Zach Wise

Associate Professor

Emmy winning interactive producer & Associate Professor @NorthwesternU, @KnightLab. Formerly of The New York Times. Creator of TimelineJS & StoryMapJS


Posts by Zach Wise

  • Spring 2015 Collaborative Innovation class presentations

    Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 3, journalism and computer science students in the latest version of Northwestern’s “Collaborative Innovation in Journalism and Technology” class will unveil the prototypes they’ve built over the past 10 weeks. You’re invited to see what they’ve come up with. The projects they will be presenting are: Composite: A provocative project that shows the faces of individuals around a location based on publicly available photos. ImageTweet: A tool that makes tweeting pictures with...

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Posts tagged with Zach Wise

  • StoryMapJS Beta gets a fresh look, MapBox maps, and a new gigapixel image tool

    Back in December we released an alpha version of StoryMapJS, our tool to help journalists tell better stories with maps. Since then it’s been adopted by a number of journalists and deployed around the world — helping to tell the stories about boarding school runaways in England and chart the impact of the debt ceiling debate in the U.S. among many others. We have been refining StoryMapJS and rolled out a few bug fixes already,...

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  • Brainstorming ideas for social network analysis in investigations and journalism

    Some of the "How might we…" questions at the NICAR14 designing new tools for social network analysis journalism session in Baltimore Sunday morning. This year's CAR conference has had many discussions about organizing data and surfacing stories, whether it’s through crowdsourcing personal stories in Al Jazeera’s “Uganda Speaks” project or by analyzing 80,000 censored Weibo posts in ProPublica’s “China’s Memory Hole.” Social network analysis, which is the analysis of the connections linking people, businesses and...

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  • Knight Lab team at NICAR 2014

    Hello, NICAR 2014. It’s lovely to see you all again. Knight Lab’s brought a small(large) crew to Baltimore for this year's annual conference. Some of us are old friends and some of us are just dying to get to know you. So, please, don't be shy. Reach out and say hello! Student fellows: Alex Duner (freshman, developer, journalism) Tyler Fisher (senior, developer, journalism) — Find Tyler at the student brown bag lunch and from 3-4...

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  • Introducing the StoryMapJS Alpha, now with an authoring tool

    Where? is one of the fundamental questions journalists set out to answer, but often, the maps produced to accompany stories feel flat, or are hard to interpret. StoryMapJS is a new Knight Lab tool to help you connect the places of your story into a media-rich narrative. Like its sibling, TimelineJS, StoryMap makes it really easy to illustrate your work with photos, videos, sound, tweets and more. And today it's easier still: a couple of months...

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  • TimelineJS passes 31 million pageviews, 250k deployments

    When we pushed the final design and functionality of TimelineJS out to the world about 18 months ago, it was already a success for Knight Lab. It had been deployed at LeMonde, RadioLab, Gigaom and other big-name publishers. But in the year and half since, TimelineJS become a staple of the the web making world. In fact, early this month the 250,000th instance of TimelineJS was created and deployed. At around the same time reader...

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  • Knight Lab's MozFest 2013 wrap up and link-o-rama

    This post has been updated with additional links to MozFest 2013 content. Kicking off the festival, Friday night begins with a Science Fair at Ravensbourne College. Just like last year, the Knight Lab team took a jump across the pond a couple weeks ago to attend the Mozilla Festival (October 25-27) in London. Still running on fumes from the remaining high felt from our attendance in 2012, the eleven of us were really excited to be there. This incredible...

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  • TimelineJS — Now with even more Knight Lab

    From the beginning, TimelineJS has been a project of Northwestern University Knight Lab. However, when Zach Wise first set out to create it, the Knight Lab had a less developed software process and identity, so Zach presented Timeline as a product of his personal website. Since then, two things have happened: TimelineJS has become wildly popular, and the Knight Lab has established cohesive design guidelines and a more methodical software development process. In the...

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  • How our university lab is helping prepare future hacker-journalists

    Medill “unicorns” at graduation (left to right): Assistant Prof. Jeremy Gilbert;Hilary Fung; Dan Hill; Sarah Adler; Katie Zhu, Prof. Rich Gordon The Knight Lab produces software -- but not just software. We also help produce a new generation of journalists who can thrive at the intersection of journalism and technology. The lab is contributing to Northwestern's educational mission, while also giving students a platform to prepare themselves to have an impact after they leave. Cases...

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  • Knight Lab's MozFest 2012 wrap up

    Last week, a significant portion of the Knight Lab team was fortunate enough to join the Mozilla Festival in London, November 9-12. This incredible event, hosted by the Mozilla Foundation, is in its third year and intends to motivate an entire generation of web makers. As far as we can tell, they are doing this job well. In fact, during the Sunday morning keynote, Mozilla's executive director, Mark Surman shared an anecdote that an attendee had likened #MozFest to #SXSWi in its early...

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  • TimlineJS deployed more than 1,500 times, new features

    In March the Knight Lab released TimelineJS. By June, journalists around the world had picked it up and used it to tell some of the biggest stories in the country. All told, more than 1,500 sites have used the technology. With all that adoption TimelineJS’s developer, Zach Wise, has added new features, resources, and even a new license that hopefully makes TimelineJS available to even more people. First, a quick overview new features: Languages — TimelineJS...

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  • TimelineJS picked up by storytellers worldwide, some examples

    Back in March the Knight Lab partnered with Medill Associate Professor Zach Wise (a former staffer at The New York Times and part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team at the Las Vegas Sun) to launch a product that was then known as Timeline. In the 2.5 months since the launch, Timeline has grown and adapted to user needs and the marketplace. For starters, the name changed from Timeline to Timeline JS – a move that...

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  • Journalists begin adopting TimelineJS

    About three weeks ago the Knight Lab introduced Timeline – a tool that enables journalists to quickly and easily create good-looking, interactive timelines. Word of Timeline slipped out a few days before we formally announced the product on Twitter on March 21 and followed up with a press release on March 23. A week later Twitter feedback made it clear that Timeline’s developer and Medill faculty member Zach Wise had created something particularly useful. Links...

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  • New tool: An easy way to build attractive timelines

    Timelines are a great tool for drawing readers into stories and the Knight Lab is pleased to introduce a great tool for creating them. Our timeline builder was created by Zach Wise, who last year joined the Medill faculty from the New York Times.   In teaching students to deploy timelines, Wise found there wasn’t a satisfactory tool that met current needs.  Working with the Knight Lab, he created one of his own and it’s now...

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Projects Zach Wise has worked on.

Studio Projects

Studio projects Zach Wise has worked on.

  • A Tool for Creating Shareable, Embeddable WebVR Stories

    This team is looking at how to accommodate image formats from a variety of popular 360-degree cameras, including iPhone panoramas. The goal is to make a tool not only for journalists but also for any storyteller looking to tell a story in VR.

  • Augmented Reality Visualization Tool

    Based on the outcomes of our a Exploring AR Visualizations project in the Winter, this project will take the unique forms of visualizations discovered and develop a tool that makes it easy for storytellers to build and embed augmented reality visualizations in their stories and projects.

  • Resurrecting History for VR

    Automated Photogrammetry. As AR and VR increasingly becomes the focus as we move away from smartphones, media organizations will have to find ways to produce content native to those mediums. These same organizations have a wealth of stories that continue to have value over time. Flat video and photo will become less desirable as we continue to move into these new spaces. Previous projects in the lab have surfaced an opportunity to take existing video...

  • Environmental Reporting with Sensors II

    Sensor journalism uses sensors to collect information about our environment. It opens new possibilities for journalists enabling them to collect and process data that might not be available or at a level of detail not previously available.

  • Environmental Reporting with Sensors

    Sensor journalism uses sensors to collect information about our environment. It opens new possibilities for journalists enabling them to collect and process data that might not be available or at a level of detail not previously available.

  • Exploring Augmented Reality Visualizations

    An experimental design project that explores visualizing data in three dimensions for augmented reality. Visualizations that can be examined and inspected by physically getting closer or understood by walking around them, open up exciting possibilities for how we communicate complex ideas and data that reveals hidden truths.

  • Information Spaces in AR/VR

    An experimental design project that explores an emerging concept of information spaces. This concept is behind Microsoft’s pivot to create future Windows operating systems that exist in mixed reality headsets. Students will explore the concept of a news/information app that exists in AR and/or VR. For example, a political news feed might exist on a wall in your living room, and breaking news would appear on a coffee table, twitter reactions surround the coffee table...

  • Navigating Virtual Reality

    Though many in journalism are excited about VR, few are addressing real issues with making it attractive and interactive for their audience. This story team will explore the idea of making multiple three-dimensional VR photos around a scene and linking them together so that the user can navigate it. They’ll be exploring complex VR design challenges, such as how to move around space without disorienting the user and how to easily author interactive environments.

  • Oscillations: Immersive Virtual Experiences in the Performing Arts

    Based on the outcomes of Oscillations project in Winter quarter, this project will continue exploring using the latest VR production techniques to create engaging VR experiences. Students will record performances using motion capture and use machine learning to teach a computer to improvise a performance.

  • Oscillations: Immersive Virtual Experiences in the Performing Arts

    Based on the outcomes of Oscillations project in Winter and Spring quarters, this project will continue exploring using the latest VR production techniques to create engaging VR experiences. Students will record performances using motion capture and use machine learning to teach a computer to improvise a performance.

  • Oscillations: Immersive Virtual Experiences in the Performing Arts

    Recent breakthroughs in neuroscience and immersive technologies provide mechanisms for engineering an entirely new mode of performance art — one that engages audiences to unprecedented degrees.

  • Photojournalism in 3D for VR and Beyond

    In this project, students will use modern approaches to making 3D images both with hardware and software processing.

  • Podcast Discoverability

    The podcasting landscape is overcrowded, with larger voices from legacy broadcast media sometimes drowning out new entrants. Browsing for new-to-you, quality podcasts is hard, with shows scattered across distribution platforms. This team will explore how we might provide users a better path to discovering new podcasts.

  • Projection Mapping

    Imagine that any wall, building floor or doorway could come alive and tell stories. Using projection mapping, many artists, advertisers and industries are already doing it. In this project, students will explore ways in which projection mapping is currently being used and adapt them for journalistic purposes. Students will build and prototype their adaptations.

  • Smarter News

    How might we better understand how to reach our audience, delivering the right news at the right moment, or for the right mood, or for the right amount of time?

  • Storyline: Charts that tell stories.

    One of the most common problems we see in data storytelling is how and when to introduce an editorial layer onto a visualization. Mobile devices afford us very little real estate to work with, and interactivity must be limited. But without a “story” layer, users are left without the context to understand what events might impact or inform a trend. They see something going up or down but don’t see why. “Storyline” will be a...

  • Storytelling Layers on 360 Video

    In this project, students will film 360 video and explore the best ways to add on that additional layer; students will finish the quarter with two videos, and will document their findings to make their storytelling methods more accessible to others.