[ddj] Opengov.cat - Re: Politician data tools/sites (Matthew Linares)

Conchita Catalan ccgbcn at gmail.com
Sun Aug 23 18:59:40 UTC 2015

Hello Matthew,

My name is Concha Catalan and I am a journalist based in Barcelona
(Catalonia, Spain). I would like to present our project, which is not about
members of parliament but about the whole structure of our autonomous
(regional) government in Catalonia, Spain, including both politicians at
the highest ranks in government and civil servants in charge of any
government node who have people working under them.

Two years ago Martin Virtel, data journalist based in Hamburg, and me set
up the project opengov.cat to improve transparency of the Catalan
government using dataviz and datajournalism stories. We met at a hackathon.
This is an independent project.

First he made some datavisualizations of the government's organization
charts here  http://opengov.cat/en/open-depts/
<http://opengov.cat/en/open-depts/> and later he developed the seismograph
http://opengov.cat/sismograf/d/2013-05-25, a unique tool to monitor daily
changes in the government's structure. You can read how it works here
<http://opengov.cat/en/seismograph-of-the-generalitat/> Its code is
opensource and on github.

The seismograph is based on a file listing about 8000 government
bodies/nodes that was updated daily for almost two years. It registers four
types of changes: creation or destruction of nodes, change of person in
charge of node, node name change.

A few months ago the government stopped publishing the file but our team
became bigger and we are now trying to re-create the file by using our
limited resources, so that we can get on using the seismograph. Any ideas
welcome. We are also in the process of setting up some kind of structure to
develop other related projects and get some funding.

All the best,

Concha Catalan
Suscriu-te a les nostres llistes:

opengovcat: http://bit.ly/15zbuBo
opengovcat-devel: http://bit.ly/1CChsOZ

2015-08-06 14:00 GMT+02:00 <data-driven-journalism-request at lists.okfn.org>:

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>    1. Politician data tools/sites (Matthew Linares)
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> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2015 12:30:06 +0100
> From: Matthew Linares <matthew.linares at opendemocracy.net>
> To: data-driven-journalism at lists.okfn.org
> Subject: [ddj] Politician data tools/sites
> Message-ID:
>         <
> CAC4gL-DwN5oiaQgf3UK-MyOHyHqJ9EsWDrjGO97h4PEMNT8J3A at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"
> Hello all,
> I am looking for a few things which I think people here may know about. Any
> leads will be most appreciated!
> 1) Good examples of platforms collating data on politicians (or
> structurally similar subjects), particularly where those platforms enable
> search and complex querying of the data. theyworkforyou
> <http://www.theyworkforyou.com>, popit <http://popit.poplus.org/> (not
> actively developed) are examples I know of, but I'm looking for best in
> class projects from across the world, both active and otherwise, open and
> closed source.
> 2) Anyone know why popit is no longer actively developed?
> 3) Developers and others involved in the making, maintenance or analysis of
> this kind of software and datasets.
> 4) Aside from the datasets in use at theyworkforyou
> <http://parser.theyworkforyou.com/>, useful sources of data (structured
> and
> otherwise) on UK politicians. This may be significant data relating to them
> explicitly as politicians, or referencing them as individuals in other
> fields (e.g. opencorporates <https://opencorporates.com/> which might be
> cross-queried with members data
> <https://github.com/mysociety/parlparse/tree/master/members>).
> Alternately,
> non-UK specific ideas about how to query data of this sort across domains.
> 5) Any good resources which detail developments and resources in this
> field.
> Thank you for your thoughts!
> Matthew Linares
> Technical & Publications Coordinator
> openDemocracy.net <https://www.openDemocracy.net>
> --
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