Arlington Budget 2018

Setting Up Visual Town Budget on your Windows PC

The open source Visual Town Budget is a great visualization tool that can be used to help your staff, council, or the public more easily see how the budget stacks up. I wanted to get it running locally on my laptop first so I could get the date working before posting it up for staff to see. Here are the notes I jotted down: Download and install WAMPP: and install to C:\xampp Download the code from to as a zip file and unzip it somewhere (Your Downloads Directory is fine) Move all the files from ‘<unzipped files location>\Visual-Town-Budget-master\src\httpdocs’ to c:\xampp\htdocs Open ‘XAMPP Control Panel’ from your start menu:
Click the ‘Start’ button for Apache:
Now go to You should be able to see the site!:
If you don’t see any graphs, simply change the year on the right side:

Now, according to the Visual Town Budget’s README, we have to adjust the settings. If you have a code editor on your machine, you can just double-click on it. Otherwise, open File Explorer and go to c:\xampp\htdocs\includes. First click once on and then right-click localized_variables.php. Click on ‘Open With’:
Choose to open the file with ‘Wordpad’.
Edit each line from Arlington Massachusetts’ information to your own Town’s:
Refresh the page, and see your updates!:
To get your data in, you need to replace the .csv files from your software. Go to C:\xampp\htdocs\data:
Open up each file and look at the format. You’ll need to pull a csv from your finance system that’s exactly like this:
This is frankly the hardest part. We needed to:
  1. Download an excel report from the budget system
  2. Save it as csv
  3. Write a script to modify the report to match the above format and save *it* to csv.
`The results though can be worthwhile and a useful tool to both your council and to the public. Take a look at Arlington Visual Budget: