You may have already seen the data-driven app I built to visualize the money behind the Oakland races this year that I’m calling “Pretty Money.” However, my ultimate goal with the app is to open source it so other reporters in California who don’t have big data teams to build these kinds of visualizations an opportunity to take something that exists and plug their data into it.
It didn’t take long to find my first opportunity.
I adapted the app for use by Hank Sims over at the Lost Coast Outpost to track the money behind the Humboldt County races. I used to work with Sims when he was editor of the North Coast Journal back in 2010. There, I did campaign finance reporting and, in the process, had my first flirtation with data visualization, a love that would obviously grow over time. It was almost like returning home to give a gift with bringing Pretty Money to Humboldt County where I did previous campaign finance work.
This project was the first step toward fully open sourcing the app. I still have a bit of work to do before it will be ready for wider use, but this was a good first step in the process.