Angels of the Right – version 2.0

I’ve been working for the past several months to build a new interactive version of the conservative philanthropy network data from the Media Matters Conservative Transparency Project and other sources. The idea is to have an atlas where you can dive in, explore, and see which organisations have similar patterns of funding relationships. As always, my hope is to make some of these invisible economic and power relationships a bit more tangible.
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Atlas of Economic Complexity

I just saw this lovely network map of the “product space” of exports (Atlas of Economic Complexity, via Infosthetics). The idea is to reveal what types of products are related to each other in the sense that there are common economic competencies need to produce them.

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Embedding Webs on the Web

Caribbean researchers keyword network in ManyEyes tool
I’ve created a page to compare various tools for embedding a network diagram on the web. I used a small example set of researchers’ keyword associations. As always, browser compatibility is a big challenge. Most of the options I tested required a fair amount of web coding ability to get them working. I’d love to hear about other tools and ideas I may have missed.

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Data Viz presentation at Impact 2.0, Kingston Jamaica

coverpage from impact 2.0 presentation

I just gave a talk at a conference on New mechanisms for linking research & policy. I’m posting the pdf of the slides here, which include some links to various examples and a few resources. Thanks to Comunica, IDRC, Panos Caribbean and all of the conference participants. Since the slides have links, but no commentary, I’ll try to develop this into a full post later.

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Sqooshing data onto a map

tableau public geomapping example
I just spent some time comparing various tools for publishing web visualizations of region-coded data. I looked at some Google tools, ManyEyes, and Tableau Public. This is what I learned using my demo example. Please let me know of any other tools I should test…

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Tracking the funding for Proposition 23

Guess who is pumping in the money to support CA Proposition 23 to roll back California’s global warming legislation?
thumbnail of prop23 network map
Yup, mostly its the companies that would be regulated when the law goes into effect. I’ve been working for the past few weeks to build, an interactive network chart of the funding flows. Its an adaptation of our previous dirty energy money site, but using campaign finance data from California, and from for the Federal PACs that are contributing in California. I think it is interesting to see the multiple layers, how the various group funnel in money and influence. I hope to be able to do an expanded version which would also show some of the other strings that Koch is pulling, why Chevron isn’t investing in Prop 23 (it seems they are backing 25 & 26 instead), and the the backers of the various No on 23 campaigns.

Also, can anyone help me figure out what happened to the $5000 contribution from Western Petroleum Marketer’s Association? It was in an earlier version of the data, but now seems to be missing from the filings. It seems that Tesoro may have solicited support for Prop 23 in their meetings, and I’d like to be able to include them.

Update: We’ve added panning and zooming features on the graph. We’ve also done a second chart for CA Proposition 26:

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Angels of the Right v1.0

close up of right-wing funding network diagram
[download full map as pdf]

I’m interested in making political structures visible. Trying to put those half-realized connections and linkages into a tangible form–a map that we can point to. I recently located an online database of conservative funding relationships created by Media Matters Action Network. I was able to scrape the site and (with their permission) experiment with some network diagrams in pdf form to visualize the funding relationships among “angel investor” foundations and right-wing organizations.
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Many Brands of Bubbly Bottles and Cans

… but only a few owning companies. Another great study and diagram of brand ownership relations by Philip Howard.

Howard softdrink ownership cluster diagram

…To visualize the extent of pseudovariety in this industry we developed a cluster diagram to represent the number of soft drink brands and varieties found in the refrigerator cases of 94 Michigan retailers, along with their ownership connections.

Although, according to the Soda vs. Pop map, since the study was in Michigan, maybe it should be labeled “Pop” not “soft drinks”? ;-)

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JoSS Visualization Symposium 2010

The Journal of Social Structure did a special online Visualization Symposium with peer-reviewed network visualizations. A good format, a great idea, and some nice viz examples. Hopefully next time there will be more submissions.

I thought that this map of overlapping topics between media outlets was a cool idea. The resulting network seems like a fairly undifferentiated core-periphery structure, which seems typical of a lot of topic-maps-as-networks I’ve seen. Does this reflect a property of media networks, or is this what topic maps look like? Maybe a threshold filter on the edges to then out weak (or strong) ties would reveal more subtle structure? I thought the blockmodel reduction of the network was a helpful summary. The model does seem to be backed by some substantial statistical work and

… “Results of the estimation indicate that both production volume and common ownership affect the topic overlap of news outlets.”…

My submission was cleaned-up interactive version of the bill-endorsement network from MapLight data with click-through to bill summaries. The layout was produced using SoNIA (now with variable node label sizes!) and the MDSJ library.

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US Social Forum Topic Network

Network map of co-occuring topics in the 2010 USSF

Michael Heaney and Fabio Rojas just released another great network map in a blog post. This one shows the co-mentions of topics (as coded by the researchers) appearing in the descriptions of panel discussions at the recently concluded 2010 US Social Forum in Detroit. The map functions as a coarse-grained representation of interconnectedness of the various topics, and presumably how important and relatively central they are to the activists and organizers participating in the forum.

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