Chicago Lobbyists Version 2 Is Here
by Derek Eder
Dec 2, 2011 – We just rolled out a new version of Chicago Lobbyists last night. Thanks to our meetings with Chicago CDO Brett Goldstein and the efforts from his staff, we now have the ability to show:
- What clients paid to each lobbyist (and how much)
- Which actions clients hired lobbyists to take
- How much money each client spent (total) on lobbyists in 2010
The new data also seems to have been cleaned up and normalized quite a bit (we still had to do some normalizing ourselves – especially with addresses), resulting in a more accurate picture of lobbying activity in Chicago for 2010.
Here is a rundown of the new features:
All detail pages have a summary section at the top, displaying total amounts, number of lobbyists, number of clients, number of firms, and number of actions (depending on what you’re viewing). Here’s an example of each:
Global site search (using Google custom search engine)
Every lobbyist action has a client associated with it
Every lobbyist payment shows the client who paid them
Categorized lobbyist expenditures (office expenses, food, travel, education, etc) are now listed
All detail pages now have tabs for each section so you can see all the rich data, without cluttering the page
All data on the detail pages is sortable and searchable (thanks to jQuery Datatables)
- All detail pages have comments (powered by Disqus)
We’re all really excited about these new updates. We now have the most accurate and detailed visualization of lobbyist activities around. That’s something to be proud of.
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An open process
In the spirit of openness, the goal of this blog is to share our milestones, setbacks and thoughts as we continue to develop and expand this project.
Who are we?
We are Open City, a group of developers and designers based in Chicago that build civic-minded apps using open data.
- Paul Baker
- President and co-founder of Webitects
- Derek Eder
- Developer at Webitects and organizer for OpenGov Chicago
- Chad W Pry
- Engineer at Groupon, Code Academy mentor, and all around charming fellow
- Nick Rougeux
- Designer and CSS wiz at Webitects