Look at Cook: A Budget Visualization for Cook County, IL
August 18, 2011 9:28 AM   Subscribe

Look at Cook: A Budget Visualization for Cook County, IL
A budget transparency visualization for Cook County, IL (Chicago's county) displaying all county departments broken down by fund and control officer from 1993 to 2011. Done as a collaboration with Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey.

It all started with a question: "Have you ever seen anyone do good work displaying a government budget in an easily-understood way?"

We'd seen the Federal Budget visualization done by the New York Times and I was a fan of the Death and Taxes poster, but neither of them let you really dive in to the data. We decided that we would make our own, and we would do it with a data set we had just gotten our hands on: the Cook County budget from 1993-2011 (with the approval of 12th District Commissioner John Fritchey).

After some lengthy brainstorming and the discovery of several amazing jQuery libraries, a designer friend and I put this together in about 6 weeks. The data is all stored in Google's Fusion Tables and anyone can download it.

Each year in the visualization is broken down in to departments (such as the Police Department, Social Services, Highways, Building and Zoning, etc) which are then organized by Fund (Public Safety, Health, Corporate, etc) and also by Control Officer / Elected Official.

So dive in and take a look! There's a lot of data in there and a lot of stories to be told with the data (quick tip for you power users: each page has its own unique URL, so you can share what you find). Tweet at me if you notice any bugs or have questions on how we built it.
Role: developer
posted by kakarott999 (3 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

here's the data on Google Fusion Tables
posted by kakarott999 at 9:51 AM on August 18, 2011


That's great - thanks for doing something like this. Hopefully others will take your example and do similar work for their own areas.
posted by odinsdream at 11:27 AM on August 18, 2011


We did an interview with O'Reilly Radar on this. Here it is.
posted by kakarott999 at 7:34 AM on September 8, 2011


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