A lovely organization co-membership network graph of the delegates to the 2008 party conventions. From Networking the Parties: A Comparative Study of Democratic and Republican Convention Delegates in 2008 (Pre-print. Seth Masket, Michael Heaney, Joanne Miller, and Dara Z. Strolovich). The authors surveyed the delegates at the major party conventions about which groups they were members of. Nodes are groups, links indicate delegates who named both groups. Red only nominated by Republican delegates, Blue only Democratic, Purple = Both. The image gives a nice quick overview of the relative positions of groups, the paper gives more detailed analysis.
Interesting but not surprising to see the Sierra Club / NRA relationship, and NAACP / Young Republicans membership as well. I’m curious what the single red node is between Amnesty International and Sierra Club… Would like to see a version with all the organization names. Does this image match your intuitive sense of the relative political positions of the organizations named?
The Sunlight Foundation recently brought all of its grantees together so that each organization could learn more about what the others were working on. Since they funded the work on the CorpWatch API, I got to attend. They also invited folks to stay over the weekend and attend the TransparencyCamp, a 2-day “un-conference” in DC for folks interested in getting the government to be more open an responsive with its data.
I gave a presentation on the work we did on the CorpWatch API, and why I think it would be a good idea to develop a common standard id system for company and organization names. The talk was streamed live, and archived as well. I sound a bit jet-lagged ;-)
I really enjoyed the un-conference format: participants basically shout out what they want to present or discuss and convince folks to come to their sessions. Got to finally meet face to face with the people who have been doing all the amazing work to provide the data we use in so many projects. Had some great discussions about trying to build some kind of larger project to create a common id system that various organizations could link to so that companies can be correctly matched and aggregated across datasets. Learned a lot. Was especially interested in some of the work being done internationally, seemed at time more pragmatic, less obsessed with the latest shinny new tech toys.
Would love to build something like this for the whole dataset, or for the TARP funds.
Fedspending.org already does some flash-based geographic maps to show which states the money is (initially) ending up in.
(click for interactive version)
UPDATE Feb 11, 2010
When working with the this data, I was very surprised to see a name I recognized jump off the screen. Nehalem River Dredging is small 2-6 person operation with a single boat based in my home town. Could they really be receiving a $47,150,000 contract with the Army Corps? Almost 50 million dollars!? That probably greater than the entire yearly economic output of the town. Since this data is known to have some highly-politicized problems (like the flap about the non-existent congressional districts) it seems like there may be some kind of error. My father called up the Port wheer the dredging is being done to investigate. Sure enough, they said there is a two decimal place error in the reported contract amount. It was actually $470,150. So I guess the message is take this data (which is self reported by recipients as I understand it) with a grain of salt, there is plenty of room for two-orders-magnitude errors to sneak in.
Just in case you think that entity resolution problems (matching up names appearing in multiple data sources, while not falsely assuming that everyone named “John Smith” is the same person) are purely an academic concern, I recently got an email from an airline announcing TSA’s new Secure Flight program and asking me to provide them with birth date and gender information when making a reservation: Continue reading →
Gives an interesting perspective on who might stand to benefit from the current proposals: probably not those of us who are uninsured. Starting to seem pretty unlikely that we will get a reasonable single-payer plan :-(
For the past several months, Greg and I have been working on project to scrape corporate subsidiary ownership relations from Securities Exchange Commission filings. The first part of the project launched today! So now you can pull down company names and relationships for more than 200,000 publicly traded U.S. corporations and their subsidiaries from http://api.corpwatch.org. If writing code is not your thing, we also built an interactive browser for the data at http://croctail.corpwatch.org.