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Datafest project opens Uncle Sam’s daily ledger

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Michael Keller shows off Treasury.io site at Sunlight offices.

Good morning America. Your $11 trillion check book is ready for viewing. A project that got its start early this year at a bicoastal datafest cosponsored by the Sunlight Foundation now can give taxpayers a day-by-day, line item-by-line item view of what they're paying the government and how the government is spending their money. Treasury.io, set to be shown off Thursday at the New York Times open source science fair, is the brainchild of csv soundsystem, an eclectic group of journalists, data geeks, developers and even a recovering particle physicist. It provides a new perspective on the budget debate by enabling citizens to analyze the government's intake and outlay of money in real time. The idea: Take detailed data that the U.S. Treasury publishes every day and put it into a format that can easily be analyzed by computer. "If you want to see how much we spent on Medicare last Tuesday, there it is," says Cezary Podkul, a Reuters reporter and team member. "It has the power to be very granular."

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