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2019 Excellence and Innovation in Visual Digital Storytelling, Large Newsroom winner

Borderline

About the Project

The situation at the U.S.-Mexico border has been front and center in the news in recent years. With every media outlet covering it, The Washington Post has looked for ways to provide information that couldn’t be found anywhere else in a manner that would also show its commitment to original reporting, innovation and visual thinking, while keeping the same journalistic standard we employ in all our pieces.

With “Borderline,” a graphics team of cartographers, designers, developers and writers explained what the border is. They spent several months building an interactive map of the entire border. It allows the user to “fly over” the invisible boundary and the physical barriers that define this borderland, smoothly navigating over bustling cities, the 47 ports of entry and forbidding mountains and desert.

The change in perspective, from the usual straight overhead to slightly tilted, and the blur effects presented a technical challenge, but it was a more realistic way to navigate the path of the border, making easier to focus on particular spots. Several details, such as the markers indicating the border’s distance from several cities and the map inset showing the position and point of view, aimed to make it easier for readers to know where they were at any moment.