The United States’ Unamendable Constitution
The New Yorker • October 2022
I contributed data visualization and development to this article by historian Jill Lepore about the history of efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution. Components included a set of interactive survey questions exploring Americans' attitudes toward the Constitution, as well as a longform annotated timeline visualizing more than 10,000 failed amendments.
Inflation calculator: How do rising prices affect your personal finances?
Global News • May 2022
With inflation dominating the headlines, I built this calculator to allow Canadians to see in depth how rising prices affect their own budgets. The project uses GitHub Actions to automatically process and publish monthly inflation data releases from Statistics Canada. In the interactive app, built with Svelte, users can select a province and plug in numbers from their own budget to see how much their spending has increased over time.
Inside COVID's 'Invisible Hospitals'
Global News • January 2022
I developed an immersive scrollytelling presentation for this multimedia investigation into three COVID patients' rehabilitation journeys. The piece incorporates video, audio, photography, maps, and text, all orchestrated by a custom-built Svelte app. I also created a new template within the Global News WordPress theme to allow publication of the statically rendered project files within the CMS.
Explore Nearly 2,000 Gun Dealer Inspection Reports
The Trace / USA TODAY • May 2021
For this investigation into the federal government's failure to regulate gun dealers, co-published with USA TODAY, I also parsed and analyzed thousands of pages of documents in Node and R, and then published them in this interactive database built with Sapper and Airtable. I produced explanatory scrollytelling components for the main feature story using Svelte. Shortly after publication, Congressional Democrats introduced legislation to tighten the penalties for lawbreaking gun dealers.
A Historic Surge in Gun Violence Compounds the Traumas of 2020
The Trace • December 2020
This story was an attempt to make sense of the surge of gun violence that accompanied the social upheavals of 2020. Centering the perspectives of violence prevention workers and members of communities that bear the brunt of gun violence, it also incorporates national and city-level crime data and rich photography to create a holistic picture of the toll guns took in 2020.
How Many Guns Did Americans Buy Last Month?
The Trace • August 2020
The FBI's monthly gun background check data became major news amid 2020's coronavirus fears and social unrest, but the top-line numbers lack important context. To give readers a clearer picture of the trend, I built this gun sales explainer and database, using the raw FBI numbers to produce seasonally adjusted sales estimates at the national and state level. My analysis draws on the work of economist Jurgen Brauer, as well as prior analyses by BuzzFeed News and The New York Times. The project updates on a monthly basis as new data is released.
Personal • July 2020
Svelte has been my go-to framework for a few years now, and I recently created this small library which provides an idiomatic wrapper component for the <canvas> element. Users can create layer components that encapsulate individual portions of the canvas, and write reactive render functions that redraw whenever the variables that they depend on change. The library enables canvas-based interactive visualizations to be built using familiar Svelte conventions.
Gun Shops Flouted State Closure Orders in April as Industry Notched Another Big Month
The Trace / USA TODAY • May 2020
In the early days of the pandemic, five states declared gun dealers nonessential under their stay-at-home orders. Federal background check data revealed that gun sales continued in all of those states. Reporting with my colleague Champe Barton, we found a pattern of stores openly defying shutdown orders, and states hesitant to take action against them. This story was co-published with USA TODAY.
Fireproofing the Future in California
The New Yorker • February 2019
I created two maps for this New Yorker/Van Alen Institute video about California's wildfire epidemic, one showing the extent of wildfire footprints around Santa Rosa and one illustrating wildfire risk zones statewide. I pulled geospatial data from CAL FIRE and the US Census Bureau, processed it in R using the sf library, built the maps in D3 using shaded relief layers from SRTM, and delivered them as SVGs to an animator who produced the final visuals that appeared in the video.
The Trace • February 2019
This project, which tells the stories of more than a thousand children killed by gun violence, was a huge collaboration between The Trace, The Miami Herald/McClatchy, and more than 200 student journalists, with a standalone website built by Upstatement. I worked closely with the Upstatement team and fellow Trace staff to conceive the design and functionality of the project site — my contributions included key features such as the category-driven navigation and star motifs. I also coordinated a team-wide push to prepare the site's content for production in Google Docs and AirTable.
America’s Gun Stores Are Easy Targets for Thieves
The Trace / The New Yorker • February 2019
I worked with reporter Brian Freskos and The New Yorker's digital team to create two Mapbox maps for this multimedia feature built in React. The first illustrates ATF crime gun traces by connecting states with swoopy arrows, which were drawn with Turf.js and baked out to GeoJSON files. The second uses a scroll-driven flyover to explore the locations where several dozen stolen guns were recovered.
An Atlas of American Gun Violence
The Trace • December 2018
Using a dataset provided by Gun Violence Archive, I built this interactive map of more than 150,000 shooting incidents spanning five years. To tackle the challenge of smoothly mapping that many points, I used the incredibly performant deck.gl library along with Mapbox, React, and Redux. A search feature shows users the number of shootings in their vicinity by linking the Mapbox geocoding API with Turf.js's geospatial analysis tools. I did a Q&A about this project that was published on Mapbox's Points of Interest blog.
The CDC Says Gun Injuries Are on the Rise. But There Are Big Problems With Its Data.
The Trace / FiveThirtyEight • October 2018
Sean Campbell and I teamed up with FiveThirtyEight's quantitative editor Mai Nguyen to investigate the flawed approach used by the CDC to generate estimates of nonfatal firearm injuries. We developed a methodology for comparing the trends indicated by the CDC's data with those in other public health datasets, and found that the high degree of uncertainty around the CDC's estimates had serious implications for public health research in the United States. This article and its follow-up prompted a group of senators to demand answers from the Secretary of Health and Human Services about the CDC's data quality issues.
The Mystery Firm That Has Become the NRA’s Top Election Consultant
The Trace / Politico • July 2018
For Mike Spies' story on the NRAs's dealings with its top election contractor, I created charts and an interactive explainer to illustrate the convoluted scheme. The reporting and subsequent follow-ups led to a congressional investigation into the NRA's relationship with the firms. The article and accompanying graphics were also published in Politico.
Rising Firearm Theft Is Quietly Fueling Violent Crime
The Trace / NBC • November 2017
The Trace's Brian Freskos launched an enormous investigation into gun theft by requesting data on stolen and recovered guns from hundreds of law enforcement agencies around the country. I helped to clean and analyze that data, writing scripts to normalize hundreds of spelling variations, identify errors in serial numbers, and comb through the records to match stolen and recovered firearms. We partnered with more than a dozen NBC stations, who used the data, as well as graphics I produced, to report on gun theft in cities around the country. We also published the raw data. This project was awarded Best Reporting by Independent Digital Media at the 2018 Deadline Club Awards.
Visualising Cambodia's national budget
The Phnom Penh Post • November 2016
In Cambodia, public data is scarce and often difficult to access. When I got ahold of four years of national budget figures, I built this interactive budget explorer to make the data available as a public resource.
The changing face of Phnom Penh
The Phnom Penh Post • July 2016
The city of Phnom Penh is being dramatically — and often violently — transformed by large-scale construction and land reclamation projects. For this interactive, I created immersive time lapses of Google Earth satellite imagery to illustrate the city's astonishing pace of growth. A locator map built in Mapbox provides geographic context.