In order to allow our readers at EdSource to keep track of key education bills in the California legislature, I built an app that pulls real-time data on the status of bills and spits it out into a basic graphic.

The app, which I call the EdSource EdTracker but would otherwise call it by its more general name “LegTracker,” uses an awesome API run by Open States to pull in the most up-to-date details on the bills we are following. Using that data, the app populates a box for each bill along with icon representations to show the status of the bill in the legislature.

The graphic is pretty basic. It has four slots contained in a box for each bill to show its status: bill status overall (introduced, passed or dead), status in lower chamber, status in upper chamber and, if the bill makes it this far, what the executive does with the bill (signs or vetoes). If you click on the box, it will send the user to the official legislative page.

Now, EdTracker is made for California, but my goal is to ultimately open source the LegTracker in its new and improved form for use in any state, or even nationally. Currently, I have a 1.0 version of the app which I have already open sourced, but it requires someone to manually enter the status of a bill in a Google spreadsheet.