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Nicole Xu/The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail has won a North American Digital Media Award recognizing excellence in data visualization for its Unfounded series.

The 20-month-long investigation into how police handle sexual-assault cases across Canada used data from more than 870 police forces to create interactive visualizations that allowed readers to see unfounded rates across the country.

To be considered, Unfounded had to display excellence in areas including design, clarity of information, usefulness and visual impact, as well as functionality on mobile devices.

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"Data provides so much treasure to journalists who are committed to explaining the world to the audience," Globe and Mail editor-in-chief David Walmsley said. "It is critical that we make the data immersive without diluting authority of meaning. We all share in the delight of being the acknowledged leader in this field."

Earlier this month, Unfounded won twice at the Online Journalism Awards: for the Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award and for the University of Florida Award for Investigative Data Journalism.

At the North American Digital Media Awards, The Globe had been up against ProPublica and the Texas Tribune, for their joint project Boomtown, Flood Town, and The Washington Post, for its 2016 U.S. election coverage.

The Globe was also nominated in the category of Best News Site, alongside The New York Times and the Post.

The inaugural North American Digital Media Awards, put on by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, was open to all news publishers in North America.

In all, 32 media companies from Canada and the United States submitted 70 projects for consideration, according to organizers. To qualify, entries must have been published between July, 2016, and June, 2017.

Winners were announced on Thursday at WAN-IFRA's Digital Media North America 2017 conference in New York.

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