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280 posts

APIs in Government

This page is about what an Application Programming Interface or API is and what it does and how government agencies are using them to operate more efficiently.
Apr 30, 2013

Producing APIs through Data.gov

One way agencies can offer APIs for their data is to use the built–in functionality of Data.gov. The information that is hosted as interactive datasets have an API layer which agencies can make available through documentation in the developer’s section of the agency’s website. The guide below will help you do this. Process Upload a dataset
Apr 30, 2013

How Canada is Revolutionizing Digital Governance

The Canadian government is changing how we think of traditional Web management. They built a platform of standards-compliant (HTML5, WCAG and WAI-ARIA), accessible and secure components that its agencies (and even provincial and municipalities) can use to build and maintain their sites. They are also focused
Apr 19, 2013

Census takes “March Madness” to a New Level

Government agencies are working hard to communicate complex mountains of data clearly and effectively through graphics. The Census Bureau, known for their great work creating visual images, has done just that. They have created a great data visualization game just in time for March Madness! The game, “Population Bracketology” tests your knowledge of
Mar 20, 2013

API Analytics

Similar to website analytics, API analytics focus on reliably reporting the metrics which are most useful to its stakeholders. There are a many ways of collecting, reporting, and consuming API analytics but all revolve around the industry–accepted norm that some form of analytics are crucial to any API program. The most basic metrics will track
Mar 12, 2013

API Design and Documentation

Design At their core, developers want APIs for very straightforward, pragmatic ends. You should always design your APIs and document them with the goal of making it easier for developers to use them. Doing so results in greater adoption and a healthier, more successful API. The least efficient way to support developers would be to
Mar 12, 2013

How to Make APIs—An Overview

After choosing a set of information or services to offer via API, some of your next steps are to plan and implement the API. You’ll still need to prepare documentation, tools, and other elements that make a complete package for the API, but at the center is the actual Web service itself. In many situations,
Mar 12, 2013

Resources and Tools for APIs

Hosted API Tools Labs.Data.gov is a repository of shared services to prototype and provide developer resources to government agencies. Each tool uses Web services and lightweight, open source code to provide powerful functionality. Agencies are encouraged to improve any project and submit pull requests in order to share the improvements with others. API Standards Template With the open
Mar 12, 2013

How to Get Started with APIs

Audit Research existing APIs Regardless of your agency’s level of progress in API production, your first step is to create a developer hub that links to any of your agency’s existing APIs. This can help identify current efforts and connect you with others in your agency already working on APIs. Follow up with a deeper
Mar 12, 2013

API Basics

Common Technical Choices Protocol API protocol is the set of rules that govern how an API functions. The protocol outlines the structure and definitions of the API. The two common forms are REST and SOAP. REST is the dominant choice for API protocol because it uses the http protocol that powers the Web. REST supports more
Mar 12, 2013

Benefits of APIs

Understanding the benefits of API production allows you to coordinate with system owners and other stakeholders to modernize the agency’s systems and unlock the sizable potential. Here are just some of these opportunities. Efficiency Providing API access allows for content to be created once and automatically published or made available to many channels. Your agency’s
Mar 12, 2013

Analytics, APIs and Open Content Resources

Agencies have been working away at building better digital services and here, at the Digital Services Innovation Center, we’ve been building resources to help. We have been focusing on three areas, 1. The Digital Analytics Program. We announced this program in early October to help agencies better measure performance and customer satisfaction
Dec 18, 2012

Introduction to APIs

There’s an easier way to get content and data into the hands of citizens. Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, are web services that allow people to more easily consume content and data in multiple ways–via mobile devices, mobile apps, innovative mash-ups, and much more. Simply put, “APIs are a better way to get government information
Jul 26, 2012

Healthfinder.gov API

Mobile Gov Experiences are agency stories about creating anytime, anywhere, any device government services and info. This entry is a story shared by Healthfinder.gov. The actual healthfinder.gov site was launched approximately twelve years ago, while the API is a fairly recent development that has occurred in the past year and
Jul 16, 2012

Mobile Webinar Series Recap: Responsive Design

Some agencies are turning to responsive design to support device-agnostic content delivery which was called for in the recently released Digital Innovation Strategy. Last week, GSA’s Mobile Program Management Office held a responsive design webinar in conjunction with DigitalGov University outlining agency experiences with responsive design. Agency experts covered responsive design technical approaches and strategy and you can
Jul 02, 2012

RIM/Blackberry Mobile Development Webinar Recap

The Mobile Platform Development Series was developed to help government agencies learn how to deliver government content–information, data and services–anytime, anywhere and on any device. One way to deliver content to citizens is via applications on mobile devices or native mobile apps. Government agencies need technical expertise on developing apps on the various platforms. Today we bring
May 16, 2012

Battle Royale: Mobile Web Versus Mobile Apps

When agency folks gather together to talk about mobile gov, the number one question asked is, “Should we do a mobile app or a mobile web site?” To help people with that question, we became fight promoters and sponsored THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY: Mobile Web Vs. Mobile Apps.
Nov 28, 2011