Texas Tribune Data Applications in 2009: Overview

A red-light camera intersection in south Austin.
A red-light camera intersection in south Austin.

We promised at our launch to publish lots of government data and the apps to help you explore it.

Here's a rundown of what we've published so far — and a look ahead to next year:

CAMPAIGN FINANCE

Searchable databases of both donations and expenditures reported since 2000 by statewide elected officials and members of the Texas Legislature. We've also sliced out contributions made to these officials by payday loan companies. There are also searchable databases with donations reported in the 2008 and 2010 election cycles by members of the U.S. Congress from Texas, and donations collected by the four major candidates in the Houston mayor's race.

LOBBYING

Searchable database of expenditures made by Texas lobbyists from 2005 to 2009, with totals by categories (food, transportation, etc.) and recipients (senators, legislative employees, etc.). You can also see wihich companies and interest grous hired them.

PAYROLL

Searchable database of more than 340,000 public employees in Texas. The database inlcudes the state's largest cities, state agencies, school districts, transit authorities and universities -- nearly $15 billion in taxpayer-funded salaries.

EDUCATION

Searchable database listing salaries of 900 Texas school district superintendents, with state education ratings mixed in. We've also included searchable listings of the state's "best" and "worst" campuses and districts.

ETC.

Searchable databases with Gov. Rick Perry's appointees and staff, legislators' spending, Texas Ethics Commission fines and more.

MAPS

Search a statewide map of red-light cameras, including statistics on crashes, citations and revenue, or check out privately funded trips given to Texas members of Congress.

This offering, of course, is only the beginning. Next month we'll begin rolling out improved apps with the lobbying, campaign donations and salary data — and trying to link it, where appropriate, to elected officials' pages in the Directory. We're going to invest serious time making education data more accessible. Expect to see more visualizations, especially interactive maps and charts readers can embed on on their own sites. This effort is all part of our strategy of being the place for free government data in Texas.

Let us know if you have thoughts or ideas. And be sure to follow our Twitter spinoff, @TribData, for updates.

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.