The AJC’s top 2017 news interactives and data visualizations

A screenshot from the AJC's interactive showing affordable housing units built along the Atlanta Beltline.

Credit: Stephanie Lamm

Credit: Stephanie Lamm

A screenshot from the AJC's interactive showing affordable housing units built along the Atlanta Beltline.

If 2017 gets any weirder, the Weird Police is going to come and arrest it.

Part of Interstate 85 collapsed after a fireAll the power went out at Hartsfield-Jackson for most of a day right at the start of the Christmas travel season. People from sea to shining sea paid for things called "eclipse glasses" they may never use again. And everyone in Washington was investigating everyone else for everything.

But Atlantans shall always cherish the memory of that brief, shining moment when we were still leading 28 to 3.

Through it all, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has brought you some great interactive news and data visualizations on everything from politics to popular Halloween costumes.

Let's take a look back at some of the best and most well-read of those from 2017.


Politics dominated the news landscape this year, and politics made for several of our top interactives and data visualizations this year.

Just before the presidential election, an interactive by our Saurabh Datar and Jeff Ernsthausen gave readers the ability to set their own hypothetical turnout factors and predict how the outcome of the election might change depending on the race and gender of who voted. The interactive pulled from data in the AJC's October poll, which had shown a narrow lead for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in Georgia -- a prediction that turned out to be correct.

The AJC team also brought you interactive voting precinct results allowing readers to break down the outcomes of the Handel-Ossoff runoff election for the 6th Congressional District and the Atlanta mayoral race and mayoral runoff.

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With the U.S. pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate this summer, Saurabh also crunched the numbers on emissions and penned an analysis showing America belches out more greenhouse gases per capita than any other country.

The AJC also showed the impact of proposed cuts to Medicaid on Georgians and how the proposed Republican health care cuts would have affected residents of every Georgia county (those cuts wound up not passing Congress this year).

In the realm of political oddities, the AJC also brought you the ability to search through all the words and phrases banned by the state of Georgia from vanity license plates. Most notably, among the banned words was "covfefe," the apparently nonsensical phrase that appeared in a May tweet by President Trump.

The AJC asked the Georgia Department of Revenue why "covfefe" was on the list of banned plates. They said they'd get back to us. That was in June. Hey, Department of Revenue, we're still waiting ...


Against the backdrop of the national discussion about race, an AJC interactive published in August looked at the abundance of Confederate monuments in Georgia. Check it out to see where they are and which town has the most.

Georgia has more Confederate monuments than any other state than Virginia, according to one national survey.

Screenshot from the AJC's interactive showing Confederate monuments in Georgia.

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Another AJC interactive looked at demographic changes in every Georgia county since 1990 and the predictions for how those will change in the coming years, out to 2050.

See the interactive yourself and play with the slider to see when Georgia is predicted to flip from majority white to majority-minority.


Super Bowl LI: Well, at least we can say it wasn't dull.

With Atlanta's Lombardi Trophy hopes solidly Super Glued to the arm of its star quarterback, the AJC in January brought readers an interactive that explored all 534 of Matt Ryan's passes during the season.

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Sadly, 534 is a fine number, but in the end, it was not as good a number as 25: Twenty-five unanswered points scored by the New England Patriots to tie the game and eventually overtake Matty Ice and the Falcons in the first-ever Super Bowl to go into overtime.

We don't want to spread rumors, but we heard Tom Brady was seen at Hartsfield-Jackson this weekend wearing rubber protective gloves and carrying a huge pair of wire cutters.

Later in the year, one of the biggest stories in Georgia sports in 2017 was the Georgia Bulldogs' gridiron success. The Dawgs are currently 12-1, are ranked No. 3 in the nation and will play No. 2-ranked Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.

The AJC was way out in front with a data visualization back before the season began, looking at Georgia's new starting quarterback, sophomore Jacob Eason, and how he stacked up to former Dawg QBs Aaron Murray and Matthew Stafford.

But Eason sprained a knee in the season opener against Appalachian State, and since then the Georgia offense has been mostly led by Eason's one-time understudy, Jake Fromm. Eason wound up playing in just three games this season, finishing the year with four completions out of seven attempts for just 28 yards passing, and now there's talk that he might consider transferring to another university.


The AJC also brought you some great interactives and data viz this year on subjects related to local news.

Our map and data analysis by Stephanie Lamm of affordable housing units built along the Atlanta Beltline complimented a story by the AJC and the Georgia News Lab that looked at the Beltline's failures to live up to its promises on that issue. In the wake of that story, the CEO of the agency that administers the Beltline stepped down.

We also looked at who gave campaign cash to Congressional candidates Karen Handel and Jon Ossoffwhere Georgians are at the greatest risk of flooding; brought you a new standing interactive feature profiling victims of homicide in the city of Atlanta and pumped the latest education data into our Ultimate Atlanta Schools Guide.