Sitegeist: Uncover the Data Around You


The Sunlight Foundation's Sitegeist app to learn more about your surroundings.Today the Sunlight Foundation unveils our latest app to reinforce the power of the data around you. It’s called Sitegeist, a simple iPhone and Android app that presents a huge amount of information from disparate sources in straight-forward infographics. Just scroll and swipe your way through rich statistics about your location from demographics to popular local venues.

Sitegeist is a mobile application that helps you to learn more about your surroundings in seconds. Drawing on publicly available information, the app presents solid data in a simple at-a-glance format to help you tap into the pulse of your location. From statistical data on the people and housing to the latest popular spots or weather, Sitegeist presents localized information visually so you can get back to enjoying the neighborhood.

The app is intuitively designed such that location-specific information that would be normally difficult to track down is now all together in one place on your smartphone. As you user, just launch the app, plug in your location or a spot you’re curious about and then swipe between the categories of data. Age distributions, political contributions, median home values, record temperatures and much more will appear instantly. We will continue to add new data and bolster the app as we get public feedback so please let us know with your tweets, email and comments.

Behind the scenes we dug up publicly available data and brought thousands of records together just to display one fact about your location. For example, when you drop a pin on the map and see the age distributions, we are pulling age data from the 2010 U.S. census based on the specific census tract the pin you dropped on the map is in. You don’t need to know where to find the census data or even know what census tract you’re in, just drop the pin and learn. Sitegeist presents a fresh perspective on a location and lets you consume complex information immediately taking on Herbert Simon‘s famous observation, “a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” If you happen to have a wealth of attention, tap on much of data to get more information from the source. Find a contaminated site nearby? Tap to be taken to the EPA’s site with a longer description of the issue.

Sitegeist was created by the Sunlight Foundation with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and is the third in a series of National Data Apps. The first two National Data Apps are Sunlight Health, that brings healthcare ratings data and prescription drug safety information to your pocket, and Upwardly Mobile, a web app that helps users find a better place to live by comparing salary, living and employment data and ranking it based on their preferences. Sitegeist was created by the Sunlight Foundation, in consultation with design firm IDEO.