Want to see where the the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is being spent? There’s an app for that. Or, to be more precise, there’s a new Layar “layer” for that. The new “Recovery.org” layer is now available on the Layar augmented reality browser, giving iPhone or Android users the power to pin-point (in real space) businesses that benefited from any government contracts, grants or loans. The information in the Recovery layer is kind of dry and not too exciting, but there’s just something about augmented reality that makes us want to know how much ARRA money went to the random businesses down the street.
Layar is an augmented reality (AR) app for iPhone and Android. The idea behind AR apps like Layar is to overlay interesting data points on top of your real-world view of the world. You fire up the app, point your smartphone’s camera ahead of you, and Layar plots points of interest in real space – taking into account your geo-location and the direction you’re currently facing. The neat thing about Layar is its ability to don a variety of “layers” showing different types of data. Data like the Recovery.org layer’s cash trails.
For all you developers out there, Sunlight Labs is sharing the code that powers the Recovery.org layer to help foster more development of Layar layers.