UK newspaper The Guardian is expanding its Open Platform (our Guardian API profile). Today they’ve launched a useful new government API that covers information about politicians and elections in the UK, with many details going back to 1992. It also contains limited older data, as far back as 1945.
The newspaper announced the API, noting it was built from a pre-existing internal system and noting there’s more to come:
This is the first of what will become a series of thematic APIs; ones which expose content in a tightly organised facet of our subject expertise. Our editorial staff have long since used and contributed to a resource known as Aristotle. This forms the basis of the Politics API which you can now build applications with, just as we will in advance of this year’s General Election.
With an election coming in the next few months, The Guardian is urging developers to use its platform to create applications. When election results come in, that data will also be immediately available via the API. For technical details see our Politics API profile.
In order to encourage wide use of the new API, the barrier has been lowered. No API key is required and every method returns JSON, which has quickly become the preferred data format. Additionally, Matt McAlister of The Guardian told us, “commercial use is encouraged. We just require attribution,” living up to the “open” in Open Platform.