“That’s how you know it’s real”

During a talk at SXSW yesterday, tech journalist Steven Levy talked about how he had once brandished an iPod with an external microphone to record an interview with Steve Jobs.

Jobs was horrified when he saw that Levy had a case on his iPod. Jobs asked Levy why he would choose to change the form factor on such a beautiful device.

“So I told [Jobs], but it’s beautiful! I don’t want to get scratches on it,” Levy said.

Jobs replied, “But that’s how you know it’s real, that it’s a real thing.”

Our SXSW 2011 Presentation on Visualizing Government Data is now online [Updated]

Our panel at SXSW 2011 was a great experience, thanks largely to an outpouring of engagement from government professionals and contractors. Our hashtag is still active on Twitter.

As promised, I’ll answer questions as they come in via the hashtag #visualgov. Or, just e-mail me if you’d like to discuss something in private.

Here’s the link to our slides.

Update: Audio of the talk is now available.

[podcast]http://michaelcastellon.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Why-Visualizing-Government-Data-Makes-Taxpayers-Happy.mp3[/podcast]

Direct audio download

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My SXSW 2011 Panel: Visualizing Government Data for Public Trust

I’ll be on a panel next Saturday at SXSW 2011 titled Why Visualizing Government Data Makes Taxpayers Happy.

I’m really hoping to see a lot of people from local, state and federal government at SXSW this year. This is a great year for public sector employees attending the conference.

Here are a few of the things I’m going to discuss with my co-panelist and friend @jeremiahakin:

  • Why open data is important to government transparency and earning the public’s trust
  • How the federal government has served as a model
  • How agencies can distribute data visualization across teams, often to non-technical workers.
  • What tools agencies and other organizations can use to adopt similar strategies
  • The value and risks associated with various file formats, including Fusion Table and Google Earth.
  • Upcoming data visualization trends

My Schedule is a work in progress. Talk to me on Twitter if you’re attending SXSW 2011.

Support government transparency: Vote for my SXSW panel

I’m fortunate enough to work for a government agency that very much supports open data, fiscal responsibility, and public transparency. These aren’t words just thrown around: They are used with an obligation to serve the public.

If you’re interested in ensuring that government transparency will be a topic at SXSW in 2011, please vote for my panel.