Filing a Freedom of Information Act request can be complicated, but a new Knight Foundation-backed tool called FOIA Mapper is trying to make it easier. Created by data journalist Max Galka, FOIA Mapper tries to help users figure out the best way to request the document they need. The tool includes a centralized, searchable database of government data including logs of FOIA requests other people have made, information systems and various government documents. Users can search for a specific topic, and the database will show if the document is publicly available and how to find it if they need to file a FOIA request.
+ How FOIA Mapper is different from the other FOIA tools the Knight Foundation has supported: “This one was unique in the sense that what he’s attempted to do is use the FOIA process to sort of reverse engineer the systems that store government data so that folks would be able to ask for data in a more specific way that’s hard for the government to say no to” (Poynter)