Source [Ars Technica | Stimulus-tracking Recovery.gov site goes live]
Of course it's too early to tell how valuable the site will actually be, but I applaud the intention to provide transparent, accessible data. The ability to export the data is more important than it sounds, and I'm sure that at least a few members will make full use of first-hand easy to parse data.President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 today, and while much of the $789 billion in spending provided over the legislation's 1,100 pages will take years to make its way into the economy, one provision of the bill is already being enacted: The White House has launched Recovery.gov, a site designed to track the myriad expenditures authorized under the law for transportation infrastructure, broadband deployment, science, education, and targeted tax relief.
Thus far, of course, there's not much to watch—aside from the aforementioned video—since funds have yet to be assigned to specific projects. A chart on the front page breaks down the broad spending categories into which federal dollars will flow, while a timeline gives the dates on which visitors can expect more information: initial funding reports from agencies start coming in on March 3, with detailed breakdowns due on May 15, and information on competitive grants and contracts showing up starting on the 20th. The site's FAQ promises that this data will eventually be available in an exportable format, such as XML, enabling third-party sites to produce their own "mashups and gadgets." (This may mark the first use of the word "mashup" on a White House site.)
On the whole, I also appreciate the work that the Obama administration has done embracing the web as an important, high profile way to interact with the public. I hope that future administrations follow suit.