We’re delighted to announce that our friends at the Open Data Network and OKF Deutschland last week released some work that they have been doing to collate and visualise information related to public spending in Germany:

Infosthetics broke the news:

Offener Haushalt [offenerhaushalt.de] (German for ‘open budget’) is another demonstration of the large potential behind the emerging Open Data phenomenon. Based on data that was harvested by the extensive ‘screen scraping’ of the website of the Bundesfinanzministerium (the German equivalent to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, but I simply had to include this word), Offener Haushalt attempts to open up socially relevant data to allow open and shared analysis, interpretation and discussion. Unfortunately, like most other European governments today, the German ‘Bundesfinanzministerium’ does not make open, machine-readable datasets available for download yet.

While still in an early ‘beta’, the online platform allows for the exploration (as ‘specific categories’, as ‘groups’ or as ‘functions’), and commenting of the acquired data in a treemap structure, while each detail view is stored under individual and shareable URLs. The original sources are clearly mentioned, while the data can be downloaded in JSon, RDF or XML formats. In the meantime, the developers are calling anyone with valuable German data to come forward.

The site has already received quite a bit of attention in the blogosphere, on Twitter and in the media (e.g. see this interview with Daniel and Friedrich in the Zeit). A big well done to all involved!

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Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at jonathangray.org and he tweets at @jwyg.

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