Treemapping Council Committees Using OpenlyLocal Data

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).

Following a lazyweb request to @countculture about expressing complete council committee membership data from Openly Local (Topical Versions of Local Council Websites… Give Us the Data and We’ll Work It For You), and the rapid fulfilment of that request ;-), here’s a proof of concept about how to use that data to power a treemap from the Javascript InfoViz Toolkit (JIT) to provide a glanceable display of the make-up of Isle of WIght Council committees, colour coded by party:

Council cttee treemap

Each committee is represented as follows:

{children: [
 {children: [],
  data: {
   $area: "3", $pcolor: "purple",members:"Jonathan Francis Bacon, Paul Fuller, Heather Humby, "}, id :"ccl12_0", name: "Independent"
  children: [],
  data: {
   $area: "5", $pcolor: "blue",members:"Ivan Bulwer, Susan Jane Scoccia, Albert Taylor, Jerry White, David G Williams, "},
   id :"ccl12_1",
   name: "Conservative"},
  children: [],
  data: {
   $area: "1", $pcolor: "darkorange",members:"Colin Richards, "},
   id :"ccl12_2",
   name: "Liberal-Democrat Group"}
], data: {$area: 9}, id: "ccl12", name: "Licensing and General Purposes Committee"}

With another quick bash at the code, I should be able generate these views on the fly from the JSON data feeds provided on the OpenlyLocal site. (At the moment, the route I take to generate the Javscript object that powers the treemap is a really clunky one:-(

What never ceases to amaze me, though, is how a tweak from one representation of a dataset (that is, the JSON data published by OpenlyLocal), to another (the JIT treemap representation) allows the creation of interactive visuliastions as if by magic :-)

If you want to play with your own treemaps in the meantime, this bit of Javascript will produce a simple representation of committee. member and party data that can be visualised within Many Eyes WIkified:

for (var i=0;i< c.committees.length;i++){
  for (var j=0;j< c.committees[i].members.length; j++){
  	document.write("\""+c.committees[i].title.replace("&", "and")+"\""+","+"\""+c.committees[i].members[j]["first_name"]+" "+c.committees[i].members[j]["last_name"]+"\""+","+"\""+c.committees[i].members[j]["party"]+"\""+"<br/>");

(where c is the javascript object that is published as the JSON feed from a committee page on OpenlyLocal, such as this one for the Isle of Wight).

Here’s an example:

Whilst this treemap doesn’t allow you to fix the colours in the way that the JIT component does:

   'setColor': function(json) {  

($pcolor is a variable I set for each committee member saying what colour should be displayed for them…), the Many Eyes Wikified does allow you to manipulate the tree representation that powers the treemap, e.g. by reordering the way in which the different elements are displayed:

What I really need now is a way of creating the hierarchical JIT objects on the fly from a table based representation… Hmmm….