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Machine-readable bill cost estimates?

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  • Francis
    Hello there. I m the developer for washingtonwatch.com and have done quite a bit of work on gathering data for earmarks. (http://washingtonwatch.com/earmarks/
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 13, 2010
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      Hello there.

      I'm the developer for washingtonwatch.com and have done quite a bit of work on gathering data for earmarks. (http://washingtonwatch.com/earmarks/ and http://earmarkdata.org/schema). In the near future I am hoping to switch from using our home-grown Thomas bill-scraping code to the wonderful govtrack xml data.

      So question: what is the current and future state of the art regarding machine-readable CBO bill cost analyses? Is getting this data from the CBO a realistic possibility, or should I spend my time trying to improve the current report scraper/parser?

      Background: Currently washingtonwatch has bill cost estimates based on CBO data. Right now this is entered by hand from CBO reports. I see there has been some work in bills.cbo on making these reports machine-readable, but reliably getting the costs out of the CBO's prose reports seems like an insurmountable problem, especially at the year-by-year granularity I'm looking for.

      I noticed also that this page http://wiki.govtrack.us/index.php?title=Projects lists "CBO report fetching keeps breaking. Talk to CBO about getting a machine-processable list of all reports in a stable format." Has anyone talked to the CBO about this?
    • Joshua Tauberer/GovTrack
      Indeed! It is a mess. The farthest I got contacting cbo was sending an email and getting no response. And my ask wasn t even machine readable cost estimates,
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 13, 2010
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        Indeed! It is a mess. The farthest I got contacting cbo was sending an email and getting no response.

        And my ask wasn't even machine readable cost estimates, just a comprehensive list of all cost estimates published, or something.

        Josh

        "Francis" <favila@...> wrote:

        >Hello there.
        >
        >I'm the developer for washingtonwatch.com and have done quite a bit of work on gathering data for earmarks. (http://washingtonwatch.com/earmarks/ and http://earmarkdata.org/schema). In the near future I am hoping to switch from using our home-grown Thomas bill-scraping code to the wonderful govtrack xml data.
        >
        >So question: what is the current and future state of the art regarding machine-readable CBO bill cost analyses? Is getting this data from the CBO a realistic possibility, or should I spend my time trying to improve the current report scraper/parser?
        >
        >Background: Currently washingtonwatch has bill cost estimates based on CBO data. Right now this is entered by hand from CBO reports. I see there has been some work in bills.cbo on making these reports machine-readable, but reliably getting the costs out of the CBO's prose reports seems like an insurmountable problem, especially at the year-by-year granularity I'm looking for.
        >
        >I noticed also that this page http://wiki.govtrack.us/index.php?title=Projects lists "CBO report fetching keeps breaking. Talk to CBO about getting a machine-processable list of all reports in a stable format." Has anyone talked to the CBO about this?
        >
        >
        >
        >------------------------------------
        >
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
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        >
        --
        Sent from my Android phone with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.
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