Over at FastCompany, they have an interview with Jonathan Schwabish of the Congress Budget Office on their new push toward the use of Infographics to educate congressional staff.
Before attending a one-day Edward Tufte course a few years back, Schwabish had no background in visual communication. But that one seminar “opened his eyes” about the way the CBO was presenting their research to their client. Schwabish snowballed his interest into a basic graphic design course, and at the course’s conclusion, the teacher wanted Schwabish to create a pamphlet. Schwabish designed an infographic for CBO instead. And since then, he’s been spending about 25% of his time making infographics alongside an expanded team of colleagues.
The graphics themselves are based on some large-scale behavioral and economic simulations, and so far they’re not showing any great success in changing economic policy. But as they keep pushing forward, hopefully that will change.
via 1 | How Infographics Are Changing Congress | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.
IBM has come out with a new interactive visualization tool aimed at peeling back the many layers of bureaucracy in congress. The new “Many Bills” systems lets you track bills as they make their way through the various committees and offices, each step along the way changing just a little bit, before becoming the bills you know.
Many Bills does a solid job of cataloging each Congressional bill (in every stage) with a color-coded format that creates an interlocking map allowing you to link themes and follow the path of different bits of legislation. It’s also a useful tool for those looking to delve into how Washington works, and see how the issues that matter to you are being drafted in our Capitol. It may even help expose politicians passing out legislative favors, and reward those staying true to the promises.
A great step forward for transparent democracy, now we just have to hope someone actually uses it.
via IBM’s Many Bills: This Law Visualization Tool Can Help Unlock Legislative Dealings | Fast Company.
Periscopic has built a fun light-hearted website that analyzes all 14 million words of the 110th congress (2007-2008) and lets you pit individual congressmen against each other to see where they stand. Interesting data contains word counts, frequent words, voting records, tenures, and more.