What information do we have?


The treemap allows for easy visualization of groups of numbers like budgets. It is used to give a sense of how large expenditures are and how much of the county budget they take up. It offers a quick and easy way to get familiar with a complicated report. Click on a group to go to a more detailed group. Click on the title bar to move back up a bigger group. Hover over a department or item to get more information about that department.


The table view is a much less visual approach to showing budgetary data. However, the search tool makes it much easier to locate specific budget items. Just type in the item you're trying to locate in the search bar, and the table will be restricted to reporting the items with your search term. Click on the top of the columns to sort by that column: this is very useful when trying to determine what categories are driving budgetary changes over time.


Trees are a good way of displaying a list where visualizing the size of each item is not very important. We use trees to show the assets the county owns as well as the bonds (debt) it owes to creditors. Clicking on the dark blue bars expands the tree to show each of its branches, giving a much more detailed view.


We use maps to visually display the boundaries for school attendance, zoning ordinances, and civic associations. School attendance boundaries are always being reshuffled as new schools are built and more kids begin attending: we will post proposed school boundary shifts as APS provides updates so that you can easily visualize how the boundaries will change. Click on schools, school planning units, zones, or neighborhoods to open a new window with the associated webpage.

How to use the tables and graphs:

Select the budget you want. "Adopted" budgets are the budgets passed by the county / school board. "Actual" budgets are the actual spending and revenue figures that occurred. "Proposed" budgets, if available, are not yet passed by the county / school board.

This option is available for some tables. This allows you to compare the same items / departments across multiple years. This is optional.

For county spending, type in your taxes and the site will compute the approximate amount of your money that goes toward a particular item or department and display it when hovering your mouse over that item or department. This information is neither required nor saved.

On some of the budget-related tables, you can select a range of expenditures or revenues to include in the table. By default, the table includes all items between $0 and $10 billion, inclusive. Just change the lower or upper value to exclude or include budget items. For example, there are a few budget items that are negative, so changing 0 to a negative number will include those items.

The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) covers 10 years; use this option to select which year you want to display (or all of them).

When visualizing Arlington's bonds, select "sort by maturity year" (when the bond is due) or "sort by issue year" (when the bond was issued). Showing the bonds by maturities shows what Arlington will owe going forward, showing by issue year helps identify trends in borrowing.

When looking at school statistics, pick the type of statistic and the type of school to display in the table. Make a new selection, and the table will refresh with the appropriate data.

For assessments, there are four options. In the upper left, select the zip code for the properties you want to view. Select "all" for the entire county, although this can be a bit slow, especially if the list includes all building types. In the upper right, select the civic association's properties. Note that the properties displayed at members of both the civic association *and* the zip code; so if you pick a civic association like Arlingwood and a zip code like 22202, there won't be any properties displayed. In the lower left, select the year assessments to show. The table only shows one year of assessments at a time. In the bottom right, pick the type of building displayed. Selecting an option with a single digit and multiple dashes, such as "1---Office Buildings" will return all categories that begin with 1, in this case 100, 101, 110, 111, and 112.

The left selection is for the civic association for which you want to generate the report. All reports are "geo-located" with a latitude and longitude, which are cross-referenced with the civic associations to see whether the coordinates are located within the civic association boundaries. About 90 percent of incidents are associated are located within a civic association boundary; the remaining 10 percent are in locations not associated with a civic association, such as the Pentagon, or are errors. The middle selection is the month. The right selection is the year. If the report does not exist for the year / month combination selected, the table will not update to your selection.

Tables come with the option to export the data. For those who want to play with the data themselves or use the reports, these tools are available to quickly retrieve the data in your favorite format. "Copy" copies the data to the clipboard, "CSV" saves the data as a comma-separated value file, "Excel" saves the data to an Excel file, PDF saves the table to a PDF file, and print formats the table for printing.