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INBA Workshop - Google News Lab

INBA Fall Convention attendees enjoyed a full day of workshops at the Town & Country Suites in Quincy on Saturday October 7.

The day started with a series of three workshops with Sandra Gonzalez from the Google News Lab and Society of Professional Journalists.

Sandra is an award-winning radio and television journalist who has worked in California, Texas, Louisiana and Nevada. She now trains journalists in using digital tools available from Google.

Google My Maps

Chances are you've used Google Maps to get directions to a destination. You can also create your own maps, using the My Maps tool.

One useful function of My Maps is the ability to import addresses from a spreadsheet that can then be plotted on your map.

We were able to delve into some of the finer points during our one-hour workshop, but if you were unable to attend, you can use Google's My Maps tutorial here.

Here's an example of My Maps in action, the INBA Membership map that I shared with you earlier this week.


Google Public Data

There is more data available than ever before. But it's often a challenge to find the data you need, and to present it in a way that your audience can understand it.

Google Public Data compiles publicly available data on subjects from unemployment, to life expectancy, to energy production and beyond.

From there, you can share that data with a graph or chart that can be embedded into your website.

Here is the training program from Google on how to use their Public Data tool.

And an example of a graph is below, unemployment rates from Illinois and surrounding states from 2007-present.

Google Earth Pro

You've probably seen examples of Google Earth satellite photos, or seen photos of buildings with Street View.

Google Earth Pro takes that a step further, and allows you to share a video tour of a particular location with your audience, so they can gain a greater understanding of its context in your story.

This tool requires a software download, but it is free. Unfortunately, I haven't yet been able to download this software to my work computer (requires admin approval), so I don't have an example to share with you in this article.

But, as with all of the other tools mentioned here, you can take a free tutorial for Google Earth Pro here.

We encourage you to share examples of how you use these tools in your newsroom.

INBA Convention attendees listen to Sandra Gonzalez from Google News Lab.

(Lee Millner/INBA)