Apps for America Contest, Sunlight Foundation
“The public’s right to know is a cornerstone of our democracy. This We Know is designed to make what was once a difficult and time-consuming process into a faster and more streamlined experience.”U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (VT)
"Empowering The Public's Right To Know." Congressional Record, V. 155, No. 127, September 10, 2009 pp. S9258 -S9259
On March 5, 2009, shortly after his appointment as the first Federal Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra announced the creation of Data.gov. Kundra said, "Data.gov will publish data feeds, so we'll have a vast array of data". Recognizing the importance of this initiative, and the need to foster compelling applications enabled by the presence of Data.gov, the Sunlight Foundation sponsored the Apps for America: The data.gov challenge competition.
Green River and Sway Design have always believed there is an exponential value in breaking down data warehouse silos for increased understanding of our world. This dovetailed with President Obama’s goal for Data.gov: “...to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.” The U.S. government has thousands of disparate databases developed by multiple agencies, but no front end to pull them together in ways that are useful for its citizens. For instance, there is no overarching way to find out all that the government knows about a given neighborhood. Our vision for This We Know was to provide a tool to integrate government data to answer citizens’ questions and empower citizens to act on what is known.