How online news media covered the 2010 Winter Olympics

The Olympic athletes weren’t the only ones working hard during this year’s Winter Olympic Games. News organizations around the world created innovative online projects to capture the power and performances at the Games. Here are a few of those gold medal-level projects:

Perhaps the most interesting part of NBC’s Olympic coverage was its Olympic Tracker, a tree map of recent tweets about the Olympic Games. The visualization was created by Stamen Design, the company behind MTV’s VMA Tweet Tracker and San Francisco Crimespotting.

Many online news media like USA Today and the Los Angeles Times presented many different interactive infographics that explained the sometimes complex winter games and the strength and athleticism required to compete.

The New York Times was on a roll this Winter Games, producing a slew of multimedia and interactive projects, including an awe-inspiring guide to Vancouver’s Olympic venues. Notably, the Times’ interactive guide to Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili’s fatal crash was criticized for offering what some saw as too intimate of a guide to his final moments.’s The Big Picture regularly presents amazing photos surrounding a number of subjects and did not disappoint with its collection of images from Vancouver. The large photos capture the majesty of the 2010 Games.

The Google Street View cameras have documented many places around the world and in honor of the Vancouver Olympics, the team used a snowmobile to present views from the top of the mountains in Whistler and allowed users to take a sneak peek inside the Olympic Village.

Fans didn’t wait for news media to create coverage they wanted to see. Some took to Facebook to create a page for the Norwegian curling team’s unique pants. The Facebook page was taken down briefly, presumably because the page was not dedicated to a company or brand as required by Facebook. However, the page is back up and at last count had more than half a million fans of the colorful pants.

While NBC carried many of the Olympic Games online, the network’s US television broadcasts were heavily criticized, mostly because of the network’s lack of live television broadcasts. The lesson learned? While yesterday’s audiences were comfortable watching events long after they first happened, today’s audience wants its news immediately and not just online.

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