The Sunlight Foundation is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to making information about our government’s shenanigans more easily accessible, for the sake of transparency and accountability and all that good stuff. They do great stuff like document all the connections between the pharmaceutical lobby and the members of congress working on health care reform.
They’re having a hackathon Dec 12-13. Mozilla is going to be holding one of the events. I’m going to do a project for it.
But what? I’ve got several vague ideas, but I don’t know for sure what I’m doing yet. Some kind of interactive mash-up or data visualization or cool map based on publicly available governmental info; something that makes a strong point with data and that hasn’t been done before.
One idea that I’d love to see made into reality is that of a “revision control history” for bills and laws. This one that was done for the stimulus bill was cool, but it was a one-off; I would love to see a generalized solution that would automatically update, track all bills, allow search and browsing via the web, and would have an API allowing it to be used as a building-block for further mash-ups. I know I’m not the only one who wants this. I need to do some research into what the state of the art is in this area and what obstacles exist to taking it further.
I’m also looking for other suggestions for projects, so let me know if you can think of any correlation/visualization you’d particularly like to see!
(P.S. this is not an invitation to turn the comment thread into a political flame war. Thanks.)