Sunlight Labs announced a new API for streaming U.S. congressional activity. The Sunlight Labs Real Time Congress API (RTC) covers a broad range of U.S. House and Senate actions and data as soon as it’s available on the web. The API can be queried and combined with other APIs including the Sunlight Labs Congress API that contains data on legislators.
The RTC could be a bonanza for politicos, journalists, and engaged citizens. “The idea here is to offer feeds of Congressional activity in as close to real time as is feasible.” developer Eric Mill wrote in the Sunlight Labs Google Group. “It’s not an archival source of data, like GovTrack or the NYT Congress API, and it covers the 111th and 112th Congresses only.” Users of the RESTful api can parse and query information in JSON and XML about:
The new API also offers a multitude of ways to filter and query the data. This includes basic full text searching and partial responses for clients with bandwidth constraints.
The Real Time Congress API is already being used by the Sunlight Labs Android app with promises for future integration into their iOS and planned Roku apps. The HTML5 app StreamCongress (pictured above) that has been available in the Chrome Web Store since December also uses the new API.