User-centered
data visualization

Eye-Catching, Interactive and Insightful

Mirjam Leunissen is a data journalist and visualization specialist with a scientific brain and a passion for visual storytelling.

Activities

I design and develop data visualizations for the web. On all topics, from the very small and personal, to big societal issues. Starting with my own data and analysis, international open data or your proprietary research. And always selecting the form that best gets the point across, from stand-alone site to web animation or social media imagery. In addition, I share my knowledge and inspire others through training and public presentations.

Awards

2019

European Newspaper Awards for data journalism & animated infographics

2019

Shortlisted for the Data Journalism Awards, Investigation of the Year

2018

Google Digital News Initiative Award to develop service journalism

2016 & 2017

VOJN Award for best online data journalism

2015

Malofiej silver medal for interactive data visualization

2014 & 2016

Shortlisted for the Information is Beautiful Awards
Note: I no longer submit work to the Information is Beautiful Awards to protest the high submission fees, which I consider non-inclusive on a global scale
Technologies

First of all, I sketch, discuss, and refine my design concept and prototypes, using digital pen and paper or Adobe XD. I then bring my ideas to life with a wide variety of tools for data wrangling, storyboarding, visualization and interactive storytelling. Besides R, the Adobe Creative Cloud and HTML5/CSS3 these frequently include:

  • Mapbox
  • Uber Deck.gl
  • QGIS
  • D3.js
  • Observable
  • Scrollama
  • Gephi
Recent work

I experiment with many different formats to make topics more tangible and to let readers explore and experience certain issues for themselves. If you don’t speak Dutch, you can view my projects with Chrome page translate.

How dry will The Netherlands be?

Hoe droog wordt Nederland?

Drought increasingly forms a problem in The Netherlands, it is a silent killer. This interactive graph lets the user dive into a century’s worth of meteorological data. Step by step, it explains the climatic trends and their impact on drought conditions in the past and future.

zo groeit de wereldbevolking verder
zo groeit de wereldbevolking verder
zo groeit de wereldbevolking verder

How are we going to solve the pandemic puzzle?

Hoe gaan we de pandemiepuzzel oplossen?

I developed an intuitive, visual simulation to illustrate the main characteristics of a viral outbreak. It lets users see for themselves what challenges the corona pandemic poses, why we went into a lockdown and what it takes to escape from it again.

zo groeit de wereldbevolking verder
zo groeit de wereldbevolking verder
zo groeit de wereldbevolking verder

How healthy is your neighborhood?

Hoe gezond is jouw wijk?

National Health Institutes interviewed nearly half a million people in The Netherlands about their health, from chronic illness to smoking and depression. I developed an interactive map, which shows the regional patterns and lets the user zoom in on specific neighborhoods.

zo groeit de wereldbevolking verder
zo groeit de wereldbevolking verder
zo groeit de wereldbevolking verder

Can we actually feed the world?

Kunnen we de wereld eigenlijk wel voeden?

I made a scroll-animated globe, which takes the readers on a journey past a large variety of open-source data, e.g., on population growth, poverty, and land use. It fuels the question of whether we can sustainably feed the expected global population of 10 billion people.

zo groeit de wereldbevolking verder
zo groeit de wereldbevolking verder
zo groeit de wereldbevolking verder
Please visit my project
gallery for more work
About me

Hi! I’m Mirjam Leunissen.
I convert raw data to precious insight.

I am an Amsterdam-based data journalist and visualization specialist with a PhD in physics and chemistry. I spend most of my time at national newspaper ‘de Volkskrant’, but I also work with a variety of other people, including government, academic institutions and companies.

I tell data-driven stories and convert complex information to actionable insight. Because the best visualizations readily reveal the big picture, the important patterns and the remarkable anomalies. My user-centered designs do so in an intuitive and engaging way.

Just tell me what you are looking for! I am also happy to present and inspire with the best examples from the field or to share my knowledge of best practices in data visualization and creative design thinking.