Congress SpaceBook and Hillary Clinton's FOAF Entry

Congress Facebook is a new mashup combining 11 different web APIs that wants "to make Congress more accountable and transparent". The app tracks a lot of data for each member: voting records, FEC reports, Campaign Finance summary, their opinions on the issues, and even their state's federal spending reports. The design of the site is basic, but the it's data rich. And among other things, it's an entry in a contest we reported on last month Sunlight Labs' Apps for America contest.


One of the APIs used here is the Google's Social Graph API, which supports a variety of formats for social connections, including FOAF and XFN. And sure enough, if you go the page for Hillary Clinton, and do a View Source, you'll see an RDF FOAF record for her, complete with links to things ranging from her page to her twitter page. The image below shows part of that FOAF record.


One handy little feature, it lets you see lawmakers who use twitter and their social stream to see who interacts with them.

And if you're a PHP developer and want to check-out the code, you can. It's posted over at Github, and is available for download.

Here's the full list of API it currently uses: BackType, Capitol Words, Eventful, Flickr, FriendFeed, Google Search, Google Social Graph, OpenSecrets, Technorati, Yahoo Search, YouTube. More at our Congress SpaceBook profile.

Developer Chauncey Thorn says that this app is still a work in progress, and given that he has until the end of March to submit this entry, it will surely have even more to offer.

John Musser



[...] An expected (at least for me) potential application of Semantic Web technology: CongressFacebook provides a mash-up of many different data-sources about American legislators, their contacts, their voting behaviour, etc. A good write-up of this on the Programmable Web. [...]

[...] Featured Items See Mashup controversies See top 100 mashups of all time Browse Mashup of the Day winners APIs ranked by popularity Congress SpaceBook and Hillary Clinton’s FOAF Entry [...]

Still kinda slow, and the search needs a little work "paul" works but not "ron paul".

But, the interface is very nice. Gives a fairly clean look at a lot of information.