Quick "Governance" Visualisation Idea (KDirStat for your (government) budgets)

This was a random thought I had as I was reading the morning's news (yes, morning, bit late today), particularly the survey showing Americans think they spend 25% of their budget on NASA. I, of course, immediately begin thinking of ways to show users in productive where their money was going... and went far-to-far... still, here's the idea.

Wouldn't it be nice to have an interactive Flash/AJAX application that takes published budget numbers in a hierarchic structure (department, program, cost-centre at least, maybe more) like you see in kdirstat (I forget the correct name for the visualisation technique, it makes a 2D display where each item within a parent is shown as a box within the parent's box with the size of the final item representing its relative size).

Each year, your government(s) would prepare the data-set for the last year and the proposed upcoming budget. The site would process it and publish it. Citizens who wanted to know how their money was being spent would then go to the site and be able to browse through the data-set.

Bonus points if there were discussion forums, voting/popularity rankings and the like so that (presumably authenticated for such operations) people could register their pleasure/displeasure with a given program's level of relative funding.


  1. Ken Kuhlman

    Ken Kuhlman on 11/20/2007 8:36 a.m. #

    "The Budget Graph" does an excellent job of displaying government budget information. You might want to check it out.<br />
    <br />
    http://thebudgetgraph.com/poster<br />
    <br />
    Requires flash.

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