The API Briefing: Save on Holiday Travels with Web Services

Dec 10, 2014

We are in the middle of the holidays, and that means much driving to visit friends and relatives. I was just in Kentucky this past weekend where I spent a total of eight hours driving. I am sure many of you will spend even more time driving in the next three weeks. So, where do you find the best gas prices and how can you maximize your vehicle’s fuel mileage?

Check out the Department of Energy’s Trip Calculator. Put in your origin and destination, select your vehicle make and model, and you will receive a map of your journey with the best gas prices. If you plan to stay around home for the holidays, you can find local gas prices at’s state gas prices map.

Developers can also build fuel economy apps using’s Web services. The Web services offer data based on specific vehicles including emissions data and fuel mileage. Developers can also query for current fuel prices and pair it with the vehicle information to estimate trip costs. There are even Web services to help the developer build an interactive menu for choosing the year, make, and model of the vehicle. Pair FuelEconomy’s Web services with other APIs and developers can create a great holiday trip helper.*API – Application Programming Interface. How software programs and databases share data and functions with each other. Check out APIs in Government for more information. Each week in “The API Briefing,” I will showcase government APIs and the latest API news and trends. Visit this blog every week to learn how government APIs are transforming government and improving government services for the American people. If you have ideas for a topic or have questions about APIs, please contact me via email. Dr. William A. Brantley is the HRIS Branch Chief in the USDA’s Rural Development Human Resources Office. You can find out more about his non-Federal work in this space at All opinions are his own and do not reflect the opinions of the USDA and GSA.