Sunlight’s apps challenge for open government

The entry deadline has passed, but the gallery of entries to The Sunlight Foundation’s annual apps competition is worth a look. The foundation supports projects that use technology to make government more transparent – meaning more open, more visible and more subject to public scrutiny. The foundation’s focus is strictly on U.S. policy and government, but the techniques it encourages and funds, and the APIs it has developed, are valuable templates for tracking any data, anywhere. For instance, here’s an iPhone app to track and react to bills rushed through the U.S. Congress, from The Extraordinaires, winners our 2009 We Media Pitch It! Challenge. The app depends on an RSS feed of Congressional data. That could just as easily be a feed of any city, county, state or country’s legislation.

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