With Tax Day winding down, wrapping your head around how the government uses your tax dollars can seem impossible.
Thanks to a collaboration between Google and non-profit art and technology site Eyebeam.org, however, that doesn't have to be the case. Dubbing their venture the Data Viz Challenge, the two companies asked designers and developers across the country to develop innovative ways of visualizing how our hard-earned tax dollars are spent, based on data provided by the site whatwepayfor.com.
Ever wondered how many of your tax dollars went to Social Security in the form of Chipotle burritos? You can find out at canigetareceiptwiththat.com. Want to know how much of your average working day is spent making money that will eventually go to the Department of Agriculture? Everyday Is Tax Day can tell you. Another entry allowed you to see a day-by-day breakdown of how your earnings are used, and one site even presented the information like a cityscape, allowing you to explore your tax contributions like a Manhattan city block.
In the end, though, it was the clean, elegant design of Anil Kandangath's site Where Did My Tax Dollars Go? that took home the $5,000 grand prize. Perhaps less gimmicky than some other entries, Kandangath's site relied on a basic idea: displaying information meaningfully and clearly:
Below is Google's video showing the results of the the Data Viz Challenge: