[okfn-discuss] Where Does My Money Go: what should we work on first?
liz at ephidrina.org
Tue Jun 23 13:25:30 BST 2009
(reposting, apologies to Rufus and Hjalmar for the dupe)
Congratulations on getting the budget at last, and looking forward to
an illuminating outcome!
Sorry for the late entry to the thread. I've been reading people's
suggestions with interest, and looking at what's available before
On Jun 18, 2009, at 9:09 PM, Rufus Pollock wrote:
> 1. Getting the data
As soon as we have enough Treasury data, we should be able to generate
some very good visualizations quite quickly. As ever, though, how much
of this data is available, and how much effort would be expended in
gathering it? Am I wrong in assuming that this is the hardest part of
> 2. Presenting it
I suggest we consider using a combination of the following:
1. Tree maps
Rufus' tree map example could be a really good place to start, as it
gives an explicit overview of quantities, which is in fact very
similar to the Death and Taxes example. With dynamic data, the right
graphics and a slick interface design, it could become a very clear
and compelling presentation.
2. Geographical maps
It would be great if we could highlight spending by area, to get some
idea of public spending per capita in different locations. This
depends very much on the quality of the data, and I can imagine
gathering it will be a nightmare of legwork for somebody.
3. Motion charts
Google's motion chart is the model for the delicious Gapminder. This
could be very powerful tool for analysis, but I suspect that the
output could very quickly become incomprehensible. Also, I have no
idea how folks feel about using Flash/Google tools for a thing like
this, so I recommend this with caution and a pinch of salt:
The great thing about combining visualizations like this is that we
can we can present multiple perspectives, which will give users extra
context and allow them to drill down into specific areas of interest.
I think this will go a long way towards helping people understand what
they're looking at.
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