Ann Arbor Area Community News
The City of Ann Arbor has posted its 2010 draft budget (direct budget book PDF link here). Arbor Update ran character recognition software on the PDF and produced a semi-searchable Word document (6mb zip file containing a 14mb document).
I’ve also created an ArborWiki page for the budget to hold any interesting finds.
A note on finding budget information.
The City’s FY2010 budget page is cleverly disguised. While the 2009 budget is clearly labeled “Adopted Budget FY2009” on the finances pages, the 2010 information is wedged between 2007 and “prior years” with the not-so-intuitive title of “Town Hall”.
The budget book PDF looks like it was composed by a roundabout procedure. Some of the text comes straight from a document — it can be copied, selected, etc. The rest seems to have been printed from a spreadsheet file, then scanned in and added to a PDF. This means most of the budget — the useful bits — are not searchable.
There is a much easier way to combine files than printing and scanning them. If you have Adobe Acrobat Professional, select file -> create PDF -> from multiple files. This method also keeps the text searchable and selectable.
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