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Biden's site gets overhauled

September 29, 2009 |  2:58 pm


Remember the $18 million the government spent a couple of months ago on redesigning and maintaining Well, the new version of the Obama administration's website for tracking stimulus spending launched on Monday.

Smartronix Inc., the Maryland-based design contractor, delivered a solid revision to the interface and backend four months ahead of schedule. We were admittedly skeptical of the expenditure, but the new digs look good and pack a bunch of really cool features.

Is it "$9.5 million cool?" Well, you be the judge.

The home page is a dataholic's dream. It's stacked with spending summaries and slick maps that show where cash is being spent. You can pretty easily sort by category and drill down to see a map of spending in individual neighborhoods.

But it's still not perfect. The search function is practically worthless. If you're looking for a particular program, have fun wading through the mess.

However, the project is certainly a big step toward organizing the piles of public information about government spending that has long floated elusively.

In the last year, has had more site overhauls than Facebook, Digg or Twitter. And the government is slated to spend an additional $8.5 million on the site over the next five years.

-- Mark Milian

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