From Sunlight Foundation blog:
As part of its Open Government Directive, the Obama Administration took steps to make a wide variety of federal data publicly available online. The Open Government Progress Report, released in December 2009 lists open government projects and transparency milestones that support the goals of the OGD. Included among these are a number of important data-sets.
These data-sets have been utilized by journalists, bloggers, organizations, and citizens. They have informed investigative stories and think tank reports, contributed to unique and useful visualizations, inspired projects dedicated to helping the American public make better use of data, and helped to shine sunlight on previously hidden areas of government.