API

The API Briefing: Make It an API – the Census Bureau’s Census of Governments

Jun 3, 2015 |

Serendipity can be a wonderful tool for discovery. I was looking through the Census Bureau site for some business census data when I came upon the 2012 Census of Governments. According to the official description: “[t]he Census of Governments identifies the scope and nature of the nation’s state and local government sector; provides authoritative benchmark Read »

The API Briefing: NASA Builds API.NASA.gov to Launch More APIs to Developers

May 27, 2015 |

NASA has been busy since we last visited their collection of APIs back in August 2014. NASA has just launched API.NASA.gov where developers can learn to use existing NASA Read »

The API Briefing: Five Federal APIs for Building a Government Jobs Finder Mobile App

May 20, 2015 |

The spring semesters are winding down at the universities where I teach. Many students are looking for summer internships or their first job after graduation. Of course, I talk about the opportunities in government through the Pathways program, the Presidential Management Fellows, or the various agency-specific internship programs. I’ve demonstrated USAJOBS in my classes, but Read »

The API Briefing: Be Prepared with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Mobile App

May 6, 2015 |

Before coming to DC in late 2008, I lived in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville is in the Ohio Valley Region, which meteorologists euphemistically call “weather-rich.” With spring came the beautiful flowers and the Kentucky Derby. Spring also brought flooding, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and windstorms. This is why I had several emergency weather radios that also doubled Read »

The API Briefing: Top Five Findings for API Developers from Pew Research Center

Apr 29, 2015 |

The Pew Research Center just released a report on how Americans view open government data. The following findings were based on a November to December 2014 survey of 3,212 adults. Two-thirds of Americans use the Internet or an app to connect with the government. According to Pew, 37% use the Internet to connect with the Read »

The API Briefing: Making a Difference One Microtask at a Time

Apr 22, 2015 |

I recently found an app that provides a great service through crowdsourcing. Be My Eyes connects visually-impaired people with volunteers. Using the smartphone’s camera, the volunteers can perform tasks such as reading an expiration date or helping someone navigate unfamiliar surroundings. This is not a federal app, but I wanted to highlight it to demonstrate how Read »

What Labor Department Data Do You Want?

Apr 17, 2015 |

Four years ago, we released our Labor Department-wide API—that is, an Application Programming Interface—with the hope that anyone who wants to build an Read »

NASA APIs: Opening Data Assets

Apr 16, 2015 |

Data is one of the most important assets at NASA. We have data on comets, measurements of Mars, and real-time imagery of Earth. But what good is data if you can’t access it? Not good at all! We’re in the process of building a site (at api.nasa.gov) to catalog NASA APIs that structure access to Read »

The API Briefing: How Essential Is Government Data to the American Economy?

Apr 15, 2015 |

I grew up when home computers were first being introduced to the general public. I bought my first computer, a Commodore 64, after spending a summer of mowing lawns and saving up my birthday and Christmas money. It was not until I entered college that I became an infopreneur. Infopreneurs are entrepreneurs who used computers Read »

The API Briefing: How Do I Use This API? Good Documentation Practices from Department of Labor

Apr 1, 2015 |

When I first started coding using BASIC on the Commodore 64, I rarely documented my programs. Neither did many of my fellow programmers which led to numerous hours trying to figure out just exactly how a program worked. Documentation became more vital as programs became more feature rich and complex. In the API world, there Read »

On the Spot: Must-Have IFTTT Recipes for Government

Mar 30, 2015 |

Ever since we announced IFTTT was available for federal use, dozens of ideas have been shared for how program managers can use the tool to increase their productivity. I asked some API enthusiasts in the SocialGov community which of their Read »

Empowerment, Innovation, and Improved Health Outcomes: the Blue Button Initiative

Mar 27, 2015 |

Finding and getting access to our own health information can be a complex process. And most of us don’t really think about having our health information readily accessible until we really need it – like in the event of an emergency, or when switching doctors or traveling. Combing through stacks of paperwork and contacting providers Read »

The API Briefing: Free Federal Energy and Economic Information Delivered Straight to Your Spreadsheet

Mar 25, 2015 |

Back in November 2014, I wrote about the Federal Reserve of St. Louis’ FRED® (Federal Reserve Economic Data) API. A user can access 238,000 economic trends through FRED® through a website and mobile apps. What is unique about FRED® is that a user can pull economic data directly into an Excel spreadsheet. Now, the FRED® Read »

The API Briefing: Introduction to Web Components

Mar 18, 2015 |

Instead of writing about a specific federal API this week, I want to talk about a new, evolving way of building Web interfaces and complete applications. Web Components allow developers to create their element that extends the HTML5 set of tags. Developers can create a Web Component Read »

Why Your APIs Need Design Help

Mar 16, 2015 |

Anything built should be built right. It doesn’t matter if it’s built of wood, carbon nanotubes or code. So it’s encouraging that the practice of User-Centered Design—getting customer feedback at every stage of a project—is catching on with Read »

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