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Seeing is believing, and that’s true in data journalism as well. During COVID-19, visualizations have been everywhere, from column charts showing the trend in new cases over time, to line graphs showing the curve of cumulative cases and deaths. Datawrapper is a great, free tool that you can use to make surprisingly sophisticated visualizations with the kinds of scales, transitions and eye-appeal that used to require learning a hard-to-learn tool such as d3.JS. You can still do more with code, but you can do a lot with Datawrapper.

Download the data used in the videos (csv format)

Watch part 1 of the video on creating visualizations with Datawrapper. Or download.

Watch part 2 of the video on creating visualizations with Datawrapper. Or download.


1.     Download the file entitled MontrealCasesbyAgeGroup.csv

Upload it to Datawrapper and make a column chart, following the steps from the Video.

  1. Download the CSV entitled casesperdayMontreal.csv, from the link on the main resources page.

Make a line graph showing only the new cases.

Challenge: In the Refine area, in step 3, change the X axis so the reader can see the progression of dates. Make some other changes to how the chart looks. What do like best? What do you think would be most useful for your audience?

  1. Bonus challenge 1: Find some data on your own and make one or more Datawrapper visualizations. If you like, use one of the datasets linked on the additional data sources page for the course.
  2. Bonus challenge 2. Using the original world data from the first spreadsheet exercises, make a pivot table that shows the death rate for each month for Canada and the United States, with the months as columns. Make a copy of the pivot table and download to your computer as a csv file. Upload the csv to Datawrapper, and make a line chart comparing the death rate per month for the two countries. This exercises combines the skills you learned in David’s rates video on Tuesday with your new Datawrapper skills.

Note: All of the data for the video and exercise items 1 and 2 is publicly available at The csv files use a semicolon as the delimiter.

Live session west: 7:30 p.m. Eastern, 6:30 Central, 4:30 Pacific

From the textbook: chapter 8 of The Data Journalist continues the discussion of data visualizations and if you want a taste of what we mean by d3, have a look at chapter 10.