API

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 »

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 »

Top