Mapping and Visual Language Workshops

Mapping Module

News unfolds in places and every newsworthy event is shaped by the details of location. Those details might include the specifics of a neighborhood as it is today or of the history leading to its current configurations. With the popularization of cartography, anyone with a computer and an internet connection can make a map, yet in news organizations, the practices of cartography and GIS have remained largely in domain of engineering and graphics teams, not with reporters.

This module taking place at the Brown Institute at Columbia will teach journalists how to make use of spatial data. Using tools common to all graphics desks, students will learn how to find and tell stories using maps. The module is five weeks and will cover everything from spatial analysis to map design. It will take place 10am-1pm every Wednesday, from February 13 – March 13.

Register for the workshop at Please direct any questions to Michael Krisch ( or Juan Saldarriaga (

Visual Literacy Module

The Brown Institute at Columbia is offering a three-session workshop on Visual Literacy, designed for journalism students to build vocabularies and practical skills around visual design through lectures, discussions, and hands-on sessions. You will walk away with a basic understanding of design principles and an overview of the graphics editor Adobe Illustrator.

In the workshop you will learn to communicate a piece of content clearly and effectively in type, color and layout, and recreate a piece of graphic from scratch with Illustrator. We will discuss questions such as – How to communicate without using the words and help viewers see the most important information?

The workshop will take place on Fridays 3/1, 3/8, and 3/15 from 1am to 4pm. Please sign-up at, contact Rosalie ( if you have any further questions.