This atomic bomb news app was played almost 1 million times

I guess this would be the most viral online content I’ve ever created in my life.

This news app “What if your hometown were hit by the Hiroshima atomic bomb?” I created for PRI.org was played almost one million times by users all over the world. (There’s a newer version with some improved features.) It has been cited and reproduced by over 30 websites (I’ve stop tracking the number but simple Googling can show you some of them) in various languages.

I’ve been tracking the use of the app since it was published and it is now clocking at 850,000++. I even made an animated map to show when and where the bombs were dropped.

What’s the thought behind it? While researching for stories in conjunction with the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, I came across some data on the damages caused by the atomic bomb. I could have done a straightforward story by listing a bunch of numbers about the death toll and other damages probably with some charts or infographics, but I asked myself a question: How can I use the information or data I have to help readers put themselves in the shoes of the victims? The answer led to the news app.

This news app also serves at a gateway to many other great stories done by my colleagues on the anniversary collected in the series called Hiroshima Generations.