posts about or somewhat related to ‘gov 2.0’

Data + APIs = Sexy

Two things I find sexy: data, and APIs to get at that data.

Actually, there’s a third thing I find sexy: open government and organizations that increase government transparency.

For those counting, that might bring sexy up to four depending on your arithmetic.

So this is what I think: the Sunlight Foundation is a sexy organization. And the sultry group running Sunlight Labs gets data wonks and Open Gov advocates hot and bothered. 

Here’s what they ostensibly look like.

sunlight labs geeks

And here’s what they’ve recently done:

  • Created the Real Time Congress API that gives developers real-time access to everything going on in Congress from bills to videos to votes and documents.
  • Updated the Open States Project that’s doing very much the same thing on the state level.

This latter work might slip under the radar but is very important.

As Tom Lee writes on the Sunlight Labs Blog:

State legislatures are where vital decisions are made about civil rights, transportation, education, taxes, land use, gun regulation, and a host of other issues. Far too often, these issues don’t get the attention they deserve. It’s a simple question of scale: there are a lot more resources available at the federal level for both lawmakers and journalists. That means state governance both requires more transparency and tends to get less of it. We think technology can help make the situation better — that’s what Open States is all about.

Now it’s up to the rest of us to create great applications around this Open Gov treasure trove.

We’re looking forward to all sorts of new sexy. As a certain captain of a certain Starship Enterprise frequently said, “Make it so.”

And, by the way, they’re hiring.

sunfoundation:

The Top Secret Network of Government and Its Contractors

The visualization is an interactive from the Washington Post.

sunfoundation:

The Top Secret Network of Government and Its Contractors

The visualization is an interactive from the Washington Post.

Coming to a State Near You
The Participatory Politics Foundation and the Sunlight Foundation launched OpenGovernment.org yesterday to track government data, state legislatures, voting information and media mentions on the state level. Currently, information is available for California, Texas, Wisconsin, Louisiana and Maryland with funding efforts in place to bring the project to all 50 states.
Alex Howard reports on O’Reilly Radar:

"We’re providing a concentrated activity stream that offers a more calibrated way of staying in touch with state government," said David Moore, executive director of the Participatory Politics Foundation. "We believe in the power of peer-to-peer communications, which means connecting with people online and empowering them to share information with one another."
The idea, said Moore, is simple in conception but difficult in execution: create a free, open source platform where “it’s as easy to follow your state senator as it is to follow your friends on Facebook.” 
To get to launch today, the team rewrote the code base for OpenCongress, including an improved Ruby wrapper for open government APIs. The code for the wrapper is available through GitHub. Official legislative information is integrated with Follow the Money, ratings, news and blog information.

Coming to a State Near You

The Participatory Politics Foundation and the Sunlight Foundation launched OpenGovernment.org yesterday to track government data, state legislatures, voting information and media mentions on the state level. Currently, information is available for California, Texas, Wisconsin, Louisiana and Maryland with funding efforts in place to bring the project to all 50 states.

Alex Howard reports on O’Reilly Radar:

"We’re providing a concentrated activity stream that offers a more calibrated way of staying in touch with state government," said David Moore, executive director of the Participatory Politics Foundation. "We believe in the power of peer-to-peer communications, which means connecting with people online and empowering them to share information with one another."

The idea, said Moore, is simple in conception but difficult in execution: create a free, open source platform where “it’s as easy to follow your state senator as it is to follow your friends on Facebook.”

To get to launch today, the team rewrote the code base for OpenCongress, including an improved Ruby wrapper for open government APIs. The code for the wrapper is available through GitHub. Official legislative information is integrated with Follow the Money, ratings, news and blog information.