Is there any question map mashups have gone serious? How about billions of dollars serious? The U.S. website Recovery.gov was built to make transparent the use of economic stimulus money. Now you can track every dollar on a map.
Click on Where's The Money Going and you'll get a Flash map with all sorts of options for slicing and dicing the data. See all funding by state, department, or broken down by specific agency. The awards types are also shown separately, so you can tell a contract from a grant or loan.
"The verdict? Well, it's hard to say -- the site's a bit broken. There are 404s all over the place, most gallingly on the data download page."
Sunlight's Tom Lee also explains that much of the data is aggregated from other government sources previously available. Not that it's a valid excuse for not allowing the download. You can get at some of the data. For example, within the map view, a KML file is provided, which is handy.
The map is built on top of ESRI technology. The company's GIS software is used throughout all levels of government, so it's not surprising to see it on a .gov site. Though it is courting the mainstream mashup developers, ESRI's biggest advantage versus Google Maps and other mapping providers is that ESRI is seen as the platform to use if you're serious.
Hat tip: ComputerWorld