About OpenBama

What is OpenBama

OpenBama is a non-partisan website that compiles data from various sources pertaining to Alabama State government into an easy to use tool. OpenBama desires to inspire the citizens of Alabama to demand more transparency within state and local government. 

Initially, OpenBama is focusing on transparency in the legislative process but will expand into other areas such as state spending and campaign finance. OpenBama aims to encourage more transparency in the ranks of government by providing the public and government officials with information regarding the transparency and open government issue. 

The Internet has changed the way we seek and receive information. Information is literally at our fingertips. The Internet is an integral part of the modern transparency/open government movement. It is the preferred and recommended mechanism to deliver government data to the public.

OpenBama is an independent, volunteer-run website that is not affiliated with the Alabama Legislature or state government.

Data Sources

Below is a listing of the data sources used by OpenBama:

  1. The legislative data provided on OpenBama is captured from the ALISON (Alabama Legislative Information System Online) website daily while the legislature is in session.
  2. The biographical information for the legislators is retrieved from Project Vote Smart and from the biography profiles on the Legislature's website.
  3. The photos of the senators and representatives have been provided by the official website of the Alabama Legislature.
  4. The registered lobbyists data comes from the following sources on the Alabama Ethics Commission website: here and here.

Technologies Used

The following is a list of techonologies used:
  1. Database: MySQL
  2. Web site: Ruby on Rails
  3. Administration portal: django
  4. Source code repository: Git
  5. Data capture scripts: Python
  6. Hosting company: WebFaction

Credits

  1. Logo created by Brandon Mathis creator of Octopress. Also check out his github page.
  2. Web page backgrounds provided by Subtle Patterns.