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  #21  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 12:38 AM
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Probably did about 50 entries. Happy to help.
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  #22  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 4:54 PM
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Out of curiosity, what's the point of this?

People just being bored and playing with fun tools? Or is there a hint of inappropriate funding?
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  #23  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 5:43 PM
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Bike Calgary is also trying to get more crowdsourcing technologies built for cycling. Specifically looking at a reporting current conditions, detours and "bike issues" preferably by a mobile device.

http://wiki.bikecalgary.org/index.ph...ure_Task_Force
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  #24  
Old Posted Apr 12, 2013, 7:47 PM
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I'm not sure of the point either, but it was funny to look at Mciver's fundraising $1MM+ (from lots of builders), VS Nenshi's $400k from lots of regular joes.

McIver (and CO) must have been pissed!
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  #25  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2013, 1:05 PM
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I believe the point was to input the data so it was accessible, searchable, and workable, which they are not able to do with a PDF file.
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  #26  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2013, 9:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigtime View Post
I believe the point was to input the data so it was accessible, searchable, and workable, which they are not able to do with a PDF file.
Pedants. Or smart asses. I can never tell them apart.

What's the point of inputting data this way?
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  #27  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2013, 9:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeweed View Post
Pedants. Or smart asses. I can never tell them apart.

What's the point of inputting data this way?
I'm not sure what you don't get from Bigtime's answer.
If you're not sure why there is benefit in aggregating this data: It would be interesting to look at funding, to see who contributed how much to which campaign. This is part of basic election transparency; I would actually be surprised if illegal doings were found, but it would be interesting to see that Shane Homes, Cal Wenzel, Shane Wenzel and every other Wenzel in 100 miles all contributed the individual maximum to a specific campaign, for instance. It would be interesting to see which industries are funding candidates; perhaps Druh Farrel is getting huge campaign donations from shoe companies, which is why she is so pro-walking.

If you're not sure why this re-entry needs to be done: Finding the data in dozens of scanned PDFs is a giant pain in the ass. Everything is essentially an image, so you couldn't search for, let's say, "Wenzel" as a search string and find all of the donations, then add them up by candidate and see what proportion of each candidate's fundraising they represented. Once the data is in a digital form, something like this is trivial.

If you're not sure why the crowdsourcing made sense: Entering hundreds of lines of data correctly is mind-numbing work, and checking them is even worse. Producing a database with the thousands of entries would be weeks of evenings for one person; you would have to be really dedicated. Putting things into a crowdsourcing format makes it easy for people to dash off five entries when they have a spare minute, and it makes it easy for dozens of people to all work on the same project. The fact that everything is entered twice means that there is a high degree of error checking; it's unlikely that two people make the same typo, and even less likely that two people can collude on an entry to put in bad data, since the data is being farmed out randomly.
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  #28  
Old Posted Apr 30, 2013, 7:28 PM
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Bigtime's answer was basically the epitome of circular reasoning: we want this data searchable and accessible, so that it's searchable and accessible. It seemed like he was being a bit tongue-in-cheek with his response

Your answer at least gives me an inkling as to *why* people are looking for that. I was curious, is all. I wasn't aware that election funding was a concern.

I'm also curious if this is something unique to Calgary, or to this particular election - in the past, has this sort of info been easily accessible and workable? Is this a new thing, or is there some hint of deliberate obfuscation of the information?

I do this sort of thing due to my own OCD nature all the time - as an example, I've been collating ski resort conditions data for years now (resorts don't tend to make this readily available, but that's more laziness than malice). So I certainly understand why someone would want data organized. I was mostly just curious as to what the specific interest in this particular data set is, and if it's somehow different than the other hundreds of elections we have each year in this country. Just seemed real specific, is all.
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  #29  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freeweed View Post
Bigtime's answer was basically the epitome of circular reasoning: we want this data searchable and accessible, so that it's searchable and accessible. It seemed like he was being a bit tongue-in-cheek with his response

Your answer at least gives me an inkling as to *why* people are looking for that. I was curious, is all. I wasn't aware that election funding was a concern.

I'm also curious if this is something unique to Calgary, or to this particular election - in the past, has this sort of info been easily accessible and workable? Is this a new thing, or is there some hint of deliberate obfuscation of the information?

I do this sort of thing due to my own OCD nature all the time - as an example, I've been collating ski resort conditions data for years now (resorts don't tend to make this readily available, but that's more laziness than malice). So I certainly understand why someone would want data organized. I was mostly just curious as to what the specific interest in this particular data set is, and if it's somehow different than the other hundreds of elections we have each year in this country. Just seemed real specific, is all.
I'm not an expert, but I don't think that there has been deliberate obfuscation so much as the requirements for Calgary have always been fairly basic; a paper list of who donated and how much. Which is fine for the purposes of verifying no one is donating too much to a campaign, but it's not very useful for analysis. And crowdsourcing is the sort of thing that we've never been able to use in the past to make this data more available.

Calgary's documentation -- a website of PDFs -- is the same as Edmonton's or Vancouver's, for instance, while Toronto has a searchable database. Additional analysis is not unique, either - the Vancouver Sun made a database of campaign contributions from Vancouver's PDF records.

Other elections (especially at higher levels) have a higher standard of data available; for instance here's Elections Canada's website where you can see reports summarized by candidate, by riding and so on.

I think that with the election in the fall, it makes sense for people to know who is contributing to which candidates, and to be able to do analyses like this or like this, for instance. The fact that political donations have emerged as a hot button issue is, I think, something of a coincidence; this project started before the video emerged. But it certainly illustrates the benefit of transparency in politics.
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  #30  
Old Posted May 1, 2013, 5:27 PM
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Interesting stuff, thanks.

The whole thing re-affirms my somewhat radical belief that campaign funding needs to be almost the exact opposite of how we do things today, but I've never actually come up with a foolproof alternative.
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