WASHINGTON, DC -- As you head home for the holidays, be sure to have the Sunlight Foundation's new Sitegeist appon your phone. Whether you need to know the weather forecast, settle a bet among squabbling siblings or find the best local watering hole, Sitegeist will help you both on the road and at home.
Part of Sunlight's series of National Data Apps, Sitegeist takes data about the people, housing, history, environment and things to do for any U.S. location and presents it in easy-to-view infographics. The free app, available for both iPhone and Android, shows what's all around you with just a tap and swipe on your smartphone. The app incorporates publicly available data from a number of sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, InfluenceExplorer.com, the Dark Sky weather API and even Yelp and Foursquare.
A lot of mobile apps give you just one set of information, such as the local weather or movie times, and it's often not visually interesting," said Tom Lee, director of Sunlight Labs. "Drawing on publicly available information, this app presents solid data in a simple at-a-glance format to help you tap into the pulse of your location. Sitegeist takes the public's love of infographics, hunger for customized facts and figures, and makes it available all in one app."
Using Sitegeist is simple. The app drops a map pin at your current location (or you can place your own anywhere in the U.S.) and it then generates "panes" about your surroundings. You can also share any section via email, Facebook or Twitter.
The People pane covers demographics such as average age, household income, gender breakdown, political contributions and more.
The Housing pane displays the median home value, average rent and commuting habits of the area.
The Fun pane offers local Yelp recommendations on the highest-rated restaurants and popular attractions, while Foursquare guides you to what venue has the most check-ins and nearby movie theaters.
The Environment pane gives the local weather forecast, average and record temperatures and alerts you about nearby places flagged by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The History pane shows you the growth of area houses over time and the average age of building structures.
Sitegeist is the third in a series of National Data Apps, developed with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The first was Sunlight Health, which helps people make more informed decisions about medical care. The second was Upwardly Mobile, which ranks the best places to live by the comparing salary, living and employment data defined by the user.
Learn more about all our mobile apps, including Congress, OpenStates and Ad Hawk here.
The Sunlight Foundation is a nonpartisan nonprofit that uses cutting-edge technology and ideas to make government transparent and accountable. Visit http://SunlightFoundation.com to learn more about Sunlight's projects, including http://PoliticalPartyTime.org and http://influenceexplorer.com.