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Interactive Mapbox GL JS maps equip CNN data journalists to visualize breaking news fast and with confidence in accurate location data

Key benefits of building with Mapbox

  • Mapbox Studio and design tools let graphics designers control every detail of map visuals and to publish news stories quickly
  • The Mapbox Tiling Service builds and serves map tiles of custom data fast, even during spikes of traffic
  • Mapbox GL JS allows a choice of map projection for optimized data visualizations at every zoom level

products used


Mapbox Tiling Service

Mapbox GL JS

Life moves fast, but hurricanes and wildfires move faster. People need to know where major weather events are going to occur; to protect themselves, their families, and their livelihoods.

Life may move fast, but CNN moves faster. As the world’s first television channel to provide 24-hour news coverage, CNN knows how to move fast and break news. Whether about politics, business, or the weather, CNN has you covered on the most important news of the day. 

Every minute counts when we are trying to go live with a news story - which is why we use Mapbox design tools to quickly publish maps to our stories. We’re analyzing data and designing maps every day - from reporting on earthquakes to tracking hurricanes to monitoring wildfires - we rely on Mapbox as the critical infrastructure for streaming those fast maps. Our 150 million readers count on CNN for breaking news, and maps lets us show exactly where the news is unfolding.

Sean O'Key, Interactive Director, CNN

Location is a significant part of breaking news, and CNN’s tracking of hurricanes and wildfires with Mapbox’s maps provides critical location data to people living near major weather events.

CNN App for iOS

Informing, engaging and empowering the world also relies heavily on data and The CNN Visual News team also makes use of Mapbox to visualize what’s happening around the world. 
The 2020 Census data release was no exception for the team, who produced a dot-density map on race and ethnicity in the U.S. within just a few hours of the major release. Not only did the use of Mapbox Studio help easily design the overall look and feel of the dot-density basemap, but it also allowed control over key map features such as land, waster and roads. The previously built Mapbox-based maps for wildfires and hurricanes were also key to the quick turnaround.

I used Mapbox Studio to design the overall look and feel of the dot-density basemap. I really love the control I have over the map features such as land, water and roads in Mapbox Studio. Not just the colors, but also the density of the labels, the halos and —importantly— which things are on top of other things. I like the labels on top, followed by the data, followed by the base layer. And I could tinker with all of this live, long before working on the front-end display, incorporating feedback from the rest of the team.

John Keefe, senior data and visuals editor, CNN
CNN race and ethnicity dot-density map from 2020 census data
CNN’s 2020 Census Race and Ethnicity Map

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