Peggy and Damian,
Thanks, glad you like the site.
I'm getting all the data from govtrack. Specifically, I'm using the
- the bill status data (www.govtrack.us/data/us/*/bills/*.xml)
- the roll vote data (/data/us/*/rolls/*.xml)
- the people database (/data/us/110/repstats/people.xml)
- the popularity listing (/data/us/bills.technorati.xml)
- the search service (/congress/billsearch_api.xpd)
I keep a copy of all the files on my server, and do a daily rsync (as
Josh describes here: http://www.govtrack.us/source.xpd)
to stay current.
Basically, when the server gets a request for a certain bill, it
retrieves the status data and goes through the action items, parsing
them into the steps that will be represented in the "driving
directions". It also retrieves any relevant roll vote data, and then
sends that information (along with the summary, the titles, the list
of sponsors, and the biographical data for that session of Congress)
back to the client, which renders everything (with the help of the
Google Maps API).
So it's really a (sort-of) UI sitting on top of govtrack's (sort-of) API.
Let me know if you need any more information...