Data about public sector spending is often hard to understand and compare. Statistics about government is often presented in tables. In this hack I have used open data from Eurostat (the EU statistics agency) about government expenditure for a set of countries and rendered sets of boxes in a Minecraft world. This makes it possible to explore the data by walking (flying) around the world. Continue reading
With the increasing availability of big/open data more people discover a need to make it understandable. One way of understanding data is by looking at it. As I have received a lot of questions lately here is a roundup of tools you can use to create visualizations of data. Continue reading
A small visualization hack for the Eurostat Hackday on december 16.
Andrew Krzmarzick, Govloop community manager, asked me which swedish government agencies are using social media to communicate with citizens. The twitter message space is too short for an answer so here is a more thorough reply. I will specifically look at Twitter which seems to be gaining popularity in the swedish public sector. Continue reading
Last night, Robert Nyman hosted yet another successful Geekmeet in Stockholm. I got one of the lightning talk slots and decided to skip my planned presentation and instead show some of my experiments with slit-scan photography. The presentation slides (in swedish) are available (8 Mb PDF) here. Continue reading
Please note the video progress bar. Via Jim Carlberg’s Finstilt.se.
Processing is an open project initiated by Ben Fry (of MIT fame) and Casey Reas (UCLA Design). From the processing.org web page:
Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and sound. Processing is developed by artists and designers as an alternative to proprietary software tools in the same domain.
I have been dabbling with it for a while and have come to like it’s simplicity. The downside is that it sometimes demands a lot from your computer’s processing power.
How it works
The link data for this sketch was collected with a Python script. 250 government web sites were crawled and links to other web sites on the list were recorded. This generated some 2000 links which were fed to the Processing sketch.
Every site starts out as a small disc at the bottom of the screen. More incoming links makes the site grow. Larger sites float to the top of the screen. Smaller sites move out of the way for larger sites. Hovering with your mouse over a site highlights outgoing links from that site to other sites.
- Most inbound links go to the central government web site www.regeringen.se.
- Clusters are formed for museum web sites that link heavily to each other.
- Java 2D is slow.
The next step is to try PyOpenGL and see if speed can be improved when drawing hese simple 2D primitives. Initial tests looks promising.