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Announcing the first seven OpenGov Grants

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APR_LogoSunlight Foundation is proud to announce its first group of OpenGov Grants awards. Launched in June with the financial support of Google.org, the OpenGov Grants program offers one-time grants in the range of $5,000 to $10,000 to help open up government through creative innovations. Interest in the OpenGov Grants program has been brisk, and the selection committee worked at length to identify these engaging and lively projects.

The grants support the following projects, presented in alphabetical order:

  1. Abre Puerto Rico. $10,000 matching grant for a bilingual portal on local-level Puerto Rico government data, targeting academics, journalists, public servants, and the general public. The project will create custom data analysis related to Puerto Rico and municipal government, budgetary, legislative, and procedural activities.
  2. California Local Government Credit Scoring. $8,000 to gather financial disclosures for California local governments (typically in PDF form), extract a subset of data from these documents and publish both the location of the documents and standardized data on a free, non-commercial web site.
  3. CivOmega (concept site). $10,000 for a site that "human[izes] civic data" for average citizens, using open data APIs (including Sunlight's) to answer civic questions. Users enter their queries the same way they search the web: by typing into a form field.
  4. IRS Form 990 Digitization Project. $5,000 for digitizing and hosting about 5 million IRS Form 990s filed by nonprofit organizations, making them searchable, partially extracting structured data from the digitized text, and making bulk data freely available to others for advanced analysis. Disclosure: this project is led by a former Sunlight Reporting Group employee, Luke Rosiak.nearby_logo_color
  5. Justice Map. $10,000 to create high-resolution, open-data map tile layers for race and income data from the 2010 Census and American Community Survey (ACS) for use in Open Street Map, Google Maps, and other online maps. Users will be able to create their own map using these tiles, hosted on the project website or another server. They will also create a API that will return demographic data (race and income) within a radius of a point, making Census and ACS data more accessible for map makers.
  6. NearbyFYI. $7,500 for "like Yelp and Mint.com for cities and towns" which will passively collect data from thousands of municipalities, making it easier to publish useful information online without the towns and cities changing their existing behaviors.
  7. RentSpecs. $10,000 for a website that combines New York City housing violations, complaints, litigations and emergency repair charges data into a simple letter grade, to understand the quality of service each landlord and rental property provides its tenants.
Our congratulations to the grant recipients.

The OpenGov Grants program continues, and it's not too late to apply for funding this year. Have a project? Apply now for an OpenGov Grant. (For details on what we will and won't fund, be sure to read our guidelines.)