Apps for America 2 runner-up USASpendingWatch.net is a visually appealing and ambitious take on the mounds of data on federal contracts at USASpending.gov. It aims to create an online community where readers can flag contracts they deem interesting or suspicious--though because the data provided by the government can be vague and misleading, participants in the best position to spot impropriety might be locals with their boots on the ground.
The site is easy to navigate and chock-full of information, but its designer's greatest obstacle may be one for which he can scarcely be faulted: The data sets being combined--the politics of local leaders and federally awarded, often competitive contracts--belie an incomplete understanding of the United States government; the author, Sven Regel, is German.Continue reading
If there were an Apps for America award category for best named application, I think we could all agree that Fedtastic would win. But it did bring home an honorable mention.Continue reading
The USGS represented a lot of data on Data.gov in the early days of the contest, supplying developers with data about earthquakes and other geological information. As a result, we saw quite a few applications about earthquakes and other natural disasters led by visualization award winner QuakeSpotter. But that wasn't the only one.Continue reading
That's what the Apps for America 2 honorable mention SpendTrend.us has to say at least. I like this entry a lot because it takes a complicated system like USASpending.gov and makes something really simple out of it. Where on USASpending.gov you have to navigate a giant search form SpendTrend.us gives us a simple search box.Continue reading
Over the next few days I'm going to be blogging about and announcing the honorable mentions for Apps for America. The toughest part of this contest, honestly, were that there were so many really interesting apps. I hope that all the contestants make another stab at it and keep at their current apps.Continue reading