FOIA Mapper is a project I submitted to the Knight News Challenge on Data (discussed on this board a few months back). It is a tool to help Freedom of Information requesters find information.
The idea was to collect documentation of government record systems / databases (what info do they contain, and in what format?), make it machine readable (pull it out of PDF), and set up a website that allows you to search by keyword. That way, if there is a particular topic you want to find, you can use the search to find out what government info is out there, which agency has it, and how it is stored. Then you can go out and ask for it with a very specific Freedom of Information request.
Today, I turned the website live, hoping to get some feedback to inform the next round of development.
Please take a look and let me know what you think. Any feedback would be much appreciated.
So far it covers only federal agencies, but if enough people find it useful, I’d like to do the same for NYC.