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Federal Stimulus-Tracking Site To Open APIs

Among the next steps for the recently revamped Recovery.gov are improved search, mapping, and mobile access, and open APIs.
Smartronix and Synteractive have been using SharePoint on Amazon Web Services to give developers a test environment. "We can provision a server or set of servers based on criteria we've defined and have that rolled up within an hour," said Groat.

Recovery.gov uses ESRI's cloud services to present geospatial data and Level 3's content delivery network for data caching.

Plans call for new geospatial functionality, more machine readable data, and open APIs. Bulk XML downloads are already available; open APIs will give developers more targeted access to stimulus data. "It's a real priority to get the open APIs out there," Groat said.

Search will be another key among the new features to look for on Recovery.gov going forward. "We definitely want to look closer at both structured and unstructured data, and search will help to do that better," said Groat.

The redesigned Recovery.gov has come under some criticism for lacking some of the features and data available on recovery.org, a non-government site, and for potentially falling short on compliance with the government's Section 508 accessibility standards.

Groat dismissed comparisons to recovery.org, saying the sites have different purposes. Smartronix VP Joe Gerczak, in an interview with Intelligent Enterprise, said "95%" of the site is 508 compliant.

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