By Ross Perez 22 Fév, 2009

$787 billion dollars- it is likely that you have heard that figure mentioned in the past year. This is the final price tag for "the Stimulus", or The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Unfortunately, the program is so monolithic and the figures involved are so large that even the most inquisitive minds can be quickly overwhelmed. Instead of trying to tackle everything at once in a visualization, we decided to dig deep into just one program: The Broadband Stimulus fund.

Totaling just less than 1% of the total stimulus, the Broadband Stimulus fund may seem small but at over $7 billion dollars it is far from a trivial program. Essentially charged with bringing high speed internet to a wider audience (and spurring employment), companies and governments were allowed to apply for grants and the most efficient applicants were chosen. In the viz above, you can see the total for each state broken down by the amount of requested grant, loan and private investment. If you click on Maryland, you can see that Hughes Network Systems has proposed several programs totaling over $2.5B, though most of that number is private investment from Hughes itself. It should be noted that the location of each dollar amount is determined by the location of the company, not of the project.

The viz below can be read in a similar fashion to the first, but it details those applicants whose projects have been approved and granted funds. It is a little surprising that so few grants have been granted to companies or governments west of the Rockies. California, for all of its tech prowess, has not even garnered a single grant thus far.

Things we like about these visualizations

- Before you even try to delve into the deeper parts of the viz, you can see the total broken down in a useful way.

- As you move down the viz, you are taken to a successive level of detail. Intuitive!

- The tool tips. Clean, easy-to-read and informative. They add to the analysis rather than distract from it.