Posts Tagged ‘analysis’

Taking apart the federal budget (Wash Post)

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

[Editor’s note: Great storytelling and numerical analysis of Obama’s 2010 federal budget from The Washington Post. The introductory charting is on a single axis making it easy to compare where the money comes from and where it goes. The next tabs dig deeper, focusing on historical trends (multiple axis) and a look at the surplus/deficit. Kudos to Karen, Laura, Wilson, Jackie! Brand X uses a Tree Map visualization instead.]

Republished from The Washington Post. Feb. 2, 2010.

Interact with the original at The Washington Post . . .

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Google Massively Automates Tropical Deforestation Detection (HughStimson.org)

Friday, December 18th, 2009

[Editor's note: Perhaps Wired magazine's Google evil-meter just tipped a bit less negative? In all seriousness, this sounds like a great project!]

Republished from HughStimson.org. Dec. 11, 2009.

Land cover change analysis has been an active area of research in the remote sensing community for many years. The idea is to make computational protocols and algorithms that take a couple of digital images collected by satellites or airplanes, turn them into land­cover maps, layer them on top of each other, and pick out the places where the land cover type has changed. The best protocols are the most precise, the fastest, and which can chew on multiple images recorded under different conditions. One of the favorite applications of land cover change analysis has been deforestation detection. A particularly popular target for deforestation analysis is the tropical rain forests, which are being chain sawed down at rates which are almost as difficult to comprehend as it is to judge exactly how bad the effects of their removal will be on biological diversity, planetary ecosystem functioning and climate stability.

Google has now gotten itself into the environmental remote sensing game, but in a Google-esque way: massively, ubiquitously, computationally intensively, plausibly benignly, and with probable long-term financial benefits. They are now running a program to vacuum up satellite imagery and apply land cover change detection optomized for spotting deforestation, and for the time being targeted at the Amazon basin. The public doesn’t currently get access to the results, but presumably that access will be rolled out once Google et al are confident in the system. I have to hand it to Google: they are technically careful, but politically aggressive. Amazon deforestation is (or should still be) a very political topic.

Continue reading at HughStimson.org . . .

Wasting Away: The Squandering of D.C.’s AIDS Dollars (Wash Post)

Monday, October 19th, 2009

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[Editor's note: Great interactive map from Kat Downs and Mary Kate Cannistra at The Washington Post for our 3-part investigative series on the District's widespread waste and mismanagement to overwhelm the city's AIDS services. Map allows several ways for the user to group (all/active) and filter (amount of award, year of award, and funding source) their analysis of groups receiving city money and calls out the 6 groups highlighted in the series. A popup menu allows the user to jump alphabetically to the group name they already know rather than wading through the map.]

Republished from The Washington Post.

Between 2004 and 2008, the D.C. Department of Health awarded approximately $80 million in grants to about 90 specialized AIDS groups, which along with medical clinics make up the front lines in the District’s fight against the disease. But while some provided a critically needed lifeline to the sick, others were wracked by questionable spending, practices and services. During those five years, one in three dollars earmarked for local AIDS groups went to these troubled programs, a total of more than $25 million.

SOURCE: D.C. Department of Health HIV/AIDS Administration, D.C. Department of Health fact sheet, 2009
GRAPHIC: Kat Downs, Meg Smith, Debbie Cenziper, Lauren Keane and Mary Kate Cannistra

(screenshot above) Interact with the original at The Washington Post . . .