Parliamentary Interruptions

Posted: January 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Parliamentary Interruptions | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Last week Sargasso had procured a dataset of interruptions from politicians in our House of Representatives. With the counts from which politician had interrupted which in debates they had made some nice infographics and a couple of blog posts. I thought this was the ideal opportunity to put all of the data (aggregated by party) in the D3 example chord diagram.

Never having used D3 before this was an ideal excuse to learn it and a near ideal dataset to employ. The result is as follows (click through for the interactive version):

Interrupties van en naar kamerleden van elke partij

This was featured on Sargasso the next day.

The graphic is not directly clear, but the data is deep and interesting enough to afford some exploration and it yields insight into the behaviours of various political parties during the reign of this cabinet. And what seems to matter a lot to people: it looks quite pretty.

With regard to D3, I think I will use it more often. It works quite similar to Protovis with which we have done some stuff before, but it feels much more current. Protovis itself is discontinued in favor of D3 according to a notice on the site and D3 seems a very worth successor.


Mapping voter sentiment in the Netherlands

Posted: April 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: PvdA Canvassing | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

We ran a major update to the previous concept we did for the Dutch Labour Party using their canvassing results for the previous elections. The previous version crammed all the interaction into a tabbed balloon on a Google Map. This update turns that inside out and creates a full blown site called: “PvdA – Altijd in de buurt”.

http://pvda-altijdindebuurt.nl/

The site shows canvas results tallied per city to show the biggest positive and negative issues according to constituants and their perception of politics.

http://pvda-altijdindebuurt.nl/city/Amsterdam/

It got some attention on various weblogs: Arnhem Direct, Sargasso, PvdA.nl, Johnny Wonder

The potential for a data driven approach to politics is tremendous. A site like this in effect gauges the sentiment in any given locality and in an ideal scenario it would also give people and politicians ways to collaborate to improve the situation. Any improvement realized can then be recorded and used to rally voters at subsequent elections.


Open Data in Amsterdam Center Adopted

Posted: November 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Policy | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

A proposal on the topic of Open Data (link to PDF) that Monster Swell advised Thijs Kleinpaste and Stefan de Bruijn on was discussed during a meeting by the commission for general affairs of the sub-municipality Center of Amsterdam.

Alper used the opportunity to take three minutes to address the council before the meeting and posted a call to action for better and more effective digital public services using open data and asked the city to open up more of its data.

Commissie Algemene Zaken

When the proposal was finally treated it was adopted near unanimously (tweet) by the entire council with also a positive recommendation by the alderman. The alderman commented that because he used to be an open source developer, an open data project had been on his list of things to do for a while now and he welcomed this proposal. His idea was to spend the allocated €10’000 on projects in the form of bounties to maximize the effectiveness and first grab the low-hanging fruit.

At the same time in San Francisco it seems an open data law was voted into effect (link to legislation). The ordinance is interesting to read and lists:

Findings:

An open data policy will provide benefits to the City, which include:

  1. enhanced government transparency and accountability
  2. development of new analyses or applications based on the unique data the City provides
  3. mobilization of San Francisco’s high-tech workforce to use City data to create useful civic tools at no cost to the city
  4. creation of social and economic benefits based on innovation in how residents interact with government stemming from increased accessibility to City data sets

City departments should take further steps to make their data sets available to the public in a more timely and efficient manner.

It would seem that the time is now ripe to push this agenda through local legislative bodies. Given the current trend towards better digital services and transparency a suitably drafted proposal for open data with a realistic goal can scarcely have any opponents.

We’re going to look into passing more proposals towards open data like this following the lead of Amsterdam.

Update: the minutes for the commission meeting have been posted: Dutch PDF


Speaking at the Club of Amsterdam

Posted: September 25th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Talks | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

For an upcoming presentation at the Club of Amsterdam on the Future of Hacking, Alper will be presenting on an intersection of APIs, public information and game design titled: “Civic duty in a hyper-connected world”

Brief:

The Internet of Things is an abstract term for something that is quickly becoming real. The world is being filled with sensors and actuators, all of which are linked into systems and being fed back to us with real and virtual displays. This is changing the fabric of society and the definition of what society is. It is our responsibility as citizens of this hyper-connected world to hack our environments to work better however we can.

Hope to see you there and have a lively discussion on this topic.


PvdA Canvassing

Posted: September 1st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: PvdA Canvassing | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The PvdA (the Dutch Labour Party) has sent campaigners to canvas neighborhoods and ask inhabitants their opinion on area and the direction of the country.

We imported over 10’000 records collected by volunteers into a map and aggregated results by city and by postal code. This makes it easy to browse through and drill down into the surveyed areas and see what the local issues are.

PvdA Survey Website

Attention: NOS.nl

Process: “Online campagnes — Canvassen voor de PvdA”

Creator: Alper Cugun