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.


Interactive Infographic for de Groene Amsterdammer

Posted: April 25th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 75 Social Scientists | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

An exploratory project for the Dutch weekly de Groene Amsterdammer (yes: the Green Amsterdamer) concerning a survey posed to a large number of social scientists asking their assessment of the most important problems troubling the Netherlands currently.

De Groene Amsterdammer

As an end result 75 submissions were returned with answers in essay form detailing the biggest problem of the Netherlands, the most overblown issues and the most unnoticed issues according to the scientists. This made for a very large amount of textual content which would have been difficult to quickly get into.

We chose to see how quickly we could hook up Protovis to visualize the key issues according to each scientist. All of the essay style answers were clustered to a set of themes (by the people preparing the story) and this was input to Protovis’s bubble chart to give a tag cloud like representation of the issues. See the interactive chart on Groene.nl or the screenshot below:

De Groene Amsterdammer - Interactief: De volledige bijdragen van 75 sociale wetenschappers

The quick visual summary and the filters help drill down to a specific issue in a specific problem category quickly. Clicking a bubble displays links to the full text contribution of the relevant scientists.

This was mostly a process exploration to see how a default library such as Protovis could be employed in a journalistic context and to see where the bottlenecks fall. We found that Protovis’s explanatory power really shines if you have a good dataset. However it took some time to get the data machine-ready. The result was produced efficiently and adds a much needed visual summary to the slew of textual content. Most time was spent on wrangling the dataset and finalizing the interaction details of the chart.

The project got a fair amount of attention in national media (and links to the chart) e.g.: ‘Integratie meest overschatte probleem van deze tijd’ , ‘Wat zijn de 10 grootste sociale problemen van Nederland?’