Campaign funding times two

These two interactive visualizations has been in the drawer all summer. I made them in June already and did a small effort to get them published, but then I when that didn’t happen they were sort of forgotten about.

The starting point was the campaign funding data that was published after the parliamentary elections here in Finland. All MPs have to publicly declare all donations above 1500 euros. The data can be found here, or in a slightly refined form here (thanks Helsingin Sanomat!). Helsingin Sanomat has already provided their own visualization, check it out here.

The network

I started by approaching the data as a network using Protovis. This was the result:

Click to open in new window. Note that it takes a while to load.

I think the output is not too shabby, although the loading time here is really not acceptable. I couldn’t find a way to fasten up the rendering. The JavaScript code could also have been better, but I learned a lot in the process of putting it all together and would have been able to write a much smoother code today I think.

The explorer

The network approach above might be pretty, but not as informative as it could be. Again I used Protovis to build an interface that quickly lets you browse through all the reports.

Click to open in new window. The explorer itself is in Finnish.

I think this visualization has a lot of strengths. It is “click-less” which means you can quickly browse the candidates. Life is too short to be clicking. The loading time is also much, much shorter than in the network visualization.

Any thoughts?

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2 Comments on “Campaign funding times two”

  1. “The explorer” version is brilliant and the clickless interaction is a real strength!

    Some ideas for improvement:
    1. Add legend (coloured square) next to each funding source in the listing. Although it’s currently possible to map individual donors to the pie chart using the amount, this is quite cumbersome.
    2. Similarly, add legend to describe each party next to the candidate selector at the bottom, so that it’s clear that green = keskusta etc.
    3. Use a big stylised/shaded lock icon (similar to Photoshop locked/unlocked layers, but bigger) to indicate state in the candidate selector. I initially missed the “lukitse klikkaamalla” text altogether despite the big point size.
    4. Although it might be a bit gimmicky perhaps the surface area of the pie chart could reflect the total funding – larger inner radius for lower total funding and vice versa.

    Overall it’s really enjoyable to use and provide insights into the data set – great work!


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