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February 14, 2017

Filed under: journalism»new_media

Quantity of Care

We posted Quantity of Care, our investigation into operations at Seattle's Swedish-Cherry Hill hospital, on Friday. Unfortunately, I was sick most of the weekend, so I didn't get a chance to mention it before now.

I did the development for this piece, and also helped the reporters filter down the statewide data early on in their analysis. It's a pretty typical piece design-wise, although you'll notice that it re-uses the watercolor effect from the Elwha story I did a while back. I wanted to come up with something fresh for this, but the combination with Talia's artwork was just too fitting to resist (watch for when we go from adding color to removing it).

I did investigate one change to the effect, which was to try generating the desaturated artwork on the client, instead of downloading a heavily-compressed pattern image. Unfortunately, doing image processing in JavaScript is too heavy on the main thread, and I didn't have time to investigate moving it into a worker. I'd also like to try doing it from a WebGL shader in the future, since I suspect that's actually the best way to get it done efficiently.

In the end, I'm just happy to have worked on something that feels like such an important, powerful investigative story.

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