Shepherd's Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape
• StoryMaps (ESRI, here the top Storymaps of 2016)
• McMansions 101 Revisited: Aesthetics Aside, Why McMansions Are Bad (, Worst of McMansions). Not so much visual storytelling as visual criticism.
• Father and son take same photo for 27 years (David Pescovitz, Boingboing, 7-30-15)
• How a teenager's tweet turned on our newsroom to Storify (Ron Sylvester, Multimedia Reporter, 1-14-12) "Developed with the help of a former AP reporter, Storify was created for journalists by journalists. You take content from the web, via Twitter, YouTube, Flickr or other social media sites, and place it on a timeline. Storify gives you text boxes to write headlines, a lede and transitions. As with any story, the reporter drives the narrative. The quotes are taken from real-time social media. You can even make embeds of specific URLs. The perfect story hit our newsroom recently, when the office of the Kansas governor impulsively reacted to a critical tweet from a high school senior. The story exploded." A site worth browsing, though it seems to have stopped in 2012 with this piece.
• The scientific case for doodling while taking notes (Anthony Weeks, Marginal Revolution, Quartz, ) Visual Storytelling: The Art of Paying Attention.
• Welcome to Pine Point. If you have ten or fifteen minutes, take a look at this truly interesting approach to storytelling/​history, from Canada's National Film Board: the story (part book, part film, part family photo album) of Pine Point, a mining town that existed only long enough to give a generation or two some memories--and was then erased from the map. A key character is Richard Cloutier, a bully in high school who later, severely disabled from MS, issues voice commands to his computer mouse, in developing the Pine Point website. Created for IDFA DocLab by filmmakers Michael Simons and Paul Shoebridge (the Goggles). (Scroll to bottom and click on Visit Website.)
• Rat Park, Stuart McMillen's comic about a classic study of (experiment about) drug addiction conducted in the late 1970s (and published in 1980) by Canadian psychologist Bruce K. Alexander and his colleagues.
• The illustrated guide to a Ph.D. (Matt Might's wonderful visual that illustrates once more that a picture can be worth a thousand words)
• The 24 Best Photo-Essays of 2014 (Fast Design)
• Trady Boyer, on Innovative Interactivity (1-24-11), discusses technical details about the use of Flash, of interest to multimedia enthusiasts.
• Alternative story forms (slideshow of time-saving story forms, including Q&A, key player summaries, quick profiles, explainer photos, lists, panels, quizzes, charticles, and glossaries.
• Find a Story to Hear Wherever It May Be, Katie Boehret's story about a new company called Broadcastr (, which is still working out the kinks in its free social-networking platform based on location-specific storytelling. Touring New Orleans? Listen to stories told by flood survivors or about where the best Cajun food is.(All Things Digital column, Wall Street Journal, 3-1-11)
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Books on visual storytelling:
• Picture This: How Pictures Work by Molly Bang (a children's book illustrator explains how images help elicit emotion in story readers)
• Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books by Uri Shulevitz (a masters class in illustrating books for kids).
• Book of Movie Photography by David Cheshire (a guide to telling stories through images)
Thanks to Upstart Crow for leading us to some of these titles!
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Maps and mapmakers

• Map Resources (royalty-free vector maps)
• MollyMaps . Artist with PhD in geography/​cartography designs custom maps (hand-drawn, digital, or custom), starting at $200
• Vivid maps, with some specials, such as Trumpland and Clinton Archipelago (compare Trumpland with Absence of Black.
• Roundup of resources on ancient geography (Charles Jones, AWOL--Ancient World Online)
• Mapping the Long Women’s Movement, "an experiment with indexing, using and ultimately understanding oral history in new ways....Selected passages appear on a Google map as markers categorized by color. The map is the primary navigation environment, but users can browse by interviewee or concept, too, or listen to interview passages via a timeline. By adding or removing concepts from the map display, users create their own dynamic visual narrative of the women’s movement in the South, visualize previously invisible connections between interviews, and experience oral history in new ways."
• How I made the Montreal street history map (Roberto Rocha). A how-to guide by a tech journalist, about how to make an interactive map; goes into data and coding, which is over my head, but you get a sense of how such a person could make a customized map for you.

• Sound map: Accents and dialects. British Library, interactive map and audio, lets you click on a spot on the map and hear the accents and dialects of various parts of England and Scotland (not Ireland!)--one of several sound maps.
• Fascinating Maps (Political Forum, a non-biased, non-partisan political forum) For example, countries that England has never invaded; all of the world's internet connections in 1969; "there are more people living inside this circle than outside of it". Most interesting of all, in a way, is "countries that don't use the metric system." Talk about stubbornness!
• Historical map websites (Perry-Casta๑eda Library Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin) Superb links and many of them.
• David Rumsey Map Collection (67,000 high-resolution historic maps)
• US Geological Survey maps (historical topographic map explorer). Explained. Or download tutorial.
• Maps That Changed the World. Peter Barber, head of maps collections at the British Library, shows ten of the greatest maps, from the USSR's Be On Guard! map (1921) to the London Tube Map (1933) to Google Earth. Fascinating.
• Perry-Casta๑eda Library
Map Collection
. Part of the John R. Borchert Map Library, University of Minnesota
Gazetteers & Place Name Guides, from the Borchert Map Library
• Map that shows where America came from (Jessica Jereat, Mail Online, 9-2-13). Shows shows the major ancestry of EVERY county in the United States
• Oddens' Bookmarks (OCLC WorldCat, maps and mapping)
• The World in Words (, winner of a design award)
• Maps and Geography, Bible History ( Many links don't work but those that do are worth checking.
• Ancient Near East Site Maps (printable, b&w, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago)
• 40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World (Twisted Sifter, 8-13-13)
• Mapping History (British Library)
• The Islands of San Francisco (Burrito Justice) Love this schematic map of San Francisco, based on concept "What if each San Francisco neighborhood were an island, and the streets canals."

• Interactive Bible maps (IAM, free high-resolution Bible study maps, black and white)
• Microsoft Terraserver (satellite images of the world)
• New York in stunning 360-degree detail (UK Telegraph). Fabulous interactive map. Click on fullscreen and "show controls" to see your options. Also read this article: Grand Tour of Manhattan, New York, USA where you'll find links to more maps.
• When Did Your County's Jobs Disappear (an interactive map illustrating Chris Wilson's story, Slate, 8-10-2009)
• The Geography of Jobs (TIP)
• Online Interactive Maps (educational maps, for children AND adults!)
• Measure of America, measuring levels of human development in various states.
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Illustrations and illustrators

• Artful medicine: A longtime collaboration (Surgeon Robert Jackler and illustrator Chris Grallap explain how they work and the secret to nearly 25 years of innovative medical illustration, YouTube video). Text on same topic: Illustrations convey body’s secrets (Tracie White, Stanford, 8-8-11)
• Graphics Atlas (Image Permanence Institute). This online collection compares processes (ranging from the woodcut to modern digital print), compares traits across processes, and gives instructions on how to identify print processes.
• Legal Visuals (an interesting portfolio, add the big picture to the fine print)
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Medical and scientific images and illustrations

• AnatLine, National Library of Medicine's database of anatomical images, with online browser
• Anatquest (visually compelling ways to bring anatomic images,including 3D renderings and labeled views, from the Visible Human dataset to the general public (with no-cost license agreement).
• Doctor Stock (rights-managed medical and healthcare images)
• DPDx Parasite Image Library
• Fotosearch (medical stock photos and footage)
• Images from the History of Medicine (IHM) , National Library of Medicine
• Library of Congress Prints & Photographs
• Medical Illustration Source Book (The Association of Medical Illustrators, with online portfolios)
over 1 million images and 2,000 hours of broadcast quality film footage.
• NASA Multimedia Video Gallery
• National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery
• Netter Images (medical illustrations)
• NIH Photo Galleries
• NOAA's Photo Library
• PHIL (CDC's Public Health Image Library)
• U.S. Department of Agriculture Image Gallery (Agricultural Research Service)
• U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Digital Library
• U.S. Geological Survey Multimedia Gallery
• The Visible Human Project (NLM)
• Why are human bodies asymmetrical? (Leo Q. Wan, an animated GIF from TEDEd, Lessons Worth Sharing)
• Artful medicine: A longtime collaboration (Surgeon Robert Jackler and illustrator Chris Grallap explain how they work and the secret to nearly 25 years of innovative medical illustration, YouTube video). Text on same topic: Illustrations convey body’s secrets (Tracie White, Stanford, 8-8-11)
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Multimedia explanations

• Common Craft ("Our product is explanation") Check out crystal-clear video explanations, using original, hand-drawn images, by Lee and Sashi LeFever. See, for example, BitTorrent . For teachers, trainers, presenters, businesses.
• What does your pancreas do? (Emma Bryce and Bill Keaggy, TED-Ed, one of many excellent TED-Ed originals)
• The Greek Crisis Explained in Under 3 Minutes (TEDEd video)
• If Our Bodies Could Talk (Atlantic Video series, featuring young interviewer James Hamblin (CJR feature)
• Mount Everest in 3D: Experience the Trek to the Summit (this trek ended when an avalanche took the lives of sixteen sherpas)
• JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments, the first PubMed-indexed video methods journal in biology)
• The Explainer (Slate)
• Talking glossary, with audio and illustrations ((National Human Genome Research Institute)
• Animation About Mass Incarceration in the U.S. (Visually, Films for Action, brilliantly articulated)
• Library of Life (interactive graphic showing human gene mutation from story on Gene Therapy and Cancer)
• Feed Me Bubbe (video, Grandma making strudel, or Jelly Jammies)
• Interactive health tutorials (MedlinePlus). Here is a list of diseases and conditions, tests and diagnostic procedures, surgery and treatment procedures.
• Language: What Lies Beneath (NPR audiovisual special)
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Good examples of multimedia journalism and storytelling

• Finding Marlowe, the graphics-studded account 0f a journalist's search for the true story of the first licensed black private detective in Los Angeles, accompanied by a video case file: Investigating the mystery of Samuel Marlowe.
• Mary Ellen's Will: The Battle for 4949 Swiss ( a Dallas Morning News special multimedia report by Lee Hancock)
• Highrise: The Towers in the World, World in the Towers , one of several pieces recommended by Paul Grabowicz on this Delicious site
• Prostitution in Rural America: A Journalists’ Investigation (Al Tompkins, Poyntr, 5-7-08). This series is no longer available online: Fruit of the Poisonous Loom (14-part series and multimedia website, a journalists' investigation of prostitution in rural America, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Gazette, May 2008)
• Snow Fall: Avalanche at Tunnel Creek (video, part of a multimedia piece (NY Times, 12-21-12 ), John Branch's harrowing story of skiers caught in an avalanche.
• Symbolia, which the Columbia Journalism Review describes as combining “the rugged hand-drawn texture of a 90’s zine with the investigative vigor and left-leaning politics of Mother Jones.”
• Mexico Under Siege: The drug war at our doorstep . Since June 2008, LA Times reporters and photographers have chronicled, from both sides of the border, the savage struggle among drug cartels for control over the lucrative drug trade to the U.S. The conflict has left thousands dead, paralyzed whole cities with fear, and spawned a culture of corruption reaching the upper levels of the Mexican state.
• The girl in the window (Lane DeGregory, Tampa Bay Times series, 7-31-08). Danielle, a severely neglected child, was rescued at the age of seven from unfathomable living conditions. Unable to speak or feed herself, she was discovered in a filthy, roach-infested room, her diaper overflowing and her body covered with bites. Could the love and care of her adoptive family compensate for a lifetime of neglect? Read The story about the story (Steve Myers, Poynter, 8-5-08)
• Quenching Las Vegas' Thirst: When will Las Vegas run out of water? (interactive by Zach Wise, Las Vegas Sun) With expected changes in climate and no changes in water usage, Lake Mead could run dry by 2021
• Talking Volumes Minnesota Public Radio series). Here, Kerri Miller's conversation with author Margaret Atwood at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, about her book MaddAddam, the final installment of her science fiction Oryx and Crake trilogy.
• IDFADocLab showcasing new and unexpected forms of digital documentary storytelling--multimedia docs available online)
• Deep Trouble (Naples Daily News multimedia series on the declining ecology and economy of the Gulf of Mexico)
• Like that Chrysler Super Bowl ad with Clint Eastwood? Thank a poet. (Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times 2-6-12--with video). One of the most powerful ads aired during the 2012 Super Bowl credits poet Matthew Dickman as one of its copywriters.
• NASA Multimedia Video Gallery
• National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery
• U.S. Geological Survey Multimedia Gallery
• U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Digital Library
• Aspen Ideas Festival (big and little ideas, captured in audio and video)
• Ashes and Snow exhibit If your software supports video and special effects, click on "enhanced version," then "enter," then experience visual effects by moving your mouse around on the screen.
• Lives Connected (an experiment in oral history and data visualization, featuring Hurricane Katrina experiences)
• Christopher Walken Cooking a Chicken (video, with Richard Belzer of "Law & Order")
A man, his dog, his cat, and his rat (a popular YouTube video)
• Book trailers and VidLits
• Interactive Narratives (Online News Association) Video online and audio/​video slideshows with still photography or video tracks.
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Top venues for multimedia journalism, storytelling, and explanations

• Mashira Kalman journalism (and that's not all she does, but she's good!)
• Interactive Narratives (Online News Association)
• Kobr้ guide to the Web’s best multimedia and videojournalism
• Finding the Frame (journalists go here to submit their multimedia projects for review by expert visual storytellers)
• Contently Multimedia
• The Best of Multimedia Design winners (2009), Society for News Design (SND)

How to's of multimedia storytelling

• Mastering Multimedia --links to important how-to information, on
---Basics of multimedia
---Equipment, software, tools, and tutorials for working in multimedia
---Audio tools and technology (including microphones)
---Recording phone interviews
---Audio editing software and tutorials
---Tutorials for radio
---Scanning, repairing, and organizing photos
---Video production and editing
• The transition to digital media (Paul Grabowicz, kdmcBerkeley), excellent overview and great list of resources
• Picking the right media for a story (Paul Grabowicz, dmcBerkeley, wonderfully helpful)
---Databases, Graphics and Maps
• Cheat sheet for multimedia story decisions (Mindy McAdams
• Anecdote: Making Stories Work (check out this organization's interesting white papers)
• pdfPictures, the Interactive PDF Format (your printed material can now become an Interactive PDF eBrochure using the free Adobe Reader)--I don't know how special or good this is!
• Digital Storytelling. Using computer technology to tell the stories of your life.
---Digital Storytelling: A Tutorial in 10 Easy Steps (UJ.D. Lasica, TechSoup, The Technology Place for Nonprofits, 2006)
---The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling
---A Guide to Digital Storytelling (BBC)
• Memory Miner (John Fox explaining his digital storytelling software for discovering the threads connecting people's lives across time and place)
• Capturing and distributing video might be getting cheaper than capturing and distributing words (Mike Shatzkin, Shatzkin Files, 7-17-13). The relative ease and cost of changing print, audio, and video technologies has changed the relative pecking order of various media. Print (which is #1 for preservation) is no longer king, for access and distribution.
• Multimedia Storytelling Reaches Technological Heights with Brian Storm. Stefani Twyford, on Visualseer ("Extending art online") reports on an all-day workshop on multimedia storytelling, featuring Brian Storm of MediaStorm, a New York City based multimedia production company. The event, held Saturday March 22, 2010, was organized by Facebook and Twitter.FotoFest. "Storm’s basic premise in multimedia production is that “Audio is king.” By this he means that if you have good audio and bad photographs, you still have a movie. If you have bad audio and good photographs, there’s not much you can do to produce a video. "
• The importance of words in multimedia storytelling (Jacqueline Marino, Nieman Storyboard, 4-21-10)

Books about multimedia storytelling

• Videojournalism: Multimedia Storytelling by Kenneth Kobr้
• Picture This: How Pictures Work by Molly Bang (a children's book illustrator explains how images help elicit emotion in story readers)
• Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children's Books by Uri Shulevitz (a masters class in illustrating books for kids).
• Book of Movie Photography by David Cheshire (a guide to telling stories through images)
Thanks to Upstart Crow for leading us to these titles!
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Digital and documentary photography

• Gratitude (Louis Schwartzberg's video talk for TedTalkSF, 10 minutes worth watching). Using time-lapsed photography he creates living images, some of which accompany an inspirational talk by an elder. See more of his work at
• The Photos that Exposed American Child Labor (Ella Morton, Atlas Obscura, 4-6-16) From 1908 to 1924, Lewis Hine collected visual evidence of the nation's youngest workers. Wonderful photos.
• TED film guru gives students tips on filming presentations (TEDEd, 11-25-14)
• The Disappearing Double Chin Trick for Portrait Photography (EDW Lynch,, 7-18-12). Photographer Peter Hurley demonstrates how to take more flattering portraits by having the subject adjust their head position slightly in order to accentuate the jawline (and remove the “double chin”). About 7 minutes into the video, Hurley shows a series of comparison photos—the difference is remarkable.
• Documentary Photography – Six Tips for Creating a Legacy (Darlene Hildebrandt, Digital Photography School)
• Themed Engagement Shoots (Christina N Dickson, Digital Photography School)
• The Illicit Spelunker Capturing Underground Scenes at Chernobyl (Kate Brown, Atlas Obscura, 4-11-16) Photos from the most hazardous part of the infamous Reactor No. 4.
• LENS, the excellent New York Times blog on photography, video, and visual journalism (including this entry: From North Korea, an Altered Procession (in which J. David Goodman shows how North Korea's state news agency digitally altered photos transmitted to the world)
• Believing Is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography, a book by by Errol Morris, brings together six essays (each about a photograph or group of photographs) that originally appeared on The New York Times‘ Opinionator blog. In an interesting review, Shaun Mullen (on The Moderate Voice writes that a good many books "tread the same path as does Morris, but where Believing Is Seeing parts company with them is that Morris muses on where in a photograph does the truth lie? And is the truth altered if a photograph is posed." Note that first photo on the Mullen review.
• Digital Imaging Guidelines (guidelines prepared by the UPDIG Coalition, to establish photographic standards and practices for photographers, designers, printers, and image distributors). The guidelines cover Digital Asset Management, Color Profiling, Metadata, and Photography Workflow.
• Full Frame: The culture of death. Photographer Brian L. Frank visits Mexico's most notorious barrios, where death is the only truth in life (Global Post).
• Tips and Tutorials (Digital Photography School)
• Tips about post-production (Digital Photography School)

Useful collections
• Library of Congress Prints & Photographs
• NIH Photo Galleries
• NOAA's Photo Library
See Scientific and medical illustrations
• Bing (visual search galleries)

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Audio and music for multimedia projectds

• Louis Armstrong and Danny Kaye (Sonny Radio, When the Saints Go Marching In)
• Streaming Services Have 99 Problems. And They Are… (Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News, 6-20-13). This may be the year that streaming music slayed the download. But can streaming overcome its worst enemy, itself?
• As glaciers literally crumble around him, a pianist plays an elegy for the Arctic (pianist Ludovico Einaudi plays an elegy on a grand piano floating past the Wahlenbergbreen glacier in Svalbard, Norway--david@​
• The Music Industry Has 99 Problems. And They Are… (Paul Resnikoff, Digital Music News, 12-20-12)
• Gibbon singing behavior (Gibbon sound gallery, Gibbon Research Lab)
• Sources for music, images, video clips, and related materials, including preservation resources (Pat McNees, Telling Your Story)
• Bit by Electronic Bit, a Cantor’s Voice Is Restored. Joseph Berger (NYTimes 7-20-10) on how a 52-year-old non-techie Hasidic Jew who runs a record shop in Brooklyn, with advice from some experts, used advanced audio restoration programs on a regular computer to get rid of the crackles and hisses in old recordings of a "Jewish Caruso," a "Cantor for the Ages."
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Books about Songwriting

• Craft and Business of Songwriting (3rd edition), by John Braheny
• Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting: 126 Proven Techniques for Writing Songs That Sell by Robin A. Frederick
• The Songwriting Sourcebook: How to Turn Chords into Great Songs by Rikky Rooksby
• Writing Better Lyrics by Pat Pattison
• hortcuts to Songwriting for Film & TV: 114 Tips for Writing, Recording, & Pitching in Today's Hottest Market by Robin Frederick
• TuneSmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting by Jimmy Webb (autobiography and craft, mixed)
This will get you started anyway. Have we missed anything?
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Cartoons, comics, anime, manga,
panel stories, graphic novels, humor, and animation

• New Yorker Cartoon Editor Explores What Makes Us Get It (NPR, 3-24-14). Bob Mankoff has been contributing cartoons to The New Yorker ever since 1977 and now, as cartoon editor, he evaluates hundreds of cartoons. Read his book: How About Never--Is Never Good for You?: My Life in Cartoons by Bob Mankoff. "He allows us into the hallowed halls of The New Yorker to show us the soup-to-nuts process of cartoon creation, giving us a detailed look not only at his own work, but that of the other talented cartoonists who keep us laughing week after week."
• Roger Ebert Wins the Cartoon Caption Contest (Bob Mankoff, New Yorker, 4-25-11). Read more Mankoff columns on
• Bob Mankoff Memorandums on humor from the cartoon editor sometimes with Colin Stokes.
• The Serious Side of Comedy (Ross Ufberg, Pacific Standard), a review of The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy by Kliph Nesteroff. "The once-long arms of traditional censorship have been clipped by the possibilities of consumption among stiff, and multitudinous, competition. The idea of a “mainstream” audience has now forked into a thousand rivulets." You can watch online the 1971 Woody Allen satire mentioned: Men of Crisis The Harvey Wallinger Story (YouTube).
• The Story of a Generation (Gary Trudeau, The Atlantic, Oct 2010) The cartoonist Garry Trudeau discusses his characters and how they've grown up, in a passage adapted from his book 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective..
• Powerful Mike Luckovich cartoon, remembering 9/​11
• Rare interview with Bill Watterson, creator of "Calvin and Hobbes." (Jake Rossen, Mental Floss, 12-2013, updated 6-7-14).
• The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson (boxed set)
• Seeing in New Dimensions (Kaitlin Mulhere, Inside Higher Education, 3-17-15) Nick Sousanis earned his Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies from Teachers Coll. ege Columbia University, where he produced his dissertation entirely in comics form. The book version, Unflattening , will be published in April 2015 by Harvard University Press..Tweeted as "Comic book dissertation demonstrates capacity of picture writing.@​InsideHigherEd. See also In Print: Threads Postmodern Fable (Spin Weave & Cut, 2-13-15), the author, talking about Unflattening.
• Burning Questions for James Sturm, Center for Cartoon Studies Director (Edie Everette, Pyragraph, 2-10-14)
• Chris Ware, The Art of Comics No. 2 (Jeet Heer, interviewer, The Paris Review, Fall 2014). Read free online.
• R. Crumb, The Art of Comics No. 1 (Ted Widmer, interviewer, The Paris Review, Summer 2010).
• James Sturm Discusses Art and the Future of Cartooning (Emily Lau, Swarthmore Daily Gazette, 3-4-14)
• Picture This (Nick Mamatas, Village Voice, 1-10-06) Talking with James Sturm, co-founder of the nation's first school for cartoon studies.
• Crowson blog (just for fun)
• What Makes a Comic Work in Health Care? (Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation)
• The Core of Story (Erin Polgreen, Nieman Reports, Spring 2014) How comics can enhance reader engagement and bring new audiences to narrative nonfiction
• "Calvin and Hobbes" creator Bill Watterson involved in new project (Ray Jablonski), on the documentary “Stripped” reaching its fundraising goal of $58,000 on Kickstarter.
• Cartooning for a Sustainable Future (Alysia Santo, Columbia Journalism Review, 2-15-12). Will editorial cartoonists find their (paid) place on the web?
• Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), with excellent links to resources
• Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (Ohio State University Libraries)
• How you (and other animals) breathe, in one beautiful GIF (Joseph Stromberg, Vox, 10-27-14)
• Cartoons in history (Ken Ackerman's Viral History links to images and articles)
• List of notable cartoonists (Wikipedia, listed as in animation, in cartoon strips, single panel cartoons, of comic books, of action/​superhero comic books, with links to lists in other categories)
• Cartoon Resource (stock cartoons for PowerPoint presentations, etc.)
• Cartoon Stock
• Comic Strip Generator
• Forgetfulness , animated Billy Collins poem
• Animator vs. Animation (Alan Becker,
Animations (New Yorker). Seen more easily on YouTube
• In Love with A. Lincoln (a panel story by Maira Kalman, And the Pursuit of Happiness blog, NY Times, 2-26-09)
• HEMA. A seriously cool dynamic product page for a Dutch department store. Wait 15-20 seconds till after the page loads and watch what happens next.
• Cog (the brilliant Honda Accord all-physics commercial, in which a cog sets off a chain reaction of component parts of a Honda, said to have been made without any computer augmentation)
• The Adventures of Comma Boy by Keith Cronin (a comic strip for aspiring writers, agents, publishers, and publishing fantasizers, featured in Publishers Marketplace. Comma Boy archives here.
• Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels by Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
• Anime News Network (the Internet's most trusted anime news source)
• The Man Behind "The Muppets" (video of Today Show interview with Brian Jones, author of Jim Henson: The Biography
• Dllbert Cartoons on Mission Statements
• The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker, edited by by Robert Mankoff, Adam Gopnik, intro by David Remnick.
• Autobiographical comics. A light that never goes out , a great example of autobiographical comics by Lucy Knisley, author of Relish: My Life in the Kitchen
• Drawing Power (Bob Thompson's long Washington Post story on SPLAT! A Graphic Novel Symposium, or Prose Guy on "how this formerly ghettoized medium became one of the rare publishing categories that's actually expanding")
• Comics and Graphic Novels (NPR's annotated reading list
• Graphic Novels to Graphic Prime Time: Proposing TV Adaptations of Comic Books (Dana Jennings, Television, NY Times, 2-14-14)
• Graphic novels (Goodreads list)
• How Graphic Novels Became the Hottest Section in the Library (Heidi MacDonald, Publishers Weekly, 5-3-13)
• Graphic novels (American Library Association wiki advisory)
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Producing artful books

• Dipity (lets you create timelines)
• Down With Helvetica: Design Your Own Font (Peter Wayner, Personal Tech, NY Times, 6-26-08) Software developers are creating tools that simplify font design--for example, letting the user produce fonts from handwriting samples.
• The Extraordinary World of Ex Libris Art (fabulous bookplates, worth more than the books containing them), from
Dark Roasted Blend (weird and wonderful things)
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You can download free (on the Web) most of the software you need to watch video online. At a minimum you probably need Adobe Reader, RealPlayer, and Flash. Download them from a government site and they're likely to be safe!

15 things journalists (and everyone) need to know about digital security (Poynter, 8-29-13). Most of the protocols that make up the Internet — including HTTP (the Web), FTP (file transfers) and SMTP (email) — aren’t secure. Read what you need to know.
• C/​net (good site for finding reviews of various kinds of technology, including software--find reviews for camcorders, car tech, cell phones, desktops, digital cameras, home audio, home video, laptops, MP3 players, printers, software & apps, tablets, televisions)
• Software ratings ( A good place to see how much software there is to choose from (which is both good and bad).
• Adobe (site from which to download Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player and Shockwave Player safely, free). Paid Adobe software includes many programs important to multimedia: Dreamweaver, InDesign, Photoshop
• Adobe Forums (a community of creative experts--met, ask, and follow their discussions, or ask for help). There are forums for Adobe Flash Player, Reader, Illustrator, Flash, Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Marketing Cloud, Livecycle, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Premier Pro, Creative Cloud, Flex SDK and Flash Builder, Connect, Photoshop Lightroom, and InDesign. (InDesign is standard for designing books, but there is a learning curve.) There's also an Adobe Captivate forum.
• Real Player (bookmark or download and play videos and music)
• Adobeฎ Readerฎ software is the free global standard for reliably viewing, printing, and commenting on PDF documents.
• Adobe Reader X (the only free PDF file viewer that lets you open and interact with all types of PDF content, including forms and multimedia.
• Layers Magazine, a how-to magazine for everything Adobe, with tutorials and columns that often analyze and illustrate design makeovers.
• Adobeฎ Flashฎ Player is a lightweight browser plug-in that delivers good audio/​video playback and gameplay.
• Equipment, software, tools, and tutorials for working in multimedia

File extensions, a searchable database of thousands of file extensions with detailed information about the associated file types. You can use to look up information about unknown file types and find programs that open the files. Along the left you'll find categories of common file types: text files, data files, audio files, 3D image files, raster image files, vector image files, page layout files, spreadsheet files, executable files, game files, CAD files, GIS files, Web files, Plugin files, font files, system files, settings files, encoded files, compressed files, disk image files, developer files, backup files, and misc. files. Who knew?? Subsections of the site (helpful for personal historians, especially) include:
• Answers to common questions about file extensions
• Audio File Types (includes compressed and uncompressed audio formats, which contain waveform data that can be played with audio playback software. This category also includes MIDI files, musical scores, and audio project files, which typically do not contain audio data).
• Video File Types (a wide range of video formats, which use different codecs to encode and compress video data)
• Software Information (another helpful section of the, with information about popular software programs and a star-rating system to indicate a program's popularity).
• Page Layout file types
• Vector Image Files . It sez there: "Vector graphics are made up of paths, rather than individual pixels. These paths can be used to represent lines and shapes within the image. Most vector image formats can also include colors, gradients, and image effects. Since vector graphics store image data as paths, they can be enlarged without losing quality, which makes them a good choice for logos and other types of drawings. Common vector image file extensions include .EPS, .AI, and .SVG. Other image file categories include Raster Graphic and 3D Image files."
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Organizations relevant to multimedia work

• Association of Independents in Radio (AIR), a social and professional network of 750+ producers – both independent and those employed by media organizations – representing a range of disciplines, from NPR news journalists and reporters, to sound artists, station-based producers, podcasters, gearheads, media activists, and more. Provide resources to help independent producers navigate the public media industry. Check out AIR's week-long Sounds Elemental producer intensives.
• Organizations for screenwriters, playwrights, documentary filmmakers, and critics
• Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) , individuals and organizations concerned with the acquisition, description, preservation, exhibition and use of moving image materials

• Organizations of or for ghostwriters and collaborators
• Organizations for publishers and booksellers
• Organizations for corporate, government, and technical communicators
• Organizations for media pros and allied professionals (translators, indexers, designers, photographers, artists, illustrators, animators, cartoonists, image professionals, composers)
• Organizations for journalists
• Discussion groups, listservs, and organizations focused on copyright and intelllectual property
• Organizations for editors, proofreaders, and indexers
• National and international associations for translators and interpreters
• Organizations and online gathering places for biographers, memoirists, personal historians, and other life story writers
• Job banks and publishing marketplaces'
• Organizations freelancers may find useful
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Hidden Meanings in 12 Popular Logos (Vicki Passmore, WalletPop, 1-14-11)

PowerPoint. Edward R. Tufte, The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within ($7), and you can read a sample here of why understanding PowerPoint is particularly important with technical material: PowerPoint Does Rocket Science--and Better Techniques for Technical Reports (Tufte analyzes one incident of flawed PowerPoint, in a Boeing analysis of launch damage to the space shuttle Columbia, arguing that poor PowerPoint design led to grave misinterpretations of Columbia's vulnerability and to Columbia blowing up on re-entry). Go here for links to many more Tufte essays by the author of the classic The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (now in its second edition). Is it worth taking his course? See Robert Kosara's frank review of Edward Tufte's one-day course(Eager Eyes 8-5-12).

Printing images: What file size do you need? (resolution needed in pixels, ppi)

TED (Technology, Education, Design)
• TED Talks (videos and snippets from the best talks at TED conferences, designed to spread ideas (at $2000 a registration)
• TED (ideas worth spreading, the official site)
• TedEd Series (great audiovisual explanations from the people who brought us TedTalks)
• TED conferences

Tom Lehrer, So Long, Mom (A Song for World War III) , shown here on YouTube singing and playing one of a number of songs featured in a two-disc CD/​DVD of old classics, one of a number of songs featured in The Tom Lehrer Collection, favorites from a beloved master of social-political satire set to music.

VidLits--examples of book trailers from one of the first sources
• Laura Sydell's NPR story about Web 'VidLits,' featuring Yiddish with Dick and Jane
• The Dog Dialed 911
• Julie and Julia (brings out the book's appeal, which is different from the movie's)
• Liz Dubelman's "Craziest" (8 minutes and a 'must-see' for Scrabble fans)
• Yiddish with George and Laura
• More VidLits Stories Powering Progress.Watch videos about various developing countries."Using the power of video to tell stories about real people and progress in global development. Working with non-profit organizations, film distributors, and individual filmmakers, we combine at one site documentaries, news reports, and viewer-generated films of varying length and style. They are being shown both here and on the Link TV national television network, which reaches 47 million US homes." Funded by the Gates Foundation.