What is the River

The Datawrapper River is a place to exchange charts and maps with other Datawrapper users. After adding a chart to the River, anyone can use it and customize the chart in Datawrapper before publishing it on their website in their own style.

You already found it, right here on app.datawrapper.de/river.

Everyone. Think of an NGO that wants to share charts and maps, journalists who release data of their latest investigation, a commercial source that publishes data from larger paid-for studies, or researchers who want to introduce their studies to a global audience.

The River is bridging the gap between Data-Haves and Have-Nots. Scientists, NGOs and government instutitions will reach more people. And journalists will be able to find and use data with less time spent on searching, cleaning, visualizing. Ideally, the River can work like a "wire service for charts". Read more about our motivation in our River introduction blog post.

Usage of the River features is free. You can add as many charts to the River and use as many charts as you like.

Great question. One of Mirko's favourite daily sites is the Techmeme River, which provides a quick and easily digestable technology news overview. Another inspiration is the News River by Dave Winer which aggregates RSS feed from news sites. We also like the analogy to a real river that's connecting people along the stream.


How to use the River

Your charts are not added to the River automatically. If you want to add a chart to the River, do the following: In Step 4: Publish, publish the chart as you're used to. Then click on "Add your chart to our new River" to get to a new website on which you can add notes, a byline or keywords – or just add the chart to the River as it is. Click on "Add my chart to the River" to complete the step. You can then click on "Open in River" to see how your chart appears in the River.

Go to the River and choose the chart you want to embed in your article. Click on "Reuse this chart" to copy the chart into your own chart collection. Datawrapper will automatically bring you to Step 3: Visualize of this copied chart. Here you can make changes, then publish and embed the chart as you're used to.

In the River, click on the headline of your chart you want to remove and then on "Edit description" in the appearing pop-up. This will bring you to the page where you can edit the notes, byline and keywords of your River chart. Scroll down and click on "Remove my chart from the River". Other users won't be able to see this River chart anymore. However, if users have reused your chart before you removed it from the River, it won't dissappear from their chart collection (My Charts) or from the sites on which they embedded your chart.

Chart views are attributed to the person who reuses a chart from the River. Meaning, adding a chart to the River won't increase the chart views counted for your account.


Control over your charts

No. In the River, your charts will appear in our default Datawrapper layout.

Yes. If you have a plan including a custom layout, then your colors, fonts and other individual styling will be seen on the reused chart or map.

To an extent, yes. In a chart that is reused from the River, Datawrapper will “freeze” the data and will always include the attribution and the backlink. However, users can add context, change the chart type, headline, descriptions, annotations, colors and other stylings.

If you want to. You decide if and how you want to be attributed. Besides your name, every reused chart keeps an attribution to the source and a backlink, which you can point to whatever you want, e.g. the raw data or to a study. Like the data, it’s not possible for users who publish your chart to change your attribution and the backlink.

Not yet, but soon. We know how important it is for some of our users to know who uses their chart. If you're a chart creator, expect to see statistics on that matter soon in the River.


Problem Solving

To add or remove charts to the the River, you need to be logged in. If you're not logged in, you can still click on "Reuse this chart". Datawrapper will prompt you to log in or sign up once you want to publish this chart. You're logged in and it still doesn't work? Write us an email: support@datawrapper.de

Please let us know, to make this chart better for all users who want to reuse it. Go to the River, click on the headline of the chart with the data mistake(s) and then on the email address you see in the pop-up. That's how you make sure that we know which chart you're talking about. We will then forward that email to the chart creator, who will take care of fixing the chart.

The changes in your chart won’t appear in the chart on River – until you publish the chart again. Once you did that, new reusers of you chart will see the new changes, too. Please notice: The changes won’t appear in the charts that are already reused by users.

The River is an experiment. We released the project early, so there is still lots of room for improvement. If we see that there is demand for the River, we will add usage stats, a dashboard with all the charts that you added to the River or reused from there, a way to update charts automatically (e.g. unemployment rates, stock prices etc.) and more. If you have ideas for urgent improvements or features, please write to us at hello@datawrapper.de.

Please let us know; we urge you! We want to make the River more usable for everyone, and your questions and your feedback is crucial for us. Write to us at hello@datawrapper.de. We will listen.