Choice and Chance: 3D walkthrough of the Orlando Shooting


Following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, the team at the Tampa Bay Times decided to create a 3D visualization of the event to provide a clear timeline of the story admist "a lot of confusion".

"We knew we wanted to use technology to help people visualize what had happened without sensationalizing the tragedy," said Adam Playford, Director of Data and Digital Enterprise.

But how do you create a 3D graphic of such a traumatic event with sensitivity?

The resulting story, Choice and Chance focuses on the nightclub's architecture, rather than the victims, to avoid gamifying the night's events.

"Instead of giving the murderer and his victims digital avatars, their actions are represented only by the accompanying text and the color of the club's houselights, with each individual's narrative coded to a different hue," writes John Brownlee in his review of the project.


Image: Choice and Chance, Tampa Bay Times.

To create the visualization, the team employed a number of technical tools and resources, including Npm, Babel, ES2015, Gulp, Blender, WebGL, and many more. A full tutorial on how the project was constructed has been published on Source.


Image: Constructing the walkthrough.

Explore Choice and Chance here.