Chips, dip and government data are everyone's three favorite things to take to a party, right? Ok, so government data is actually quite boring on its own, but in these exciting times of democratized programming, government data can be turned into some pretty exciting mashups.
That's just what the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation is aiming to make more possible with its work to make government and related data more available with its new Apps for America contest. More than 40 open source applications and websites making use of that data entered the contest and today the six fabulous winners were announced. We've got a five minute screencast tour of the winners below.
The six winners received between one and fifteen thousand dollars cash to support further development of their projects. Some of them look great already, others not so much. Winners include:
Fillibusted - a site aiming to hold filibustering Congresspeople accountable for their actions.
Legistalker - a site that tracks news, Twitter, YouTube and other online activity by and about members of Congress.
HelloCongress - like Digg for Congressional priorities, with a twist.
Know Thy Congressman - a beautiful informational pop-up about Congresspeople that you can invoke anywhere you find their names on the web.
Yeas and Nays - a sophisticated Firefox plug-in that helps you click-to-call members of Congress.
E-Paper Trail - a data rich site to compare and learn about Congresspeople.
There are also a number of Honorable Mentions included on the Sunlight contest page.
Some of these look more useful than others so far but with a little extra support who knows? It's an increasingly data-driven world, but in order to truly get the most value out of that data the web needs interface and mashup developers. That's why it's such a great idea for Sunlight to support these and other developers the way they do.