Today we’re releasing TransparencyData.com, a new service from the Sunlight Foundation, and technically the most challenging thing we’ve ever done. TransparencyData lets you query and download bulk data about transparency. We’re launching with two datasets that have never been merged before, and without an unprecedented amount of access.
We’ve merged all of OpenSecrets data with all the data from FollowTheMoney.org allowing you, for the first time, to get a clear picture of campaign contributions at both the state and federal level. Before now, there were two datasets: the OpenSecrets data focusing on federal data, and the FollowTheMoney data, focusing on state data. Now, finally, you can use TransparencyData.com to query, filter, and download this data.
This tool is focused on giving people bulk access to data. Instead of generating complex visualizations, and a slick user interface, we’ve focused on making it easy to query this large dataset, and walk away with a spreadsheet of the data you need. The ultimate output of this tool isn’t an HTML table, but a CSV file so you can take the data and do the research you need to do.
On top of that, we’ve also built an API for you to get programmable access to the data. You may have seen it mentioned in Design for America and here it is, ripe for visualization– the campaign contributions to every political candidate from state representative up to president of the United States, all in one place, downloadable in bulk, and available via RESTful API.
Finally, these two datasets are only the beginning of what you’ll be able to query via TransparencyData.com. We’ve already added Lobbying Information from the Senate Office of Public Records, and over the next few weeks we’ll build a query interface for that dataset too. We’ll also be adding new data on a regular basis. Look for government contracting, earmarks, and congressional biographical data coming shortly.
This is a major new platform for us that we think will allow journalists to tell new stories, developers to build new apps, and designers to show off new infographics. But most importantly, it’ll allow citizens to get a better view of the facts, and a better understanding of how government operates.
So check out TransparencyData.com
Or watch this video to see how it works: