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Delegate Co-memberships

Organizational co-memberships for Republican and Democratic delegates, 2008

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

Network map of Dept. of Defense related Recovery Act contracts

Found a well-structured dataset on Recovery Act contracts at Created a network map for the Awards funded by Department of Defense (except military departments) category. Also serves as a crude user interface to the data. Clicking on contractor nodes links to full record with information about the contract.

Would love to build something like this for the whole dataset, or for the TARP funds. already does some flash-based geographic maps to show which states the money is (initially) ending up in.

(click for interactive version)
Cartogram recipient locations of defense-related Recovery Act contractors

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.

Digging into’s Bill Endorsement Data

Diagram of bill supportersDan Newman, director of the money in politics watchdog/transparency site kindly shared some of their bill endorsement data for me to explore. In addition to providing an elegant interface for accessing California and U.S. Federal campaign contribution data and voting records, MAPLight’s interns do extensive research to determine various organizations positions on bills that are being voted on in Congress. These endorsement and opposition relationships can be thought of as ties linking the organizations to the various bills they take a position on. The ties can then be assembled to form—yup, you guessed it—networks of bills and their supporters. My hope is that giving the bill data a relational treatment might reveal some of the coalitions and give additional context for each organization’s position.
Continue reading Digging into’s Bill Endorsement Data

San Francisco Political Contributions

Closeup of SF 2008 political contribution networkI’m very interested in trying to figure out ways to map the political landscapes and power structures that are operating around us. I’d like to be able to see various organizations and political actors in the context of their allies, enemies, and supporters in order to understand where the political boundaries are between various factions.
Continue reading San Francisco Political Contributions