API

The Data Briefing: Introducing the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s New Open Data Portal

May 18, 2016 |

My first column when I came back from last year’s summer sabbatical was on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) PatentsView project. Read »

An Introduction to Open Data and APIs

May 3, 2016 |

The federal workplace is abuzz these days with talk about open data and how agencies can leverage that data through APIs. According to the federal Open Data Policy, data should be managed as an information asset, and making it discoverable and usable (in other words, open). Open data “not only strengthens our democracy and promotes efficiency Read »

The Data Briefing: Chatbots and the Rise of Conversational Commerce and Citizen Experience

Apr 20, 2016 |

Ten months ago, I wrote about the rise of the post-app world in which mobile personal assistants would do the work of five to 10 apps combined. These mobile personal assistants, now known as chatbots, would work through conversational interfaces (voice and instant messaging, for example). The idea is to build more natural interfaces for people Read »

Your Trek to Vesta & Mars Starts Now

Apr 1, 2016 |

The NASA Open Innovation team is pleased to announce the availability of the APIs that power Mars Trek and Vesta Trek on api.nasa.gov. The APIs for Mars provide data from the Mars Express, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter missions with 21 different data products such as MOLA Altimetery Hillshade, Viking and THEMIS. Read »

The Data Briefing: Three Significant Events in Federal Open Data This Past Week

Mar 23, 2016 |

Three recent stories demonstrate how opening up federal government data and using agile methods to create federal government software can spur innovation while saving tax money and helping the American public. In its Second Open Government National Action Plan (PDF, 639 KB, 5 pages, September 2014), the White House called for a government-wide policy on Read »

The Data Briefing: New Opportunities for American Cities and Communities Thanks to Open Data

Mar 16, 2016 |

Open data and APIs* have not only transformed the federal government; open data and APIs are also transforming tribal, state and local governments. Like federal agencies, some tribal, state and local governments are ahead of other governments in open data innovations. This situation reminds me of my earlier work with the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Read »

The Data Briefing: Mobile Websites or Mobile Apps or Both?

Mar 9, 2016 |

The increasing sophistication of mobile devices has created many opportunities for developers. Thanks to APIs* and open data, developers can build thousands of mobile apps and mobile websites to meet users’ needs. This opportunity has created one of the most contentious debates in the mobile development community: mobile apps versus mobile websites? There is, yet, Read »

The Data Briefing: Serving Citizen Developers Inside and Outside of the Federal Government

Mar 2, 2016 |

Citizen developers are people who do not work in information technology (IT) but have built IT applications. Back in the mid-80s, business people would smuggle in personal computers to run their spreadsheets and word processing applications (anyone remember VisiCalc and Bank Street Writer?) instead of having to rely on data processing departments. Today, citizen developers Read »

The Content Corner: Government as API

Feb 22, 2016 |

Here at DigitalGov, we generally focus on federal governmental digital efforts within the U.S. It is where we live and operate, so it makes sense, but many governments across the world struggle with the same issues and leverage technology as a common solution. When I came across an article where Australia announced its “government as Read »

Wherever You Go, There We Are: the Geolocation API

Nov 23, 2015 | ,

No matter how you go mobile, you can meet your user’s needs. Recommendations based on location are plentiful, particularly on native apps. But don’t fret, agencies with mobile websites: you can also get in the location customization game. Geolocation is a W3C scripting API that can be used with JavaScript in Web browsers. In the Read »

Introducing the Federal Election Commission’s First API

Jul 9, 2015 |

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) empowers citizens with the information they need to make informed decisions about their democracy. Since opening its doors in the ‘70s, the FEC has evolved to better serve the public with that information. As the Read »

Safety and Transparency Through Data

Jul 1, 2015 |

You have the right to a safe workplace—and so do the employees at your favorite café, the local hospital and the construction company renovating homes in your neighborhood. But how can you tell if the businesses you patronize Read »

The API Briefing: Government APIs in a Post-Apps World

Jun 24, 2015 |

Take out your smartphone and count the number of apps that you have. How many of these apps do you use daily? What about the apps you use weekly? Do you have any apps that you installed but used only once? Any apps that you have never used? What kind of apps do you have? Read »

CitySDK: Helping Civic Hackers Deliver Local Solutions

Jun 22, 2015 |

Civic hackers are a special breed—their primary motivation is closely tied to the social issues closest to their hearts. Most attend hack-a-thons, engage in civic meetups, and show up at city hearings to champion their cause and push solutions at the societal, technology, and policy levels. On the technological front, creating civic city-based solutions has Read »

The API Briefing: the Challenge of Government’s Dark Data

Jun 17, 2015 |

By now, you are familiar with “big data” or datasets that are so large that they cannot be analyzed by conventional analytical methods. You may have heard of “long data” which is data that has a temporal context. I work with long data when I analyze hiring patterns over time in workforce data. There is Read »

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