Congress Speaks

Congress Speaks

Humorous data visualization designed by Periscopic with the goal to educate people on US representatives' stances as well as how much they spoke in congress. However, the site is another info-graphic where the decoration proportionally out ways the data. This is best exemplified by how small the some of the data notation is. Certain numbers are difficult to read; hindering a comparison of representatives whom come close to sharing some of their stats. What the site does do is encourage people to go to government websites for more detailed information.

In addition to the some of the data being difficult to read; components of the navigation are difficult to understand such as: it's use of talking states when photos of the representatives are unavailable. While flipping quickly through the data visualization I assumed that a lack of photo meant a lack of information for that particular representative - since a state's image does not properly represent an individual.

I feel guilty making such comments because I know databases and info-graphics, like Congress Speaks, are quite time consuming and I applaud their efforts. I laughed. I went to the government websites with the more detailed information. Who knows? Perhaps the site will encourage people to frequent government sites and learn more about how our republic has failed us. It did me. I would never have been aware such data was so easily accessible.

What encouraged these comments?
I have been preparing for a Graphic Design II course which teaches data-visualization by reading several texts on the subject. The most important text has been Edward Tufte's book, "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information". I don't agree with everything Tufte states in the book, but he does make you really think about where the statistics are coming from and how they are presented to the public.


Periscopic said...

Hi, thanks for looking at Congress Speaks and taking the time to write about it. You misinterpreted the interface to suggest that if a legislator was missing we used a picture of the state. The state images are presented so people can compare what all legislators in the state said, as a whole. In this way, you can compare states vs. other states, as well as individuals.

Best of luck with the GDII class, and thanks again for visiting.

bizhan said...

Thanks for clarifying. Keep up the good work!