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Opening the Government, One Application at a Time

 by Bennett Gordon

Tags: Science and Technology, Politics, transparency, Sunlight Foundation,

For the past two years, tech-geeks around the country have applied to the Sunlight Foundation’s Apps for America contest with new ideas to make government data useful. This year, the judges have narrowed the field down to three government-transparency boosting, accountability-promoting web applications. The finalists are:

GovPulse.us – This website makes the information from the Federal Registrar comprehensible. Users can track all the rules and notices from federal agencies and executive orders and presidential documents. The application breaks the information down by agency or place mentioned.

ThisWeKnow.org – Every city in the United States is made a little more transparent by this site. Users can type in a zip code and find information including demographic numbers, environmental pollutants, and employment statistics. The website also tracks how many bills were introduced about any given location, including what the bill was about and who introduced it.

DataMasher – When people make connections between seemingly disparate sources of information, the result can be illuminating. DataMasher lets people compare gun ownership numbers to high school graduation statistics or health care coverage to age demographics, and then it maps the results by state.

Users can now vote for their favorite application, and the winners will receive up to $10,000 as a prize.

Source: The Sunlight Foundation