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Digital Publishing Tools

How to Use This LibGuide

This LibGuide is a resource for students as a start for digital projects.
These are just a few of the best starter tools compiled and recommended by the Digital Projects Lab staff. It will point you towards tools that can help create video, audio, or visual scholarship.

Please feel free to email jpding@calpoly.edu or rwhite@calpoly.edu with any questions.

  • Below, you will find a flowchart to direct you to what format would be best suit your ideas. 
  • Then, find the Types of Tools that may help you create that format. 
  • Finally, a few Reminders to keep in mind while navigating the digital world. 

What is a Digital Project?

The words in "quotes" refer to the tabs below.

Tools for Digital Projects

Find tools here that require user to participate in some way: interacting with data visualizations, participate in a game, or absorbs user input. 

Tool Description Account Required? Creation Rating Tutorial Links Example
Tableau Powerful and flexible data visualization software. Create and share interactive visualizations on the web.  Y, free ♦ ♦     
Google Data Studio Create and share interactive visualizations and dashboards online with this free, easy and flexible tool.  Y, free      
Flourish Easy data visualization tool Y, free ♦  ♦     
Data Wrapper Easily create beautiful charts to share online Y, free    
Plotly Chart Studio Create sophisticated charts using D3 and WebGL, with no coding required Y, free    
Raw Graphs A tool that helps with the missing link between spreadsheets and data visualization. Great for creating vector graphics.  N  ♦  ♦     
Gephi open source tool for data visualization N, needs to be downloaded ♦  ♦  ♦      
Twine An open source tool for telling interactive, non-linear, choose your own adventure design N ♦  ♦    =
Unity A game design tool  Y, free  ♦ ♦     
Voyant An easy, drag and drop text analysis tool that will analyze language used on a page, book, website, etc.    ♦       

Each tool is marked with a number of ♦, indicating the technical skill needed to use it. One ♦  indicates a "what you see is what you get" ability,  while five  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ indicates the need for advanced coding languages. 

 

Visualising Data: a fuller, in-depth scope of many data visualization tools out there 

 

 

Use these tools to create displays: a graphic, a website, or a presentation. 

Tool  Description Account required? Skills Required Tutorial Links Example
Canva To create graphic designs and infographics Y, free  ♦     
Piktochart Create beautiful infographics, flyers, posters, presentations and reports easily with absolutely no design experience. Y, free  ♦     
Easel.ly a simple infographic maker that lets you visualize any kind of information Y, free ♦     
           
Medium   Y, free ♦     
Ghost open source  Y, with limintations ♦ ♦     
Prismic.io   Y, free ♦     
Conceptboard    Y, free ♦     
Instructables   Y, free ♦     
Slides.com     Y, free ♦     
Each tool is marked with a number of ♦, indicating the technical skill needed to use it. 
One ♦  indicates a "what you see is what you get" ability,  while five  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ indicates the need for advanced coding languages. 

 

A list of alternative applications to tools like the Adobe Creative Suite. 

 

Use these tools to create a sense of time or place. 

Tool Description Account Required Creation Rating Tutorial Links Example
ArcGIS Online A powerful web-based GIS platform for mapping and spatial analysis. Y, free through Cal Poly ♦ ♦     example Story Maps
Carto Easily create and share dynamic interactive web maps Y, free ♦     
Google Earth Tour Builder Build a virtual tour through Google Maps Y, free    
Juxtapose Easy to make time frame comparisons for a specific place (often used for before/after instances)    
           
Timeline Storyteller An open-source expressive visual storytelling environment for presenting timelines N ♦     
Timeline JS An open-source tool that enables you to build visually-rich interactive timelines N ♦     
Storyline An open-source tool that enables an annotated, interactive line chart N    
Each tool is marked with a number of ♦, indicating the technical skill needed to use it.  One ♦  indicates a "what you see is what you get" ability,  while five  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ indicates the need for advanced coding languages. 

 

 

Find tools here that can record, edit and transcribe videos. 

Tool Description Account Required Skill Rating Tutorial Links Example
Open Broadcaster Software A free, open source screen sharing with streaming capabilities, with a recording tool Y, free      
Flipgrid    Y, free      
ShareX Free, open source screen recording and sharing, a recording tool N      
Adobe Spark Video editing tool Y, paid      
123apps a series of tools to cut, merge, and convert video files         
Otter.ai Transcribes conversations into notes. This does cost money, but our Disability Resource Center does offer help with this particular tool, and further resources.  Y, paid      
Thisten          
Google Docs A Google doc can also transcribe a conversation, simply by going to "Tools -> Voice Typing"  Y, free      

Each tool is marked with a number of ♦, indicating the technical skill needed to use it. One ♦  indicates a "what you see is what you get" ability,  while five  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ indicates the need for advanced coding languages. 

 

Find tools that can be used to create audio files, such as a podcast or music.

Tool Description Account Required Skill Rating Tutorial Links Example
Anchor An all-in-one platform where you can create, distribute, and monetize your podcast from any device, for free. Y, free  ♦    
Descript Record. Transcribe. Edit. Mix. As easy as typing. Downloaded software, free  ♦ ♦    
Soundcloud A platform to upload audio.  Y, free  ♦    
Go Synth Maximum 256 second sound bytes with transcriptions and links that can be shared as an audiogram. Y, free    
Audacity an easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, macOS, GNU/Linux and other operating systems.
Developed by a group of volunteers as open source.
Download software, free    

Each tool is marked with a number of ♦, indicating the technical skill needed to use it.  One ♦  indicates a "what you see is what you get" ability,  while five  ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ indicates the need for advanced coding languages. 

 

 

Reminders

All digital materials need to be accessible: as a start, see Cal Poly's polices and plans

Please keep in mind issues of privacy, copyright, and distribution while you make digital projects: all of these issues are important and very much in flux. 

Robert E. Kennedy Library can offer preservation of your website in the University Archives through a tool called ArchiveIt. 

Please contact Laura Sorvetti, lsorvett@calpoly.edu, for more information. 

Please let us know how your projects turned out!  lib-digital@calpoly.edu