Offener Haushalt [offenerhaushalt.de] (German for 'open
household budget') is another demonstration of the large potential behind the emerging Open Data phenomenon. Based on data that was harvested by the extensive 'screen scraping' of the website of the Bundesfinanzministerium (the German equivalent to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, but I simply had to include this word), Offener Haushalt attempts to open up socially relevant data to allow open and shared analysis, interpretation and discussion. Unfortunately, like most other European governments today, the German 'Bundesfinanzministerium' does not make open, machine-readable datasets available for download yet.
While still in an early 'beta', the online platform allows for the exploration (as 'specific categories', as 'groups' or as 'functions'), and commenting of the acquired data in a treemap structure, while each detail view is stored under individual and shareable URLs. The original sources are clearly mentioned, while the data can be downloaded in JSon, RDF or XML formats. In the meantime, the developers are calling anyone with valuable German data to come forward.