Use Your Android Phone to Track the U.S. Congress

Adam DuVander, December 2nd, 2009

Sunlight LabsThe Sunlight Foundation, the non-profit built for “opening America’s government” has created an app to show off its Congressional data, as well as its API (our Sunlight Labs API profile). You can’t get this app on the web, though, as it’s available exclusively for the Android phone platform.

Sunlight Android app

Sunlight developer Eric Mill describes the new app:

“It’s called ‘Congress’, and it’s a pocket Congressional directory. It takes full advantage of the Sunlight Labs API to show you up-to-date info about members of Congress, and to pull in updates from members’ Twitter and YouTube accounts.”

Perhaps its most useful feature is finding the representative in your current location. Using the phone’s GPS, it compares your latitude and longitude with the often complicated congressional districts.

The app also embraces Twitter as a now-standard communications platform. Using your own account, you can reply to congressional tweets from within the app.

Sunlight is clear this is just a beta version. It expects feedback and feature requests. An enterprising developer could even use it as an excuse to learn Android programming. The code is open source.

Hat tip: Dietrich Ayala

Tags: Code, Gov, Mobile
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8 Responses to “Use Your Android Phone to Track the U.S. Congress”

December 2nd, 2009
at 11:19 am
Comment by: Eric Mill

Thanks for the writeup! You might want to update your screenshot to reflect the app as it is now, though – we redesigned that screen to be (we hope) much prettier.

http://assets.sunlightlabs.com/blog/android/profile-thumb.png

December 2nd, 2009
at 11:20 am
Comment by: Eric Mill

Sorry for the double post, but let me give a more general link to the non-beta release post:

http://sunlightlabs.com/blog/2009/congress-theres-an-android-app-for-that/

December 3rd, 2009
at 4:10 am
Comment by: Adam DuVander

Updated the screenshot. Thanks, Eric.

July 8th, 2010
at 12:57 am
Comment by: NYTimes Shows How Civic APIs Should Be Built

[...] in the booth. Sunlight Labs has been an innovator in this space in many ways, including its Congress Android app, with information about every House representative. Related ProgrammableWeb ResourcesLearn more New [...]

December 16th, 2010
at 7:47 am
Comment by: Sunlight Labs Needs Your Help to Keep the Fires Burning

[...] A non-partisan organization focused on transparency, the Sunlight Foundation was one of the forerunners of open government. They describe themselves on their website as a “DC based organization focused on digitization of government data and making tools and websites to make it easily accessible.” Sunlight labs is an open source community that develops APIs and tools like its U.S. congress Android app. [...]

December 16th, 2010
at 8:28 pm
Comment by: Sunlight Labs Needs Your Help to Keep the Fires Burning | Another Newyork Times

[...] A non-partisan organization focused on transparency, the Sunlight Foundation was one of the forerunners of open government. They describe themselves on their website as a “DC based organization focused on digitization of government data and making tools and websites to make it easily accessible.” Sunlight labs is an open source community that develops APIs and tools like its U.S. congress Android app. [...]

February 16th, 2011
at 8:01 am
Comment by: Sunlight Labs Goes Live With Real Time Congress API

[...] Real Time Congress API is already being used by the Sunlight Labs Android app with promises for future integration into their iOS and planned Roku apps. The HTML5 app [...]

February 16th, 2011
at 10:17 am
Comment by: Sunlight Labs Goes Live With Real Time Congress API | Another Newyork Times

[...] Real Time Congress API is already being used by the Sunlight Labs Android app with promises for future integration into their iOS and planned Roku apps. The HTML5 app [...]

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