Three More News Projects Covering Bin Laden’s Death

Earlier this week, 10,000 Words’ Jessica Roy brought you the top five explainers for Osama Bin Laden’s death. Today, there a few new projects to add to this historical week in news coverage as the 10-year hunt for the world’s most wanted terrorist comes to a close.

The New York Times’ reaction grid

A brilliantly executed crowd-sourcing project from The New York Times is a reaction grid that lets users click within a quadrant to express how they feel about the significance of Bin Laden’s death. The horizontal axis displays emotional responses (negative and positive) and the vertical axis displays significance (insignificant or significant). Most of the responses, denoted by little black and blue squares, fall into the positive and significant quadrant.

Hovering over the squares also shows you reader comments for people who clicked on that area of the grid.

The Washington Post‘s special report

This morning The Washington Post launched a play-by-play breakdown of the long hunt for bin Laden. Designed almost as a small book, the narrative contains five chapters, six photo video galleries and a well-produced video overview. The report provides both depth and clarity to the death and events leading up to it.

TIME’s animated simulation

TIME Magazine created an animated timeline of the SEALs team raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound called “Anatomy of a Raid: Osama Bin Laden’s final minutes.” The animation contains a diagram of the unit and recreation of the landing and route of attack. The video is interspersed with an interview and photos.


In addition to news organization coverage, social media companies have also done their part in summarizing Bin Laden’s death through the content of their users.

  • Twitter’s tweets per second graphicMiguel Rios, an engineer at Twitter, put together a simple visualization to show tweets per second on a timeline
  • Distance to the World Trade Center and Osama’s hideout – This website uses your location from your Internet browser to display on a Google Map how far you are right now from The World Trade Center and Osama’s compound. For me in California, I’m 2532.6 miles from the WTC and 7675.2 miles from the hideout.
  • User reviews of Osama’s compound on Google Maps – Quickly after Bin Laden’s death was announced, a marker for Osama Bin Laden’s Hideout Compound was added to Google Maps. Hand-in-hand with that addition came an outpouring of user-submitted reviews of the “venue.” Some are serious, some are funny.
  • WaPo’s emotion cloudThe Washington Post threw together an extremely low-tech way of polling user reactions to Bin Laden’s death. From the sidebar of The Hunt, users can fill out a Google Form to write down one word that describes how they feel. I’m assuming that someone at the Post then creates a Wordle visualization from the form results every few hours and re-uploads it. Again, it’s low tech, but it still tells a story.
  • Storifying the death of Osama Bin Laden – The team at Storify gathered the pieces of various projects from their users to unfold the Bin Laden story within their own app, and to fill gaps where Storify users were lacking.
  • Top Google searches for May 1, 2011 – If you filter the top searches for the day of Bin Laden’s death using Google Trends, you’ll see that all twenty are either directly Bin Laden-related searches, or searches for news organization names — except one: No. 8 is “celebrity apprentice 2011.”