1. The Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit political research group, maintains an immense dataset of political finance information. I propose creating a data visualization of the increase and decrease of contributions and lobbying through the biggest issues of 2013 i.e. who was contributing & donating the most money before the financial shutdown, the post-Newtown push for gun legislation, the healthcare roll-out and the stall-out of immigration reform. This would be a tremendous project so alternatively I suggest biting off just one of these issues, preferably one that reemerges in the mainstream in the next month. Lastly I propose visualizing financial disclosure data from US senators. The Huffington Post did a piece about this data in January but they created a print article and all this data is begging to be free.
The Environmental Protection Agency maintains a datasets on air quality, sites that generate pollution and water quality, all likely candidates for visualization. However the EPA also tracks more than 650 different toxic chemicals “that are being used, manufactured, treated, transported, or released into the environment.” I propose mapping this data in the spirit of the wind map we viewed at the beginning of the semester. While this data does not have the amazing potential for animation that the wind map did, I still want to try something.
The Empire Center for New York State Policy maintains government payroll data across the state. I propose visualizing New York City’s municipal employee salaries. This is a particularly immense project but could be interesting watching the money flow.
This last one is just a hypothetical because I don’t know if the data exists but I would like to map out presidential approval ratings throughout history, including their popularity today to see how they hold out over time. So far I have only been able to find gallup polls which only go back to beginning of the century. But I feel that someone had to be keeping track of public opinion back in the day i.e. old newspaper archives, surveys ect.