This week we explore apps for organizing photos from multiple smartphone users, and we see how The Associated Press is using automation to expand its college sports coverage.

PART 1: Photo album apps

Several different apps can help you compile and share photos taken by multiple smartphone users — particularly useful for teams of reporters working together. We give an overview and dive into the features of five options: Crossroad, Bundle, Cluster, Carousel and Moments.

Reporting by Daniel Shapiro.

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A quick rundown of the apps:

  • Crossroad — Photos can be uploaded in the background, enabling use of the phone for other things in the meantime. Albums can be downloaded to a phone or a shared as a URL. Plans are in the works to enable video uploads as well.
  • Bundle — Photos can be backed up to third party storage services Google Drive and Dropbox. The iOS version can automatically select the best photos out of a batch.
  • Cluster — Users can take photos within the app or upload photos, videos and notes to an album, which can then be downloaded.
  • Carousel — Photos saved into an archive are automatically uploaded to a linked Dropbox account. The app also includes a timeline for sifting through photos based on when they were taken.
  • Moments — Created by Facebook, the app can use facial recognition technology to suggest album groupings based on who’s in the pictures and when they were taken. Sharing is possible only via Facebook or exporting to a third-party storage service.

PART 2: Automated sports stories

The Associated Press is using an automated system called Wordsmith to generate text stories from college sporting events. We find out from News Automation Editor Justin Myers how the technology expands what the news organization can cover.

Reporting by Berkeley Lovelace.

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Additional information:

The stories are being produced in partnership with the NCAA, which is providing the data, and a company called Automated Insights, which created the Wordsmith technology.

The Associated Press has been using automation for sports data for several years including delivery of sports agate, according to a company release. Automation has also been used to rank NFL players for AP’s Pro Football Digital News Experience including “automated text descriptions of player performances each week, which were provided by Automated Insights.”    

Reuben Stern  
Director of NYC Partnerships

Rachel Wise  
Video Editor


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