Three finalists for the Sunlight foundation’s Apps for America 2 contest have been announced. The finalists have been selected for designing the best apps using data sets from the U.S. government's Here are the finalists, with their descriptions from the Sunlight Foundation’s Clay Johnson: “GovPulse is a Federal Register browser. The Federal Register is the official journal of the federal government of the United States. In it, you find any kind of notice, notification and solicitation that a federal agency puts out. GovPulse parses it and gives you a way to browse the tens-of-thousands-of-pages-log register by agency, category or date. What’s also compelling about it is the visualizations and analysis the software does on top of the register. For instance, check out the agency page to see sparklines of the notices from each agency, or the map of places mentioned by an agency.”

target="_self"> “This we know is probably best described as the EveryBlock for federal data. Type in your zip code or city and state, and ThisWeKnow will provide you with details that the federal government has about your community. The depth of information in the site is incredible. You can see the mass exodus occurring in Bellevue, NE or the breakdown of people diagnosed with cancer in Los Angeles.”

Datamasher: "Datamasher allows you to take two different public data sources and mash them up with an operator (+ – * /). Then you can share them with your friends and comment on the mashups of others. A few of my favorite mashups include: High School Graduation vs. Guns in Household, % Total Population in Prison, and my favorite: People per US Representative."

You can help decide the winning app by voting here (requires registration to ensure voting accuracy)

By Mark Alvarez