DemocracyMap is an initiative to better coordinate local boundary information and offer simple interfaces to discover and understand all the civic entities for a specific location. In the United States it can be very difficult to navigate or discover relevant civic information – particularly information associated with local government jurisdictions. This is true even on the most basic level. It’s challenging to know anything about what’s happening in your city council or community board because you don’t even know how to identify the city council or community board that represents you.
DemocracyMap aims to solve this problem by connecting citizens and journalists with the civic institutions and government bodies that represent any given location.
To do this, we plan to spread the tools that make it easier to manage, publish, and consume this information and we also plan to develop open standards to help aggregate and unify this data across disparate systems.
The current DemocracyMap API prototype provides primary contact information for every city, county, and state in the United States as well as contact information for all state and national legislators, all governors, all county officials, and over 100,000 municipal officials. This prototype is still very much a work in progress, but a basic demo can be seen at api.democracymap.org/demo
You can read the full Knight News Challenge proposal for DemocracyMap, but for now most activity is on the mailing list and wiki at:
- Mailing List: http://forums.e-democracy.org/groups/democracymap
- Wiki: http://pages.e-democracy.org/DemocracyMap