[okfn-labs] making open data consumable

nilanjan bhattacharya nilanjanb at live.com
Wed May 14 00:46:55 UTC 2014

Hi Rufus,

Thanks for the appreciation.

Looking back, I wasn't sure what I was expecting from okfn.  My ulterior motive was - I was hoping to get some data that I could use for visualization; maybe I was hoping that okfn could provide json type data sets....not sure....

In the meantime I decided to create a project on fiverr.com to convert the pdf data to the format I wanted.  I wrote a blog post about it - 9 graphs for 5 dollars What this means (for me) is that I can convert the (any?) data that I want for a small fee to json.

I still think it would be nice if OKFN could provide data in json format (I am hoping someone can wave a magic wand :-) )

- Nilanjan


Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:26:00 +0100
Subject: Re: [okfn-labs] making open data consumable
From: rufus.pollock at okfn.org
To: nilanjanb at live.com
CC: okfn-labs at lists.okfn.org

On 15 April 2014 14:32, nilanjan bhattacharya <nilanjanb at live.com> wrote:

I don't follow this group closely, however I am interested in the idea of open data.

Great to hear from you. 
 think open data should move beyond excel/pdf/spreadsheets.  I think 
technology (visualization/analytics) has progressed a lot in the last 
few years.  To take advantage of the technology, the data should be 
represented in a digitally consumable form.  I think you can convert 
excel/pdf to json with little effort (some effort is required).  The 
returns on that are many fold.  

I wrote a blog post on how I converted the Singapore 2014 budget to JSON  files - http://revelutions.com/?p=461  

This is fantastic :-) 
If you'd like to see how the data is used take a look at another blog post http://revelutions.com/?p=454 
 In this post I have created a visualization using the data.  Note this 
works better on a laptop/desktop, since I have tooltips which show the 

I don't mean to move you around lists too much but I think you'd be very interested in the OpenSpending project: http://openspending.org/ (and the associated Where Does My Money Go!)

If you like treemaps (which I think you do!) you'll really like it (for example here's world bank privatizations https://openspending.org/wb-privatizations).

Using OpenSpending it would be pretty fast to create something like http://wheredoesmymoneygo.org/ for Singapore ...
In particular, the main mailing list is here:


and the more geeky list is here https://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/openspending-dev

(I note I'm also one of those finance data geeks so I also hang out there!) 
(The key concept in converting to JSON is preserving the
 heirarchy in the data.  See this sample : 
http://revelutions.com/budgets/moh.json - I think people on the okfn labs don't need to be told this).


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