If you're a regular visitor to our site you noticed sometime last week, on the left side of our home page, our latest widget – we've dubbed it Sunlight Seekr. It's the first step to a one click search engine that culls through multiple databases. We put it up last week to play around with it and it appears to be working just fine so today we are going public with it. At the moment it does a simple search of five data sets: our own Sunlight Foundation and Congresspedia sites, The Institute on State Money and Politics and Center for Responsive Politics sites for state and federal campaign contributions, and GovTrack.org. Type in the name of an individual, corporation, and zip code and see what pops up. (To do really in-depth searches of all these sites APIs are inevitable, but not all the sites we wanted to include have APIs yet.)
We'll be adding more databases to the search function soon. Probably the next one to be added in will be FedSpending.org. We're hoping to eventually build this out into a true Accountability Matrix – a set of databases linked together that can help the user examine the full depth of money, power and influence in Washington. We're a long way from that right now, but that is our goal.
This is another amazing product of our Sunlight Labs team who mission is to prototype tech ideas to improve government transparency and political influence disclosure.
Remember that our Lab projects are experiments. So play with this one, even add it to your website if you feel brave. Here are all the details and documentation for this widget.
And do note: we are asking nicely that you register with us if you want to use this tool. We are doing this only so that we can keep track of just how many different sites are using it. The registration is very simple and will just take not more than 30 seconds of your time. And we promise not to pester you with emails.
Seek and you shall find.