The Open House Project from The Sunlight Foundation

Lieberman addresses putting Senate votes in XML

December 12th, 2007 by Joshua Tauberer · 2 Comments

Following up on Ari’s post- At yesterday’s Senate HSGAC hearing, Senator Lieberman noted briefly:

Furthermore Senate votes, unlike House votes, are intentionally presented in a format that limits the public’s ability to examine Senators’ voting records.

I confirmed with HSGAC that Lieberman was indeed referring to making Senate votes available in XML format, like the House does. This is a really important sign, that a Senator has now understood and signed onto the idea of using structured data for something. As I blogged previously, putting Senate votes in XML means independent websites, like my GovTrack, the NYTimes, etc., can more easily create new transformative applications of the data, which helps make the public more informed.

I’m personally quite excited about this, and in no small part because I am pretty sure we can trace back Lieberman’s remark, at least in part, to the work of the Open House Project.

Tags: OpenHouse · Structured Data

2 responses so far ↓

  • Freedom to Tinker » Blog Archive » Obama’s Digital Policy // Dec 28, 2007 at 9:20 am

    [...] My favorite part of the document, by far, is the section on government transparency. (I’d be remiss were I not to shamelessly plug the panel on exactly this topic at CITP’s upcoming January workshop.) The web is enabling amazing new levels, and even new kinds, of sunlight to accompany the exercise of public power. If you haven’t experienced MAPlight, which pairs campaign contribution data with legislators’ votes, then you should spend the next five minutes watching this video. Josh Tauberer, who launched Govtrack.us, has pointed out that one major impediment to making these tools even better is the reluctance of government bodies to adopt convenient formats for the data they publish. A plain text page (typical fare on existing government sites like THOMAS) meets the letter of the law, but an open format with rich metadata would see the same information put to more and better use. [...]

  • Amorrow: 2007 Message To Senator Lieberman // Sep 22, 2008 at 11:42 am

    [...] web page is here. See the 7:00 mark in this video (now returns “Not found”) See also here for a blog entry of that [...]

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