I could not tell you the number of times I have written about vacant and blighted properties, Wal-Mart developments, or city staff benefits while in my current beat. There are just some topics that always come back around.
So how do you give people who are reading about the issue for the first time the information they need, but not bore readers who have been reading from the beginning? Enter fun, free interactives such asGoogle Fusion Tables for interactive Google maps, and clickable timelines throughKnightLab. I'm sure there are many more but these are the two I've found to be quick and easy.
An example: I wrote a story yesterday about a property that has been vacant for 20 years and made a timeline to go with. Check it out: