Director of maps, National Geographic Magazine, Washington D.C.
Project: An online tutorial and short course to introduce and promote interactive mapping excellence to journalists.
William NcNulty was launched into his first assignment at the Washington Post even before his interview for the job was complete. It was the late 1990s and Kosovo was waging a war of independence from Yugoslavia. McNulty, a cartographer, worked into the night to produce a full-page, color map of Kosovo with digital shaded relief – a first of its kind for the Post. It got a huge response and won an award. That’s when he knew that his shift from analyzing data and producing field maps on ancient earthquakes for the U.S. Geological Survey to journalism was a good move. McNulty had gone to work for the government after graduating with a degree in geography from Eastern Illinois University. But budget battles eventually forced federal cuts, and he took a chance on the Post job. Using data visualizations and cartography as a tool to help explain events struck a chord with him. He went on to become graphics editor at The New York Times. In 2005, he was named director of maps at National Geographic Magazine.
William McNulty says interactive maps of today are missing great potential and he wants to change that.
Information on this page is from the fellowship year.