datavizchallenge.org: my entry
So here’s a little explanation about what I’ve done, how and why.
The idea behind the data provider web site, WhatWePayFor, is that billions and millions don’t talk to the average citizen. This doesn’t help them understand where their money goes.
And in my work, I generally try to show as little data as possible to make a point. And I like to use interactivity to involve users.
I got my idea from thinking back to the presentation made by Nick Diakopoulos at last Visweek. We had that workshop on data storytelling and Nick showed how to get user attention on a subject by letting them play and guess first. So here goes.
First, I wanted to let users play with data, in this case try to establish their priorities for federal budget spending. Where should money go?
I’ve manipulated this kind of figures a few times, so I know that USA has extreme positions on some “functions of spending”, like defense, or culture. Some rich countries that spend up to 7% of their budget on culture, and some who spend less than 0.1% of their budget on defense. Hint, the USA is not one of them.
So I’m hoping that the users will see differences between their preferences and the choices that the government makes in their names, and that from the differences will be striking enough for them to understand the orders of magnitude and possibly inspire them to take action.