Information graphics allow us to distill large quantities of information into a digestible package. Through graphics, ideas that might otherwise be abstract become familiar and more easily understood. Today, there’s a lot of free graphic design software that allows you to easily create visualizations.
TimelineJS is an open-source tool that enables a visual journalist to build interactive timelines using a Google spreadsheet. TimelineJS can embed a variety of media, including Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Google Maps, SoundCloud and more. Using TimelineJS is very simple. First, you download the Google spreadsheet template. After entering in your data, select publish to web. Copy the URL you just generated and enter it in at TimelineJS. This will create an embed code for you to place the timeline on your site.
Tabula is a free tool that allows you to upload a PDF (text-based) into a web interface and pull tabular data into an CSV format. This allows visual journalist to easily extract data from documents that traditionally presented data without it being accessible.