Thursday, September 25, 2008
GovTrack.us is an independent tool to help the public research and track the activities in the U.S. Congress, promoting government transparency and civic education through novel uses of technology.
GovTrack is an independent, non-partisan, non-commercial website launched in September 2004, GovTrack.us was the first website whose primary goal was to provide comprehensive legislative tracking for everyday citizens and was the first congressional transparency website to embrace Web 2.0 and principles of open data. GovTrack.us was a 2006 Webby Award nominee and has been mentioned in The New York Times, the The Washington Post, and ArsTechnica. (See other mentions in the media.) Currently the site is in use by over 10,000 people a day and sends out hundreds to thousands of email updates each night. GovTrack is also a hub of legislative data that is used to power other websites, such as OpenCongress and MAPLight.
A few of the things that you can find here:
--The status of U.S. federal legislation and legislative records back to 1993.
You can search bills by name, number, and subject area, such as "nuclear energy" and "medicine".
Some things you won't find anywhere else:
--Read summaries of bills, the full text, and even track changes to the text of a bill during its life-cycle
--GovTrack has Q&A: Ask a question about a bill and see if other visitors will provide an answer.
--Voting records in the Senate and House of Representatives.
--Information on all Members of Congress.
--Use a map to figure out which congressional district you live in. Zoom in right to your street.
--Once you find your Members of Congress, you can see what bills they've sponsored, how they've voted, what committees they serve on, and you can view statistics about them, such as our political ideology meter that analyzes their bill sponsorship patterns.
GovTrack turns this information into an understandable and trackable free information resource for everyday citizens. GovTrack.us is both a research tool as well as a customizable Congress-tracker.
--Subscribe to one of the general feeds that cover all of Congress.
--Choose which areas of Congress interest you by adding "trackers".
--Legislative events matching your trackers are shown on your customized Tracked Events page.
--You can follow legislative events by subscribing to the RSS feeds throughout the site, or to a feed for all of your trackers.
--And you can have your tracked events sent to you by email each day or each week.
--You can also embed a few widgets on your own webpage to keep your visitors up to date about legislation.
The data shown on this site is assembled in an automated way from official data sources, primarily from the website THOMAS, the official website for the status of legislation run by the Library of Congress. More information on how the data is assembled is below.
Govtrack.us http://www.govtrack.us/ (visited September 25, 2008)