Money for the candidates

I just met one of the coolest people at North­eastern. His name is Mauro Mar­tino and he’s the man behind most of the data visu­al­iza­tion coming out of the university’s var­ious net­work sci­ence labs. After spending a couple years at the MIT media lab, he joined Albert-​​László Barabási’s Center for Com­plex Net­work Research and David Lazer’s lab a year ago. Since then he’s been working behind the scenes to develop new ways of looking at the vast amounts of data avail­able to the public.

In honor of the elec­tion season, he teamed up with Lazer and post-​​doc Yu-​​Ru Lin to make the fol­lowing visu­al­iza­tion of the flow of money into the polit­ical cam­paign over the year between March 2011 and Feb­ruary 2012. Lin was respon­sible for most of the data col­lec­tion and Lazer coor­di­nated the work. Martino’s job was to tease the data apart and turn it into some­thing digestible for you and I.

He didn’t want to make any state­ment about what the data means: “This isn’t to explain but to show what’s hap­pening, because inter­pre­ta­tion could go so many ways.”

This is only the begin­ning — expect a lot more from Mar­tino in the coming months. There is more polit­ical data to look at — for example, which can­di­dates com­pany employees sup­port and what parts of a city tend to fund one can­di­date over another.