Government spending visualisations

November 14th, 2009 by

An interesting new project: Where Does My Money Go? [currently an alpha version; details; announcement]

Basically, interactive visualisations of UK governmental spending, broken down by topic or by region. There’s also a time-series function, which is quite interesting to see – overall government spending, as a proportion of GDP, has just hit the bad old days of 1992.

Things that currently stand out as major issues:

  • uncleaned data means hideous governmental terminology – “n.e.c.” everywhere
  • expanding on that, the data needs a bit more organising – ensuring you can switch between subdivisions on the national-level, for example, would mean linking the ‘economic > transport’ sections together in the same way that the ‘economic’ sections currently are
  • the main charts are a little ambiguous as to which circles are subdivisions of each other
  • there’s no way to apply the time-series graph to “second level” data – so you can compare “general public services” spending over time, but you can’t compare the amount spent on debt servicing
  • mousing over a column really should display its numeric value

On the whole, though, promising – definitely worth ten minutes playing with. Gets the concept across a lot more clearly than the bare figures might.

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