Using augmented reality to track stimulus spending

Texas Watchdog
Jennifer Peebles notes that Sunlight Labs has geotagged many of the projects funded by last year’s $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and has made the data viewable in an augmented-reality app on mobile devices. So you can point your iPhone 3GS or Android phone at buildings and landmarks and discover if a project is being funded with stimulus money. Sunlight Labs, a project of the Sunlight
Foundation, launched the AR app last fall.

The augmented-reality functions, which overlay data on a live view seen through the cell phone’s camera, are provided by the Layar app. Organizations can provide data sets to serve customized information through the app. Sunlight assembled the data with stimulus spending reports collected from the government at recovery.gov.

The Layar app requires a built-in compass to determine where your phone is pointed, so it only works with the iPhone 3GS and selected Android models.

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