OpenSpending Community Hangout: Revised Date – Thursday 14th May

- May 5, 2015 in events, Hangouts

Our next community hangout will be on Thursday 14th May at 17:00 BST. If you haven’t signed up yet and you’d like to come along, please add your name to the OpenSpending Hangout Scratchpad.

We’re looking for volunteers to give lightning talks and short updates from around the community – if you are interested in giving one on your project or work please just adda note next to your name on the Scratchpad, as above. Anders has kindly volunteered to give a short talk on extractives data but it’d be great to hear from more of you!

The hangout will be via Google Hangout and we’ll circulate the link nearer the date.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Announcing A New Architectural Roadmap for OpenSpending

- April 15, 2015 in Contribute, Technical

 

01-tech-overview-polaroidAt the 2015 Open Data Day a proposal for a new vision for the approach and architecture of OpenSpending was approved. It opens up an exciting opportunity for open budget initiatives around the world to work more closely together, whilst remaining independent. In a nutshell:

 

We want to centralize data but decentralize ‘presentation’ (views).

 

What does this mean? It means an OpenSpending ecosystem of smaller pieces, more loosely joined. It means an OpenSpending to which it is easier to contribute, in which it is easier to connect your solution to the global budget data initiative. It means an OpenSpending that is easier to improve; instead of one monolithic codebase that nobody wants to touch, it means smaller , more accessible projects that we hope will inspire your participation. In short, it’s an empowering of the awesome OpenSpending community which lies at the heart of everything we do.

You can read the proposal that was accepted in full here. Many thanks to Tryggvi and Rufus for working so hard on this. Now over to you! What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

OpenSpending Community Hangout in April: Suggested Theme and Vote for the Date!

- April 14, 2015 in events, Hangouts, Uncategorized

As some of you may know already, I’m delighted to now be working with the Open Spending community as community manager. I really look forward to meeting you all at our April Community Hangout!

Going forward, we thought it might be a good idea to plan each of our hangouts around a theme – since a general election is fast approaching in the UK, we’re proposing we focus in April on UK Government Spending.
 
This might include financial forecasts, discussions around the UK government’s deficit, spending pledges in the manifestos of the political parties and so on. Is the UK really the world’s fastest growing ‘major’ economy?, as George Arnett has asked. And did the last Labour governments really hike taxes by £1,895 a year
 
As well as the themed discussion, there’ll also be space for lightning talks and short updates from around the community – if you are interested in giving one on your project or work please just add to the draft agenda.
 
It’d be brilliant to have as many of our community there as possible, so please indicate your availability in this doodle poll. As usual, it’ll be via Google Hangout (link to be sent nearer the day).
 

Presenting public finance just got easier

- March 20, 2015 in Technical, Updates

This blog post is cross-posted from the CKAN blog.

mexico_ckan_openspending

CKAN 2.3 is out! The world-famous data handling software suite which powers data.gov, data.gov.uk and numerous other open data portals across the world has been significantly upgraded. How can this version open up new opportunities for existing and coming deployments? Read on.

One of the new features of this release is the ability to create extensions that get called before and after a new file is uploaded, updated, or deleted on a CKAN instance.

This may not sound like a major improvement  but it creates a lot of new opportunities. Now it’s possible to analyse the files (which are called resources in CKAN) and take them to new uses based on that analysis. To showcase how this works, Open Knowledge in collaboration with the Mexican government, the World Bank (via Partnership for Open Data), and the OpenSpending project have created a new CKAN extension which uses this new feature.

It’s actually two extensions. One, called ckanext-budgets listens for creation and updates of resources (i.e. files) in CKAN and when that happens the extension analyses the resource to see if it conforms to the data file part of the Budget Data Package specification. The budget data package specification is a relatively new specification for budget publications, designed for comparability, flexibility, and simplicity. It’s similar to data packages in that it provides metadata around simple tabular files, like a csv file. If the csv file (a resource in CKAN) conforms to the specification (i.e. the columns have the correct titles), then the extension automatically creates the Budget Data Package metadata based on the CKAN resource data and makes the complete Budget Data Package available.

It might sound very technical, but it really is very simple. You add or update a csv file resource in CKAN and it automatically checks if it contains budget data in order to publish it on a standardised form. In other words, CKAN can now automatically produce standardised budget resources which make integration with other systems a lot easier.

The second extension, called ckanext-openspending, shows how easy such an integration around standardised data is. The extension takes the published Budget Data Packages and automatically sends it to OpenSpending. From there OpenSpending does its own thing, analyses the data, aggregates it and makes it very easy to use for those who use OpenSpending’s visualisation library.

So thanks to a perhaps seemingly insignificant extension feature in CKAN 2.3, getting beautiful and understandable visualisations of budget spreadsheets is now only an upload to a CKAN instance away (and can only get easier as the two extensions improve).

To learn even more, see this report about the CKAN and OpenSpending integration efforts.

How to create a budget data package

- October 15, 2014 in Technical, tutorials

This tutorial will show you how to create a budget data package from a (relatively clean) spreadsheet dataset by walking you through the process of converting the Armenian budget from the Open Budgets Portal.

Getting started

The Armenia BOOST government expenditure database contains planned, adjusted, and executed expenditures covering the years 2006 to 2012. It is coded with rich classification systems, including COFOG functional categories. This makes it perfect as an example budget data package dataset.

To download the Armenia dataset, go to the Armenia BOOST Socrata instance and export the dataset as a CSV.

Export as CSV

This dataset now needs to be cleaned and processed. To do this, we will use OpenRefine.

Processing data: splitting fields

Before we can use the Armenia dataset in Budget Data Package, a few properties need to be fixed. The easiest of these processing steps is splitting up numerical IDs and human-readable text, which the source dataset combines together in single fields. This is easy to do with OpenRefine.

To split up a column like this, click the arrow next to the column name, select Edit column, and click Split into several columns.

Splitting columns

Each column is in the format “1234 Description”, where 1234 is the ID. We can therefore extract the numerical ID by splitting the column up on spaces and limiting the resulting number of columns to 2.

Splitting on spaces

Do this with each column that combines a numerical ID with a text description.

At this point, you can also rename the columns in the dataset to match the budget data package specification. The columns “Administrative Classification (Level 1) — Agency 1” and “Administrative Classification (Level 1) — Agency 2” resulting from splitting up “Administrative Classification (Level 1) — Agency” can be renamed “adminID” and “admin”, for example.

Processing data: programming step

Once you’ve renamed the columns appropriately, you can move on to performing three more complex processing steps: splitting up the dataset by year and status; adding unique IDs to data rows; and fixing the COFOG values.

A simple Python script that performs these processing steps is available here:

Splitting up files

Budget Data Package datasets represent a single fiscal year at a single stage in the budget cycle.

Our source dataset combines many fiscal years, and every row in the dataset also contains money values from three separate stages in the cycle.

It’s therefore necessary to split up the source dataset into several files. This involves two steps:

  1. Turning each row into three rows, one for each money value.
  2. Splitting up the set of rows by year.

Lines 15-45 of the Armenia data processing script carry out these two transformations.

Adding unique IDs

Each row of data in a Budget Data Package must have a unique identifier in its id field.

This is easy to do; just append an id field to the header row of each dataset, then add a unique value to every data row.

Lines 48-67 of the Armenia data processing script add IDs in this way. Here, unique UUIDs are generated and added to the data.

Fixing COFOG values

Budget Data Package datasets need to have well-formed COFOG values in the cofog column. Here, “well-formed” means that the values comply with the COFOG standard.

Our source dataset has a (mostly) COFOG-compatible functional classification system, but it formats its COFOG codes in an idiosyncratic way. It’s necessary to transform these codes from values like “010101” to values like “01.1.1” for compliance.

Lines 69-126 of the Armenia data processing script fix all the COFOG values. They repair the existing COFOG-compatible functional classification codes, and they also add a new cofog column for good measure.

Adding metadata

Once all datasets have been processed and made ready for Budget Data Package, they need to be wrapped up with a metadata file.

A sample metadata file for the Armenia BOOST dataset, as prepared in the last section, is available as a Gist. This file illustrates several crucial features of BDP metadata:

  • Metadata for the data package itself goes in the outermost object. This includes the data package’s name (a URL-compatible string), title (a human-readable name), description (a prose description of the package), and version (a version number for the release).
  • Each CSV included in the package needs its own metadata in the resources field of the package metadata. (See the Budget Data Package specification for details about what needs to go here.)

You can see from looking at the metadata that it is mostly repetitious and predictable—time-consuming to create by hand, but not too challenging!

Wrapping up

Once the metadata file for the budget data package has been created and saved alongside the processed datasets, the budget data package has been created. You can now serve it up from whatever platform you prefer.

In Cameroon, budget transparency one council at a time

- August 5, 2014 in Spending Stories

How a tool like OpenSpending can help to better channel public spending into basic services in Cameroon.

Version française

In Cameroon, forest exploitation yield lots of money. Wood is indeed the third largest source of exports of the country, following oil and cocoa. In return, every logging company must pay a tax whose a part goes to local communities living near the concession. By law, this money must be allocated to local development projects (schools, electrification, water access). Dedicated local committees are responsible for the budgets.

Are forest revenues of Yokadouma, a council in the East region of Cameroon, invested in basic services? Image credit: Courtesy of Paolo Scoppola - www.paoloscoppola.com

In a country where access to basic services is still insufficient for many rural populations, the forest tax appears as a potential leverage for local development. But what is it real impact? This is difficult to say when you cannot access even basic council’s budget data. Yet, beneficiaries, the citizen, should be able to check if taxes are effectively perceived, redistributed and efficiently allocated. This is what budget transparency is all about.

As part of World Bank’s Budget Transparency Initiative in Cameroon, the OpenSpending team developed in 2012 the website cameroon.openspending.org, a tool to explore and follow budget data. The website enables everyone to navigate through the different administrative levels of the country and to visualize related planned and executed public spending.

Anyone can contribute to the database and publish budget data from its council. The technical requirements for contribution were however still significant. Therefore Open Knowledge teamed up with the local civil society organisation ASSOAL and its partners in June 2014 to make contribution and dissemination of local budget data more accessible. The objective was to transfer skills and tools between participants and enable ASSOAL and local partners to steer the entire process: from data collection to online publication of councils budget data.

The aim of the workshop was to transform budget papers into easy-to-understand online information.

ASSOAL aims to promote and demonstrate the benefits of transparency on local development. Information published by the NGO are available to every connected citizen but can also be used for participatory budgets, citizen radio programs or even murals to inform every citizen. Eventually, ASSOAL aims to publish every budget of the 336 councils of Cameroon online. This will require collaboration with public authorities, such as  Cameroon’s municipal bank (FEICOM), in charge of cross-councils investments, but also new budget data methodologies. The workshop with ASSOAL was indeed an opportunity to discuss the importance of getting budget data online in digital and reusable format – not only in paper or PDF.

Currently, ASSOAL’s members are entering or transcribing budget data manually on their computers from paper versions. This is a tedious process, and also a great source of errors, but the only current way to get the data released openly on websites such as OpenSpending.

The workshop enabled the participants to learn how to clean, correct, and format datasets by using simple tools such as Excel, LibreOffice or OpenRefine. Participants were also able to train on how to collaborate and share data online with applications like Etherpad or Datahub.io. The workshop was also an opportunity to review the process of data collection. At the end, the team revised its methodology by adopting a new data model and using some OpenSpending’s Budget Data Package specifications. Following the 4 days training, the participants were able to publish 40 budgets in one month. The target is to double this number by the end of the year.

Explore how much a council earns from forest tax and how much it spends in basic services on cameroon.openspending.org.

Thanks to the efforts of the civil society and the use of tools like OpenSpending, budget transparency is slowly taking off in Cameroon from bottom up, starting at council level. This is an encouraging effort and we hope this will lead the Government to do the same with national Public Investment data. The population should be able to know their rights, follow the decisions of the ones who represent them and hold them accountable. Budget transparency is essential here, as is the right to access legal information, and in this precise case, the right to access information on forest exploitations and revenues. In the challenge of improving the standard of living for communities across councils access to budget information is key for enabling citizens to contribute and decide on the development.

 

 

 

 

Au Cameroun, la transparence budgétaire, village par village

- August 5, 2014 in Spending Stories

Comment un outil comme OpenSpending peut aider à mieux orienter les dépenses publiques vers les services de base au Cameroun.

English version here

Au Cameroun, l’exploitation des forêts rapporte beaucoup d’argent. Le bois est ainsi la troisième source d’exportation du pays, après le pétrole et le cacao. En contrepartie, chaque entreprise du secteur doit s’acquitter d’une redevance dont une partie revient aux communautés vivant en bordure des concessions. Selon la loi, cette redevance doit être allouée à des projets de développement local (électrification, accès en eau potable, écoles). Des comités communaux en ont la charge.

Are forest revenues of Yokadouma, a council in the East region of Cameroon, invested in basic services? Image credit: Courtesy of Paolo Scoppola - www.paoloscoppola.com

Dans un pays où l’accès aux services de base reste encore largement insuffisant pour les populations rurales, la redevance d’exploitation forestière devrait donc constituer un levier important pour le développement local. Mais quel est son impact réel ? Difficile de savoir quand les informations sur les investissements publics ne sont pas accessibles. Les populations bénéficiaires devraient pourtant pouvoir controler si la redevance est effectivement perçue, redistribuée et correctement investie. C’est tout l’enjeu de la transparence budgétaire.

Ainsi, dans le cadre du programme de la Banque Mondiale, Initiative pour la Transparence Budgétaire au Cameroun, l’équipe OpenSpending a développé en 2012 le site cameroon.openspending.org, une application dédiée à l’exploration et au suivi des budgets. Le site permet de naviguer à travers les différent niveaux administratifs du pays et de visualiser les dépenses publiques plannifiées et exécutées qui s’y rapportent.

Chacun peut contribuer à la base de données et ajouter les informations budgétaires de sa commune. Cela requiert cependant certaines compétences techniques. C’est pourquoi une seconde mission a eu lieu en juin 2014 pour former l’association ASSOAL et ses partenaires. L’objectif était de transmettre aux participants les compétences et outils nécessaires pour maîtriser l’ensemble de la procédure, de la collecte à la publication en ligne des données budgétaires des communes.

The aim of the workshop was to transform budget papers into easy-to-understand online information.

La démarche d’ASSOAL vise à promouvoir et démontrer les bienfaits de la transparence sur le développement local. Les informations que l’association publie sont accessibles à tout citoyen connecté et peuvent également être réutilisées pour la préparation des budgets participatifs, ou pour la réalisation de fresques murales ou émissions de radios citoyennes. À terme, l’association souhaite pouvoir mettre en ligne et explorer l’ensemble des budgets planifiés et éxecutés des 336 communes du pays. Cela nécessitera une plus forte collaboration avec les instances publiques, comme le FEICOM chargé des investissements intercommunaux, et la mise en place de nouvelles procédures de gestion des données budgétaires. La mission a ainsi été l’occasion d’insister sur l’importance de disposer de données budgétaires dans des formats numériques réutilisables et non dans des formats papiers ou PDF.

Pour l’heure, les membres d’ASSOAL saisissent manuellement sur leur ordinateur les données contenues dans les budgets papiers qu’ils collectent auprès des communes. Un travail fastidieux donc, et source d’erreurs, mais qui à défaut de budgets disponibles au format numérique reste la seule solution pour pouvoir ensuite publier les données en ligne.

L’atelier a permis aux participants d’apprendre à nettoyer, corriger et formater les données tabulées en utilisant des outils simples tels que Excel, LibreOffice ou encore OpenRefine. Ils ont également pu se former à la collaboration et au partage de données en ligne grâce à des outils comme Etherpad ou Datahub.io. L’atelier a été l’occasion d’améliorer la procédure de saisie des données budgétaires, en adoptant une structure de données plus conforme à la nomenclature réelle et en s’inspirant des spécifications du nouveau Budget Data Package de OpenSpending. À la suite des 4 jours de formation, l’équipe a été capable de traiter et publier 40 budgets en un mois. L’objectif est de doubler ce chiffre pour fin 2014.

Explore how much a council earns from forest tax and how much it spends in basic services on cameroon.openspending.org.

Grâce aux efforts de la societé civile et à l’usage d’outils comme OpenSpending, la transparence budgétaire progresse au Cameroun, mais essentiellement au niveau des communes. C’est un premier pas encourageant qui, il faut l’espérer, incitera le gouvernement à faire de même au niveau national. L’enjeu ici est bien d’améliorer le niveau de vie des populations en leur permettant de contribuer à leur propre développement. Ces dernières devraient donc être en mesure de connaître leurs droits, être capables de suivre les décisions de ceux qui les représentent et les obliger à rendre des comptes. La transparence et la compréhension des budgets sont donc ici essentielles, tout comme le sont l’accès aux textes de loi et, dans ce cas précis, l’accès aux informations sur les exploitations forestières du pays.

 

 

 

A specification for Budget Data: Introducing the Budget Data Package

- July 17, 2014 in Contribute, Releases

As we descend into the buzz of the biggest week of the open calendar at OKFestival, the OpenSpending team wanted to quickly drop you a line about a piece of research we have been collaborating on together with the International Budget Partnership, Omidyar Network, and Google: a draft specification for budget data.

As members of this community will be only too aware, the benefits of structured, machine-readable, and internationally comparable budget data have now been discussed in numerous fora. A flexible but usable global data standard would need to be developed and widely adopted to make this happen.

Recognising the significant challenges posed by variations across national and sub-national budgets, Open Knowledge, with input and technical advice from the International Budget Partnership, Omidyar Network and Google, have begun a scoping exercise, producing an initial proposal for a draft specification (Budget Data package) which could form the basis of a global standard.

The draft specification (Budget Data Package) can be found here:

Input from the whole financial data community – publishers, investigators, citizens – is going to be necessary if this specification is going to meet users’ needs and become a true standard: an open consultation session begins.

We want your feedback! There are numerous ways to leave feedback on the specification:

  1. Via Github issues. This is also the best way to register your interest in being part of the coalition of users who will take ownership of the project’s ongoing development.
  2. Coming to OKFestival? Why not schedule a time to talk to us directly? The budget spec featured in the session “Government Budgets: Joining the Dots” – and we’re still available to discuss the future of the project.
  3. When the dust has settled from OKFestival, we will also schedule a community call to further discuss the specification. Interested in joining? Send us an email.

We look forward to speaking to you at the festival and beyond.

Meet OpenSpending version 0.13.0

- May 8, 2014 in Releases, Technical

This is going to be a slightly technical post (and has already been posted to the developer mailing list), but still it’s an important change so everyone is encouraged to read it. If you don’t understand something, then that’s just fine, it probably does not have anything to do with you and you can skip it.

For a long time we have had version 0.11 of OpenSpending (since October 2011). We then for a short time had a version 2.0 alongside our 0.11 (we had not reached 2.0 so it was kind of confusing, but it snuck in with the re-theme of our docs back in January — 2.0 came in according to the python convention while OpenSpending (version 0.11) had its own convention).

This has all now been corrected and we redid how versions are handled (this happened about a month ago). We now do versioning as recommended by Zooko (probably best known for Tahoe-LAFS and Zooko’s Triangle). This is a nice mix of the two conflicting versions we had so this confusion should not happen again.

While making those changes and removing the erroneous 2.0 I decided it was time to bump up the version to version 0.12.0 without announcing anything per se. Versions aren’t as big of a deal in our continuous deployment setup (meaning we deploy changes as soon as they’re ready) so nobody is really looking at the versions.

But that’s not entirely correct. Versioning, when done properly, can help both users and new contributors (and ourselves) better understand what is happening on the project and allows us later on to introduce backwards incompatible changes in a way that we can prepare users and contributors for (this is something we should always avoid, but still a safety pin worth having). Perhaps most importantly, it helps us plan for the future with milestones. What do we want to see in version 1.0.0 or 1.5.0 etc.?

We’ll be using the Semantic versioning system, introduced by Tom Preston-Werner (who created Gravatar and is one of the founders of Github). The versioning syste is a convention had been used before by numerous projects, but never officially with explicit meaning like what Tom did. In the past it was more of a project-members-decided-what-the-numbers-between-the-dots-mean basis).

In this versioning system we have the <major>.<minor>.<patch> where major versions are backwards incompatible, minor are compatible changes, and patches are bug fixes etc (goals along the way to our next minor/major version).

…and with that I’m going to introduce backwards incompatible changes in a minor version by introducing version 0.13.0 (oh isn’t it wonderful how you can break rules as soon as you set them). OpenSpending version probably won’t update that frequently in the coming months, but as more contributors jump on board and more pull requests start pouring in we’ll get closer to the open source development mantra: “release early, release often“.

USERS HEADS UP: This is the important thing for you to know. We are going to have versions and as long as the number in the middle, or the last numbers change, you’ll just be seeing a better OpenSpending platform. When you see the first number change you’ll have to watch out. Things you expected to work might not work. Don’t worry though these first number editions (major version) will not be thrown on you just like that but we’ll prepare for them and let you know well in advance so you can prepare yourselves for the change if it affects you.

We’ve done a lot of changes over the past few months with a lot of help from the community, especially on the code cleanup front. We are now fully pep8 compliant and pyflakes error free (meaning the code easier to read and less unnecessary things in the code).

We should all be very thankful for the tremendous work of Jorge C. Leitão, Randal Moore, Justin Duke, and garethpdx who have helped us clean up our code base. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but thanks to Jorge, Randal, Justin and garethpdx we can all now feel it, the code can be tamed! Thanks all of you!

In those changes I felt I had to make a substantial change to how celery worked in OpenSpending. We did a lot of weird magic to hook celery into paster as a command and we had to do this strange (unused) import:

from openspending.command import celery

to set some configuration variables in order for celery to work. That has now been scrapped and we have a new version of celery in OpenSpending (version 3.1.11).

Celery is no longer managed via paster, we can now use the celery commandline tool that comes with celery to launch our workers. Instead of manually setting a lot of stuff in a config file we can now just do something like:

celery -A openspending.tasks -p <ini-file> -l info worker

(The -p option there is still needed to provide the pylons ini file, and is an openspending extension of celery, since other configurations, such as the database are still managed by config files).

More information about the celery tool and how it can launch workers here:
http://docs.celeryproject.org/en/latest/userguide/workers.html

That’s the big incompatible change which sparked off version 0.13.0. This is not a user facing change so I decided against a major version, but for those of us that have a development version that’s a change which is pretty important to know about.

With this announcement of a new versioning system and the new version I think it is in order to ask the community (please reply on our mailing lists so we can have a great discussion about this):

  • What would you like to see in version 0.14.0?
  • What would you like to see in version 1.0.0?

Need help in figuring out what to suggest? Just visit our issue tracker for some ideas.

Welcome to the new versioned OpenSpending. I hope you’ll all enjoy 🙂

Hackathon #ODD14 Barcelona

- March 28, 2014 in events

On Saturday, February 22, International OpenDataDay (ODD), opengov.cat coordinated a hackathon for the first time. It took place in the great working space Makers of Barcelona.

opengov.cat

A hackathon is a meeting of journalists, programmers, and developers to work on a specific project. There were about twenty people, and we suggested three challenges to make different information about our public
administration and the autonomous government of Generalitat de Catalunya more accessible. We thought one or two would be chosen, but our attendants’ skills were so great that they added a new challenge to our list, and we ended up working on all our suggestions!

NO-PDF

Challenge 1

Clean the dataset of Generalitat budget 2014 to include it on openspending.org, the free and open database of public financial transactions, and to be able to visualize it.

tweet

Q: Hello, when will your budget dataset be available in open data?

A: We plan to publish it next week. Thank you.

Q: Which day next week? Thank you.

The budget of our autonomous government for 2014 had been released in a reusable format on the Generalitat open data portal only a week before, and we had exchanged a few tweets about it even before the final version was passed by Parliament on 23 January.

tweet

– The budget is available on our open data portal.

– Thank you very much for posting budget 2014.

We’re still working with openspending.org and, together with openkratio, we will soon contribute to launching historiasdegasto.org, the Spanish version of spendingstories.org. All of them are projects of the Open Knowledge Foundation.

Challenge 2

Enter senior officials’ salaries and allowances on a spreadsheet so as to have it in a reusable format.

Captura de pantalla 2014-03-03 a la(s) 
18.35.53

Such information started to be available in the Government and President section of the Generalitat transparency portal in PDF format last summer, with no metadata about each file. It is not easy to use, but it is better than nothing: the story We’ve won the Grand Prize,
627.45 euros per month
derived from it.

Here in retribucions_README you can find a technical explanation about how and with what software the documents were cleaned.

Challenge 3

Familiarise ourselves with the Generalitat 2014 budget dataset, the law that regulates the budget, the concept of chapters, items, and others; compare it to the 2012 budget (extended to 2013), to see which concepts are no longer there and the work out increases and decreases.

Later I was given this interesting link (in Catalan) which clearly details everything, straight from the Catalan Public Administration School.

Captura de pantalla 2014-03-04 a la(s) 
01.45.43

Each budget file has around 12k rows and over 25 columns. We didn’t know how to go about it, and it is not easy if you aren’t an expert. As we aren’t, we looked for and found people who are… and they want to help us! Meanwhile, we are reviewing basic mathematical and statistical notions.

We are working on budget changes in different Generalitat organizations, and we hope to be able to tell you more about it soon.

Challenge 4

A girl who attended the morning presentations stated: “I can only do maps. If I can help, I’ll stay for the hackathon.” We quickly rummaged through what we had on ice at opengov.cat and found a half-made map of the Generalitat Departaments buildings, with all the available (or non-available) contact information for each one: address, phone, webpage, email, Twitter.

In many cases, a horrible form—one of those that asks for all your personal information but leaves no trace of your information request—replaces the contact email. A form like this.

We had made the map some time before, but we didn’t like its format, so it remained unpublished. The new one will be better and made properly from a spreadsheet using CartoDB software.

CartoDB logo

Oscar Marín from Outliers gave us a workshop about how to make maps in a recent data journalism session at the CCCB that has now been posted here.

If you key in “periodismo de datos” and “2013” o “2014” in the search box, you’ll see the videos of all the sessions held since September 2013. (PUBLICITY – In the first session, in September 2013, we presented this project!)

Just an addition: Thanks everybody who organised, participated, and helped (specially @doublebyte), and happy open data!