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Trying to find useful things to do with emerging technologies in open education

Glanceable Committee Memberships with Treemaps

A quickie post, this one, to complement a post from a long time ago where I plotted out – as a network – the links between people who served on the same committee on the Isle of Wight Council (Visualising CoAuthors in Open Repository Online Papers, Part 3, half way through the post).

In this case, I trawled the Isle of Wight Council committees to populate the rows of a spreadsheet with column headings “Committee Name” and “Councillor”.

Pasting the results into Many Eyes gives an IW Council membership dataset that can be easily visualised. So for example, here’s a glanceable treemap showing the membership of each committee:

The search tool adds yet another dimension to the visualisation, in this case allowing us to pick out the various committees the searched for named individual sits on.

Here’s a glanceable treemap showing the committees each councillor is a member of:

It strikes me that if the search tool supported Boolean expressions, such as AND and OR (maybe with each term being realised by a different colour bounding box?), it would be possible to explore the variation – or similarity – in make-up of different committees? On the first tree map, this approach would make it obvious which committees the same groups of people were sitting on?

And why would we want to do this? To identify potential clashes of interest, maybe, or a lack of variation in the composition of different committees that might, ideally, be independent of each other?

PS Hmm, I suppose you could use a similar visualisation to look at the distribution of named directors across FTSE 100 companies and their subsidiaries, suppliers and competitors, for example? ;-) Does anyone have simple lists of such information in a spreadsheet anywhere?;-)

Written by Tony Hirst

January 29, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Posted in Data, Policy, Visualisation

4 Responses

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  1. [...] PsycheMedia’s previous work: Mapping IWC Back in January this year Island-resident @Psychemedia did some excellent work on the foundations in this area. [...]

  2. [...] Local Versions of Local Council Websites… Give Us the Data and We’ll Work It For You Published October 12, 2009 Policy Leave a Comment A couple of weeks ago, Simon @ventnorblog tipped me off to OpenlyLocal, @countculture’s excellent transparency website on the make-up of UK local councils. The related post on OpenlyLocal Now Covers The Isle of Wight Council also reminded me of a quick hack I did some time ago looking at Council committee membership using treemaps. [...]

  3. [...] Treemapping Council Committees Using OpenlyLocal Data Published October 26, 2009 Data , Tinkering , Visualisation Leave a Comment Tags: JIT, openlylocal Some time ago, I started exploring how treemap representations might be used to provide a quick overview of the make-up of the membership of local council committees (Glanceable Committee Memberships with Treemaps). [...]

  4. [...] they may be used to provide glanceable views over the makeup of local council committees (e.g. Glanceable Committee Memberships with Treemaps, Treemapping Council Committees Using OpenlyLocal [...]


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