With yet a new massacre on American soil, let’s take a look at The Washington Post’s “mass shooting” tracker — a gloomy yet essential piece of data journalism.

It compiles data from every gun attack in the U.S. (since 1966) and highlights some notable facts about the victims, the shooters, the locations and the weapons used during the attacks. And of course, it’s updated with every new event.

mass-shootings-data-interactive-washington-post

The WashPost is clearly trying out the “wow effect” with this accumulation of symbols (1 silhouette for every victim, and so on…). Nonetheless, I feel like this interactive tries to tell too much at once, which can hurt readability. Maybe each analysis could have been introduced with sequential animations, preventing us from memorizing the different color codes. Or maybe the sticky selector banner was not necessary here.

But I always like the idea of having a permanent tracker that readers can refer to.

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