That’s a bit of a mouthful to start off a post with. You can follow those links for more info, but let me sum it up quickly here:
- Sunlight Labs – A community of open source developers and designers dedicated to opening up our government to make it more transparent, accountable and responsible
- Design For America – A contest to make government data more accessible and comprehensible to the American public
- Bang For Your Buck – A simple visualization app which shows which congressional districts are getting the most out of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
Jay’s app is a visualization of the dollars-in .vs. dollars-out data for each congresssional district, presented as a 3-D map of the U.S.. Blue districts voted for the ARRA, while purple districts voted against. The ‘height’ of a district represents the ratio of dollars-received as part of the ARRA .vs. income tax revenue generated by that district.
I can’t say that it led me to any blinding flashes of insight as far as how the ARRA funds have been divied up (Oregon seems to be in the middle of the pack in this regard, btw) but it’s a good example of what happens when government datasets are readily accessible to creative, talented developers.