Thursday, June 7, 2007

Slide Show Viewing of Today's Trends

We've covered quite a bit of ground today by reviewing several important documents that have included graphical representations of the trends at work in Iraq today.

We looked at:
  1. The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction's April 2007 Report to Congress
  2. The Dept. of State's Iraq Weekly Status Report for May 30th, 2007
  3. A Matthew Yglesias blog post on Electricity goals from Dept of State's December 2004 Iraq Weekly Status and compared it to the most recent data on the same electricity factor from the most recent report.
  4. The most recent Iraq Index from Michael O'Hanlon at Brookings Institution
  5. Additional troop strength charts created from Tabular data in the Iraq Index report
One of the things I have noticed about blogspot blogging is that while it is easy to upload graphics and embed them in a blog post, it is difficult/impossible to retain useful control over size or placement. The maximum blog spot size usually doesn't do justice to the trend charts that I wish to present. That means that to look at a whole series of slides in a single one of my posts, the reader has to click on each one, and then click to close the window and return to the post. This is time consuming and not particularly pleasant in my mind.

down the road, I will be exploring what other blog posting capabilities are available that will let me present the data laid out the way I want it. In the meantime, I have assembled all 26 jpg and gif charts into a single zip file that I posted here in my data download area.

Once you unzip to a directory of your choice, you can enjoy a full size slide show with your favorite slide viewer - for example, Microsoft Office Picture Manager or IRFANVIEW.

I'd like to hear back whether you think this represents a useful, time saving approach for you. I am interested in learning whether you find having all the trend graphs assembled in one place makes reading them and understanding them more rapid than when looking at the individual reports. And finally, I would enjoy discovering how much value you think is added by combining charts from a wide range of resources and pulling them together in one place.

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