The Tax Map was created by using the Perl and Java programming languages. Perl was used to scrape the online tax code for the relevant data. Java was used to render the images, using JUNG -- the Java Universal Network/Graph Framework. The images are not merely interesting pictures to look at, they have meaning:
- Colored Circles: Each circle represents a section of the tax code.
- Size: determined by how many time that section of the tax code is referenced by other sections of the tax code.
- Color: determined by the ratio of referencs to the statute to references made by the statute. This ratio is then calculated against a color range from blue to red to determine the color
- Lines: Each line represents a reference from one statute to another. The color of the line is determined by whether the reference remains within a single chapter, or goes to a statute in another. White lines are for intra-chapter, while colored are for inter-chapter. Each chapter is given its own color for outgoing references.