Data USA has the sharpest visualization technology I've seen yet for this sort of venture, and the contextual framework is well executed -- but is it sustainable? Partly that depends on whether a vibrant open source community forms around it. Gentile admitted that he does not yet have a plan for how all those data sets will be updated on an ongoing basis.
From my point of view, this sort of service seems absolutely essential to democracy. Although a few interesting media ventures have appeared in the past few years, in general, Web journalism still seems stuck in the print era, posting HTML versions of magazine or newspaper pages.
If you ask me, in the Internet era, at a time when the world is more complicated than ever, the news should be a lot more like business intelligence. The data is there and it should be instantly accessible in graphical form to anyone who wants it. If we can't agree on facts, what can we ever agree on?
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