In this post you find a brief overview how and why Datawrapper was created, plus a link to our change log showing development so far.
Datawrapper is open source software, the code can be found on GitHub. Our model is that we provide customization and hosting services for companies which do not have the resources to host and develop the tool themselves.
We started in 2011. The initial idea, what the tool should do ("let journalists create and publish charts quickly"), the name and other things like finding initial funding to get started was the work of Mirko Lorenz. He is the project manager of Datawrapper since inception and the CEO of Journalism++ Cologne.
In early 2012 we launched a public prototype, which was used by newspapers for publishing on the day of it's release.
In the middle of 2012 Gregor Aisch joined Datawrapper. He started from scratch again, but kept the already existing step-by-step process to create a chart. As a result we release version 1.0 of Datawrapper later that year.
Gregor is an accomplished full stack developer, focused on data visualization and cares about journalism. In 2014 Gregor moved from Germany to the US, to start work as a graphic editor at The New York Times.
In mid 2015 David Kokkelink joined the team. He is a developer and manages the process of customizing Datawrapper for clients around the world.
One insight: Do not underestimate how much hard work it takes to simplify something.