Announcing the Where Does My Money Go? Assembly Kit

February 16, 2012 in Releases, Updates

Over the past few months, we’ve made a lot of progress on OpenSpending. The core of the application is now mostly stable and it is getting ever easier to load data into the platform through the web-based dataset editor. Yet, inevitably, this raises a simple question: I’ve imported my data, what next?

Thanks to our API, there can be an infinite number of answers. With the BubbleTree diagram, the Daily Bread application and the transactional spending browser, we have a few simple answers.

But as Michal Škop blogged recently, up to now it has been fairly difficult to use both these widgets and the OpenSpending API to create custom front-ends.

To make things easier, we’ve now created the Assembly Kit. The kit is in fact the source for a newly styled version of the Where Does My Money Go? site that has gone live yesterday. Contained in this is a clean set of templates that can anyone who knows basic HTML can easily use to make a lightweight, white-label budget visualization site, styled according to your own wishes.

Screen Shot 2012-02-16 at 2.35.48 PM

A set of widgets are included and can be adapted to another dataset with just a few edits. And since everything runs against the OpenSpending API, you don’t need to run your own database. Instead, you can load your data into OpenSpending.org and then customise the user facing side – for example, you can just use a generic blog or a set of static HTML files.

Our next step in March will be to make it easier for users – especially Journalists – to create custom configurations for the visualizations via a graphical interface, save specific views and share them through a simple embed code. We’ll also work to roll out the mapping support more widely and to create more custom apps on top of the API.

Our goal is to make OpenSpending the easiest way to publish and analyze a government finance dataset – with your help! So please provide us with feedback and contribute your own visualizations to the OpenSpending platform.