October 19, 2017 Library of Congress Launches Congressional Data Challenge
Competition Awards “Citizen Coders” for Web-Based Projects That Unleash Legislative Data
Press Contact: Benny Seda-Galarza (202) 707-8732
Public Contact: Kate Zwaard (202) 707-5242
Website: Library of Congress Labs: Congressional Data Challenge
The Library of Congress today launched a Congressional Data Challenge, a competition asking participants to leverage legislative data sets on congress.gov and other platforms to develop digital projects that analyze, interpret or share congressional data in user-friendly ways. Submissions could take the form of interactive visualizations, mobile or desktop applications, a website or other digital creations.
The Library of Congress will award $5,000 for the first prize and $1,000 for the best high school project.
Entries will be evaluated based on three criteria: usefulness, creativity and design. Entries are due April 2, 2018, and must be submitted through the challenge.gov platform. For rules and additional information, visit labs.loc.gov/experiments/congressionalchallenge/.
“There is so much information now available online about our legislative process, and that is a great thing,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “But it can also be overwhelming and sometimes intimidating. We are asking citizen coders to explore ways to analyze, interpret or share this information in user-friendly ways. I hope this challenge will spark an interest in the legislative process and also a spirit of information sharing by the tech-savvy and digital humanities pioneers who answer the call. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.”
Some examples Library staff envisioned to inspire thinking:
- A visualization of the legislative process using legislative data;
- Tools that could be embedded on congressional and public websites;
- A legislative matching service to identify members of Congress with similar legislative interests;
- Tools to improve accessibility of legislative data;
- A web-based display connecting Library digital collection items with related legislative activities.
The Library of Congress recently launched labs.loc.gov to host a changing selection of experiments, projects, events and resources designed to encourage creative use of the Library’s digital collections.
Congress.gov is the official source for federal legislative information. A collaboration among the Library of Congress, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Government Publishing Office, Congress.gov is a free resource that provides searchable access to bill status and summary, bill text, member profiles, the Congressional Record, committee reports, direct links from bills to cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, legislative process videos, committee profile pages and historic access reaching back as far as 1973.
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.