Sören Müller-Hansen & Markus „fin“ Hametner, Süddeutsche Zeitung, will speak about their use of the API

We’re excited to announce that Sören Müller-Hansen and Markus „fin“ Hametner from Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) will speak at our Unwrapped conference about “Quick Prototype to all the bells and whistles: how the SZ uses the Datawrapper API.”

Sören is a data journalist at the German newsroom SZ. His work focuses on in-depth election coverage, climate change, and public health reporting. Fin has been working as a data journalist since 2014 and freelancing for SZ since 2021. His work for SZ focuses on data analysis, writing and researching stories, and supporting larger-scale, automated stories.

Time to ask them some questions:

Sören and Fin, what will you talk about?

Keeping charts up to date? Publishing thousands of plots in just seconds? Copying annotation and color styles in a heartbeat? All of this is possible by implementing the Datawrapper API in your workflow. We’ll show how we use it programmatically in R at Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany. From simple prototypes to automated labeling and complex tricks and tips with buttons and tooltips. From climate charts to COVID-19 and elections.

A live-updating chart with automatically placed annotations.

How do you use Datawrapper (in your team)?

Fin: At SZ, Datawrapper is in heavy rotation, creating charts quickly for small and current stories. We also often use the maps feature and do lots of prototyping of different charts in the tool. And we frequently rely on Datawrapper and its API when we automate charts.

Datawrapper scatter plot for the 2021 German federal election, showing all German constituencies.

Sören: We usually use the DatawRappr package in R to send data directly to our graphics. This helps us to update graphics frequently and automatically. 

How did you start using Datawrapper, and what has changed since then?

Fin: When I started my first data journalism job at derStandard.at, the paper's first data journalist Florian Jungnikl-Gossy had already established Datawrapper as a tool that was in regular use.

Fin: The improvements in Datawrapper's annotation tool over the years can hardly be understated. I have finally come around to Lisa's philosophy of chart descriptions, which I interpret as: the title needs to tell you what you should take from the chart.

What's your favorite Datawrapper feature?

Sören: We love the metadata. With a few tricks, styles and designs can be transferred from one graphic to many others via the API. Labels can be placed in the right place in automated graphics. We can color important areas. And even install buttons with links to other graphics.

Fin: The annotations feature. Swoopy arrows are great!

We're looking forward to Fin and Sören's talk at Unwrapped! Until then, you can find more about Fin on his website, X, and Mastodon; and about Sören on X, Mastodon, Bluesky, and his SZ author page. To sign up for Unwrapped and hear Fin, Sören, and other great speakers, visit our conference website.