iPhone app tracks stimulus spending

Arkansas says it's the first state to release an application with the ability to search for projects.

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By Julianne Pepitone, CNNMoney.com contributing writer

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Arkansas said Wednesday it launched the first iPhone application to track state projects funded through the federal stimulus package.

The free application, Arkansas.gov Recovery Project Search, is available through the Apple iTunes Store and can be downloaded to an iPhone or iPod Touch.

"We want transparency in the recovery process," said Chris Masingill of the Arkansas State Recovery Office. "This is taxpayers' money, so we want them to have the information and the tools to access it."

Users can search keywords to find Arkansas state project names and descriptions, including location, dollar allocation, start date and percentage completed.

The location lookup feature displays projects by city or county name, and the "Near Me" button uses an iPhone's Global Positioning System to find projects near the user's location.

The technology was developed about three or four weeks ago, Masingill said, after state employees in the information sector suggested the idea.

"They didn't waste any time," he said. "We wanted Arkansans to know where their money is going, and we wanted to be the first state to do it."

Masingill said he was unaware of any other states' plans to develop applications, but he expects and hopes similar projects will pop up soon.

"I'm sure someone else will develop something even better that we can use, too," he said. "At the end of the day, it's about sharing information." To top of page

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