The Contractor Food Web:
Visualizing the flow of Recovery Act dollars to defense contractors

Network map of Dept. of Defense related Recovery Act contracts

This image depicts a network of 3000 contracts among 2700 primary funding offices, contracting corporations and subcontractors reported as receiving funds. Nodes indicate organizations, The size of the nodes is relative to the current sum of payments it has made. Grey lines indicate payments, with widths proportional to the aggregate amounts. Mousing over small nodes will reveal the name of the corporation. Clicking on a contractor loads the associated contract information on the fedspending site (won't work for the big blue agency nodes)

Data are Awards funded by Department of Defense (except military departments) downloaded from, compiled from recipient reports from last released on 10/31/2009. It includes spending via both contracts and assistance, as reported by recipients. Amounts are "net amounts", so do not include funds passed on to sub-contractors at each level. (hmm, perhaps should redo this with total amounts so link widths make more sense...)

I think that some of the most interesting nodes are those such as "Innovative Technical Solutions Inc" or "BAYSHORE CONTRACTORS, LLC" that are in the clusters that positioned between the major funding offices receiving multiple contracts. Some, like "CHUGACH MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC" also include a spray of multiple subcontracts out to the side.

Close up of center of the network

Image above is zoomed in to better show the companies in the middle of the network that have multiple contracts with various agencies.

The layouts were produced by Skye Bender-deMoll ( using SoNIA and the MDSJ library. The MDS algorithm was run 50 iterations on the matrix of all-pairs-shortest-path distances with a scaling exponent of -2 to weight distant ties less. Some node positions were manually tweaked for legibility.