Many Eyes

I was reading an article on CNN about this whole earmarks rigmarole. One of the more pointless debates that’s going ’round this year is about who hates earmarks the most. As usual, it’s not about the details of specific programs and policies, but about which side can claim to be holier than thou the loudest. What I care about is not how much money each congress critter asked for. It’s about what they asked for.

But anyway, I looked at the source of the story–the Sunlight Foundation–and it led me to this nifty 2005 Earmarks by State per Capita visualization.

The real point of this post, of course, is not politics but the cool geekery of Many Eyes. This is a site created by IBM that lets folks create their own shared visualizations of data, whether it’s bubble charts, tag clouds, maps, or many others. I found visualizations for comparing the AIG bailout to Federal spending, tag clouds of the convention speeches of Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin, Joe Biden, John McCain and Barack Obama, Olympic medals by event, Olympic medals by country (1896-2006), and a map of someone’s Facebook friends.

Hours of geeky fun!

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