Developing an Interactive Visualization of Campaign Finance Data for the U.S. House of Representatives

A session at Boise Code Camp 2016

Saturday 19th March, 2016

4:30pm to 5:45pm (MST)

Session Level: 100

The main goal of this project was to develop an interactive web map showing the geographic distribution of campaign contributions and independent expenditures made for members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Campaign finance data are most commonly displayed in tables and graphs, while a web-based map is more accessible and engaging for the general public. A unique visualization of campaign finance data provides a new perspective on money in our electoral process. The open source web technologies used for the map are of interest to anyone who would like to display various data based on their location. Database enthusiasts will be drawn to the way the data is organized and queried.

The web map created in this project enables a user to select a candidate and view contributions summed by zip code using graduated symbols. A user can also search for groups that made independent expenditures and view the congressional districts where money was spent. The data for the map is stored in a PostGIS database and is published using GeoServer. The JavaScript code for the map makes extensive use of jQuery for user interaction with the data, and Leaflet for display of the data. Data are served from the database to the map using a specialized form of JSON and a series of AJAX requests.

About the speaker

This person is speaking at this event.
Jamen Underwood

Geospatial and Imagery Aquisition Professional bio from LinkedIn

Jamen Underwood is employed as a photogrammetry technician with Valley Air Photos in Caldwell where he focuses on providing accurate orthorectified imagery to clients. Previously, he designed high voltage electrical transmission lines at Power Engineers.

Jamen received a B.S. in Civil Engineering with a minor in Geotechnology from Idaho State University. While there he worked at the ISU GIS Training and Research Center as a GIS/RS Technician collecting vegetation and soil data, creating and maintaining geodatabases, and image classification in support of rangeland management research. He earned a M.S. in Geographic Information Science and Technology from the University of Southern California.

Jamen is interested in building customized GIS and web maps to improve public services and political transparency. He values his time with his family and volunteers as a Cub Scout leader. He also sneaks in fantasy novel reading and podcast listening whenever possible.

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Time 4:30pm5:45pm MST

Date Sat 19th March 2016

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