[wdmmg-discuss] Question from Toronto for project: CityBudget

Friedrich Lindenberg friedrich at pudo.org
Wed Jan 19 18:27:07 UTC 2011

Hi Morgan,

On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 11:08 PM, Morgen Peers <morgenpeers at gmail.com> wrote:
> There's a group of us in Toronto trying to map the city budget and visualize
> that on a website. I'll be communicating with others who know nothing of
> WDMMG. Assuming technical ignorance on our behalf, can subscribers
> recommend/briefly outline how we could replicate your success with WDMMG. Is
> there code available and where should we look for it?

Great to hear from you, although I'm not quite sure what you're asking
about specifically. And while I can't speak for Where Does My Money
Go's magic sauce, the following has been successful in Germany:

1. Take some data that is perfectly obvious and has been lying around
for years (i.e. you initially don't need the magic low-level stuff)
1b. Make it machine-readable if it is not already.
2. Turn it into some pretty graphics, preferably with the help of a
professional designer.
3. Release it at a politically interesting point in time (e.g. a few
days before parliamentary discussion of the budget starts)

This, of course, is way too generic to be useful.

As for code, all of WhereDoesMyMoneyGo's back-end code is free
software and the flash visualization is available in compiled form and
can be customized and re-used [1]. As WDMMG has already been used to
store and display a variety of different datasets, the process of
getting data in and out is fairly standardized and can be replicated
by a reasonably experienced Python programmer. While we really should
have a manual on how to do it, I'd currently recommend looking at the
code and asking for help on wdmmg-dev at .

> Thanks for the assistance. I'll compile replies and share them with the
> Toronto CityBudget folks.

Best wishes,

 Friedrich Lindenberg

[1] https://bitbucket.org/okfn/wdmmg (base site)
  + https://bitbucket.org/okfn/wdmmg-ext (data loaders)
  + https://bitbucket.org/okfn/wdmmg-js (visualizations)

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