expendituremap was one of two Vodafone-sponsored prize winners. It's an interactive map which visualises public expenditure data by UK region. Categories such as services, defence, public order, science and technology, agriculture and transport can be selected to vary regional size and colour. This allows for easy comparison between public spending in two different categories and allows users to how spending has changed over the years.
The visualisation uses Flash with a PHP and MySQL backend.
expendituremap is able to visualise any numerical dataset available over multiple periods entered in a simple database. Whilst the current regions are hard coded, changing this is trivial. This makes it very adaptable to multiple roles in comparing regional data.
We believe this provides a simpler overview of regional data than is currently available on Government websites.
Created by Ian Shortman, Gareth Shapiro and Daniel Goldsworthy.
Ideas for taking this project forward
This was a one-day project to show what is possible with regional data.
Each region has a starting location (roughly resembling it's geographical location) and will attempt to return to this position as much as possible. This requires some improvement. Additionally, the regions are hard coded rather than using the database to set their names and positions.
The size is determined by setting the radius in proportion to the value of the data it represents. Instead the regional area should be the target of the calculations.
Estimated costs for taking this project forward
This project is open-source, but would require some modification before use. There are multiple bugs to remove, however the basic system functions correctly for any regional dataset and time frame.
To get this far would have cost up to £1,500.
About the data used for this project
Office for National Statistics Annual Abstract of Statistics data was normalised from a spreadsheet to a MySQL database to allow for on-the-fly processing of data.
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