[wdmmg-discuss] Fwd: Where Does My Money Go Epiphany

Richard Pope richard at memespring.co.uk
Fri Jan 22 15:17:36 UTC 2010


Rufus asked me to forward this, so I am :)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Richard Pope <richard at memespring.co.uk>
Date: Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 10:31 PM
Subject: Where Does My Money Go Epiphany

Hi Rufus,

I've been away this week on a ScraperWiki code sprint with Francis &
Julian and, both from talking things over with them, and the work I
did for PublishWhatYouFund last year, I had an idea.

It seems like the model for mapping money flows, certainly the common
cases anyway, is fairly simple:

- Parties have a name, address, type etc
- Money moves between Parties (any individual or org involved) in the
form of Transactions
- Transactions have a Date, Amount, Aim (contract/programe) and Type

(capitalisation denotes objects)

It seems that the data we have is patches of patchiness (farm
subsidies/MP expenses/government programmes/aid payments), we are
never going to get everything we want and even the stuff that does
exist is not going to be *everything* that exists.

The epiphany is that this is a very similar set of circumstances that
the Open Street Map people found themselves in. So rather than going
after existing sources in chunks, should we instead be building
something along the lines of the Open Street Map platform and building
someothing for storing am amassing anything we can get our hands on?
It would work something like this:

- A data structure that represent the basic types listed above
(intentionally ignoring the edge cases that people cite to block
- A tool fo uploading data to this format with citations as to the
source of data
- Moderation tools for checking the validity of data and resolving
contradictions and merging duplicates
- A fuzzy way of marking Transactions for reliability

Does this make any sense? Or am I missing the point? Either way i do
think it would be worth emailing Steve Coast from OSm and asking if he
thinks there are overlaps in the approach.



richard at memespring.co.uk
++44 7976730458
memespring (flickr/skype/etc)
memspr (aim)

richard at memespring.co.uk
++44 7976730458
memespring (flickr/skype/etc)
memspr (aim)

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