An interesting competition has come out, offered by the Library of Congress, and folks with a creative, analytical, and/or technological bent might find it fun and worth a shot. The Library of Congress is looking for some interesting and unique ways to use and analyze Congressional data. Take a look!

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What new insights can come from Congressional data? A variety of Congressional publications and data sets are available on Congress.gov. The Library of Congress (LC) invites you to leverage that data to create new meaning or tools to help members of Congress and the public explore it in new ways. What are we looking for? LC would like to inspire creative use of technology to analyze digital Congressional information from Congress.gov. This could take the form of interactive visualizations, mobile or desktop applications, a website, or other digital creation. Submission Criteria Final submission will include a 2-minute demonstration video explaining a product, the data sources used, and its benefits. Source code is required to be published and licensed as CC0. Prizes LC will award $5,000 for first prize and $1,000 for the best high-school project. Honorable mentions may be awarded for:
  • Best tracking of legislative status
  • Best data visualization, and
  • Best data mashup
To get you thinking, we offer a few example projects:
  • A visualization of how the legislative process works using legislative data
  • Tools that could be embedded on Congressional and public websites
  • Legislative matching service, to identify Members with similar legislative interests
  • Tools to improve accessibility of legislative data, and
  • A tool that, based on bill text, identifies Members of Congress with legislative interests that are similar to the user’s, or to the legislative interests of other Members of Congress
Solvers may want to review the winners of the Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers Data Challenge for inspiration in how innovators of all ages have looked at data in different ways.

Be sure to check out challenge.gov for questions and to enter! We would love to see what you do!