New Project: Datamob

NEW on the internet tonight: a project I’ve been working on with Lauren Sperber, Datamob grew out of an uncontainable enthusiasm on our part for projects that make innovative use of public data—sites like EveryBlock,, OpenCongress, TheyWorkForYou and others. Jon Udell’s Interviews with Innovators podcast series, which often explores issues surrounding access to government data, is also largely to blame.

I always want to know where these sites get their data, and as I dug deeper I noticed that many of them pull from the same data sources. Open Secrets from the Center for Responsive Politics is an important data source—Follow the Oil Money, OpenCongress and MAPLight all tap into it in different ways. Datamob aims to highlight these connections and keep track of all the developer-friendly public data sources and corresponding interfaces. We’ve got feeds of everything (datasets, interfaces, resources, tags, comments, the whole ball of data) to help with that.

The site was built with Rails in coffee shops around New York City using Heroku, an amazing web-based, collaborative Rails development environment. Get the full WTF on the about page. We’re just getting started and there’s a lot more to come.