Do you know your way around an API and like playing with government data?* If so, you should enter Apps for America -- http://sunlightlabs.com/contest/ -- a new mashup contest organized by the Sunlight Labs, our open source development team.
Apps for America -- http://sunlightlabs.com/contest/ -- will award developers for best applications based on data from Sunlight and its partners that makes Congress more accountable, interactive and transparent.
The grand prize is $15,000. Additionally, we are offering one second place award of $5,000, four third place awards of $1,000 each and 10 honorable mentions at $100 each. Entries must be applications that use a host of government information APIs or datasets, including the Sunlight Labs API, OpenSecrets.org API, the FollowtheMoney.org API, the Capitol Words API and other Sunlight APIs and datasets. We also encourage you to use Sunlight's code libraries, which the Labs recently open sourced. (We decided if we advocate for open data, we should open ours, too!)
Maybe you're not a coder, but like Sunlight's Paul Blumenthal, you're a bit of a history buff. Then you should enjoy our new interactive Transparency Timeline -- http://bit.ly/KeDh -- which shows how Congress has gradually opened their inner workings to public inspection over the course of 220 years. The Transparency Timeline documents all this to tell the story behind the events that have led to transparency reforms that have contributed to the current level of openness on Capitol Hill. Technological developments, political calculation, idealism and corruption scandals have all contributed to the continued march of transparency. Read more in Paul's post here -- http://bit.ly/ycSVH.
*Don't worry if you're not a coder geek (neither am I). We have lots of ways for you to get involved in our efforts to open our government. The easiest way is to share this email with a friend. Are you on Facebook? Become a fan of Sunlight here http://bit.ly/RxwG -- or check out the Labs' wiki -- http://bit.ly/h0ZM -- for other ways to get involved. Stay tuned, we'll have even more opportunities to share soon!
Thanks again for your support,
Gabriela Schneider & the Sunlight team
Join the Sunlight Team and get active it benefits all Americans
Tuesday, January 13, 2009