About This Project
How do the States Compare? Mash up some government data to find out!
The Federal Government produces an immeasurable amount of data each day. DataMasher helps citizens have a little fun with those data by creating mashups to visualize them in different ways and see how states compare on important issues. Users can combine different data sets in interesting ways and create their own custom rankings of the states. Want to learn more? Watch this brief screencast.
About Forum One Communications
Forum One Communications is a web strategy and development firm based in Alexandria, Va. Since 1996, Forum One has helped hundreds of organizations use internet technology to solve the world's most pressing problems in health, education, environment, international development, and other areas.
We provide expertise in internet strategy, online community and collaboration, user experience and design to help our clients increase their impact.
Our clients include some of the most influential organizations around the world -- foundations, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies such as the World Bank, Gates Foundation, United Nations, National Institutes of Health, Center for Global Development, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Center for American Progress, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
How We Did It
Much of the data was pulled from Data.gov, some of it directly from Federal Government sites. In some cases we pull from third parties who draw upon Federal Government or State Data. See the source info for each data set for more.
Tools and services used:
- LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) and cURL
- Acquia Drupal (social publishing software)
- Mollom (spam filter)
- Fla-shop (interactive Flash Map)
License: MIT License
Is DataMasher Statistically Rigorous?
...but some mashups could be. We created DataMasher to empower people to discover and discuss government data through manipulation and mapping.
While some of the mashups may be solid indicators and demonstrate real correlations, other mashups may be complete nonsense--it depends on the data sets and the relationship you create. Additionally, the mashups are only as good as the underlying data, which may or may not be strong enough for the relationship you're trying to explore.
Our goal was to build a tool that could be applied to situations where combining data sets and visualizing their result was key. We recognize the benefits of user-generated analysis, but we're having fun and provoking discussions and avenues for more rigorous inquiry, not doing serious social science.
The DataMasher Team
- Sandy Smith - Technical Lead and the Man with the Vision
- Norman Bucknor - Genius Developer
- Courtney Clark - Information Architect and Design
- Michaela Hackner - Project Manager and Fearless Leader
- Joe Pringle - Catering