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July 10, 2014 11:32 AM   Subscribe

The US GAO Flickr page features selected photos and graphics from US Government Accountability Office reports that are searchable, viewable, and downloadable by visitors to their site.

You can browse by sets, or peek at what they've favorited, or here are a few notable images.

- status of broadband loan repayments
- colorful next gen air tankers
- home with (fire) defensible space
- where the cocaine comes from
- Percentage Change in Number of Flights and Available Seats by Airport Category
- Estimated Percentage of Causes of Incorrect SSNs Associated with Deceased Individuals in State’s Passport Data
posted by jessamyn (5 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
On a first look, it appears that someone put a lot of work into tagging these, and seems to have done so in a reasonably consistent way.

Better than average for a US government Flickr photostream - typically the metadata is pretty scanty.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:38 PM on July 10


I am sad that this post only has one comment...!

The fact that the GAO has a Flickr kinda makes my inner data nerd happy. I am trying hard to take it seriously but it's also kind of...cute, in that I want to pat whomever is responsible for this on the head. Like, d'aww, lookit the gub'ment tryin' to be hip! I bet someone over there is really excited about coming up with a list of hashtags that they could use. :) The GAO tends to be one of our more underappreciated agencies.

I toiled behind the scenes as a spatial data analyst on some very thick state and federal permit applications for $PreviousJob, and sometimes a month or more of data-wrangling type work would go into one or two small maps or graphs. It's nice to be able to get some recognition for your hard work, or at least share it with an audience of more than 6-10 people. It can take a fair bit of creative thinking to determine how to make your visual say everything that it needs to say without misrepresenting the data and/or insulting the reader/viewer.

For example, this is a nice little bit of cartography, with good figure-ground contrast and simple symbology, for instance. (I had a few nitpicks, but overall it's pretty good. Also, I'm not using this example as any sort of subject-related agenda, it's just that the map design caught my eye.) It gives just enough detail that it makes me want to read the data that led to its creation, so I can put it into correct context.

Government metadata is...oddly satisfying when you can complete most of it, but lawd, it can be very tedious data-entry work.
posted by cardinality at 5:23 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


The GAO is one of my favorite Federal government agencies! (Is that weird, to have favorites?) Anyhow, I'm assuming this is likely one response to the Open Government Directive. Here's a very short press release when they set this up in 2011. It's nice to see that they've kept up with it.
posted by chocotaco at 6:49 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


This is so great. Thank you!
posted by Lynsey at 9:26 PM on July 10


I think we're okay, as long as we don't build our guard towers in flash flood areas.

On second thought...
posted by not_on_display at 11:04 PM on July 10


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