Riding on the popularity of their groundbreaking social data visualization service Many Eyes, data-hungry IBM just released the online visualization website Many Bills [ibm.com]. The so-called "Visual Bill Explorer" is a sophisticated social visualization of the U.S. congressional legislation in 2009. The website presents all bills from both the U.S. House and Senate, which are organized into collections and split into meaningful sections. All sections are color-coded and labelled to indicate what topic each section is about.
A bill is a piece of legislation that is presented in Congress for discussion. It is not yet law. A bill is rendered as a series of colorful blocks, each representing a section in the bill itself. The height of the block corresponds to the actual length of that particular section in relation to the entire bill. Each block is assigned a color in accordance with our classification of that section's text. The actual subject to each section is shown as a little badge to the left of the section. At the top of each bill, a few pieces of information are displayed, including the top subject of the bill (as assigned by the Congressional Research Service), the bill's number in congress and its short or official title (depending on availability).
Users can collect bills into personalized "trays", which can be saved as collections, shared or even embedded into blogs and websites (see example below).
User collections can be explored, all bills can be queried for specific keywords (e.g. "military" (375 bills) or "education" (2826 bills)), and individual bills can be investigated, such the recent healthcare bill or the initiative to award a gold medal on behalf of the Congress to Tiger Woods.