LA NACIÓN recently launched VozData, a collaborative platform that allows users to transform public documents from PDFs into a comprehensible structured database. In its first project, the site allows users to check and classify more than 6500 renditions of Senate’s expenses from 2010 to 2012 – and so far, just a few weeks in, over 4000 documents have been processed by users, referring to over 39M Argentinean Pesos in public expenditures.
VozData is linked from data section of lanacion.com – LNdata – and allows any citizen with an account on Facebook, Google+ or LA NACION to participate in creating structured data and classify these documents on public spending.
The results of this collaborative work are published on the website in real time in a ranking ordered by recipient and type of expense. There will also be a ranking of those users that have verified and classified more documents.
VozData is the first of its type in Argentina and Latin America by which LA NACION promotes citizen participation, in a country with no FOIA law.
Vozdata is inspired by Propublica´s Free the Files project and The Guardian´s MP´s Expenses where citizens also helped monitor and transform non structured documents hosted in Documentcloud, into a comprehensible dataset.
At the end of the project, all data will be made available in open formats (CVS, XLS, JSON). Additionally, the site source code will be released as open source shortly, inviting reuse by other media and, for instance, transparency activists worldwide. You can head here to try it out.
Photos courtesy of LA NACION.