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Tag Archive: FPDS

What Can Recovery.gov Tell Us About Ice Cream?

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It's been a while since recovery.gov was in the headlines. ARRA money continues to go out the door, but it's safe to say the program is winding down. The Administration has been taking a quiet victory lap, including this charming video, in which Vice President Biden calls up an ice creamery in Santa Cruz that got off the ground thanks to a Recovery Act loan:

Here's a crazy idea: why don't we look up this loan on recovery.gov and see what else we can discover about it?

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Checking Out the New USASpending.gov

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screenshot of the visualization tool from the new USASpending.govUSASpending.gov got a face-lift on Wednesday evening, and it brought with it a raft of new features. Some of these are great; others are either not very useful, or an actual step backward. Let's run through them -- not only to highlight the features and shortcomings, but to examine what they can tell us about how government should be opening its data.

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Grading the New Recovery.gov

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Recovery.gov relaunched yesterday, and we've spent some time playing around with the site since then. The verdict? Well, it's hard to say — the site's a bit broken. There are 404s all over the place, most gallingly on the data download page. Parts of the site seem like they work, but don't: the select boxes on the front page that provide filters for the map don't actually affect its behavior in any way. It's hard to see these glaring bugs alongside the totally-unnecessary link to Facebook and not groan (am I supposed to play Scrabble with Chairman Devaney?).

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