Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Maplight.org and other public data mashups

We discuss mashups, and public data is becoming available for mashing up on the Internet.

Consider Maplight.org. Using Maplight, one can correlate voting on a bill with contributions. For example, the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2007 requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries. As we see below, interests wanting this bill to pass contributed more to legislators voting yes than to those voting no.

Maplight currently has data for the Federal and California legislatures, with other states under construction. For more on their capability, see this video tour.

Prominent blogger Jon Udell has a strong interest in the availability of public data on the Internet. You can see what he is finding and learning by tracking his public data bookmarks.

Who are your representative and senators? Which special interests are supporting them? How are they voting on issues of concern to you? What data does your local government publish on the Internet? Do they make it easy for users to access it and create mashups?