Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Government Lobbyist Analysis Tool

LobbyClue was judged the Best in Show at the Australian Government 2.0 GovHack. It shows the relationships between lobbyists, companies and government portfolios as tag clouds and diagrams by analysis of contract data. The results are remarkable and may well scare some of the lobbyists.

As an example, here is part of the tag cloud generated for lobbyists:
INTECH STRATEGIES PTY. LTD. J K ELIX & J A LAMBERT PTY LTD ENHANCE CORPORATE PTY. LTD. AUSTRALIAN PROJECT DEVELOPMENTS PTY LTD THREE PLUS PTY LTD INTERCAPITAL GROUP MACGREGOR PUBLIC RELATIONS PTY LIMITED KMK Consulting Pty Ltd BELMAN CONSULTING Pty Ltd MCCORMACK FAMILY TRUST SPECTRUM PLANNING SERVICES PTY LIMITED MANIDIS ROBERTS CONSULTANTS THE CLIFTON GROUP Bredhauer Consulting Services Pty Ltd NEATCORP PTY LIMITED DAN CASS MARKSTONE GROUP PTY LTD MICHAEL HITCHENS CONSULTING ...
Clicking on a lobbyist displays a diagram showing all the companies the lobbyist works for. One problem is that the diagrams use Flash, which is a bit slow on my netbook. A HTML5 version suitable for iPhones and Blackberries could prove very popular in Parliament House. A simple indented list of text should do in place of the fancy graphics. This could also be made compatible with web accessibility guidelines.

2 comments:

kelvinn said...

You have raised a very good point about the Flash aspect of the site. After the 24hr hackfest, we've tried to lower the usage of both visualizations. I've changed the geo part to pull items only out of the bounding box (instead of one large KML file), and the other developers have streamlined the flash queries.

However, I'm not certain if we'll shift away from the flash library used or not. One of the team members learned how to use it, and implemented all the relationship, within a single night. But who knows, an HTML5 version would be interesting for future visualizations.

Tom Worthington said...

kelvinn said December 08, 2009 9:16 PM:

"You have raised a very good point about the Flash aspect of the site ... we've tried to lower the usage of both visualizations ... However, I'm not certain if we'll shift away from the flash library ... But who knows, an HTML5 version would be interesting for future visualizations. ..."

My suggestion would be simple text in HTML, without graphics, for a smart phone version. This should prove popular with lobbyists, political staffers and journalists.