Tim Retout's www presence

Tue, 14 Jun 2011

HMRC data

The UK government publishes lots of spending data now. Let's do cool stuff!

HMRC spending pie chart

ScraperWiki is one of these new-fangled cloud services, hosting code that scrapes websites. You can throw some python (or ruby, or php) together to download all the CSV files for a department.

Google Refine is like a spreadsheet on crack, with features ideal for cleaning up messy data sets. I saw it for the first time at OpenTech 2011 a few weeks ago in London. You can take the government data, clean up the worst typos, and integrate it into the scraperwiki scraper.

For bonus marks, throw in a bit of jQuery and Google Charts, and create a dynamically generated pie chart, or maybe a word cloud. There must be more imaginative ways to visualize this... email me if you have any ideas!

They interviewed me last week - I must say, that's the first time that's happened, but I'm very flattered. None of the above would exist without the work done by @DataMinerUK et. al., so thank you, everyone.

Posted: 14 Jun 2011 23:02 | Tags: , ,

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