White House Releases We the People API to the Public

Janet Wagner, May 3rd, 2013

The White HouseBack in February, ProgrammableWeb reported that The White House had released a new We the People API to a select group of developers at the February 2013 White House Open Data Day Hackathon. The White House has now announced that the read-only version of the We the People API has been released to the public.

We the People Petition Mapper

We the People Petition Mapper App – Screenshot of Live Demo

The read-only version of the We the People API allows developers access to the data on all publicly-available petitions (petitions that pass the 150 signature threshold requirement become publicly-available on the We The People site). There is also a bulk data download (SQL dump) available for developers who do not need real-time petition data.

The We the People API responses are returned in JSON data format and the type of petition data that can be called includes a list of petitions, individual petitions and individual petition signatures.

The White House has also created an API gallery site that showcases applications using the We the People API. Below are a few of the applications showcased in the gallery:

  • The Widget the People Tool – Application allows users to search for a petition by headline then create a “signatures still needed” embeddable widget.
  • R We the People – An application for the R statistics environment. Users can load petition data and create visualizations such as word clouds.
  • We the People Petition Mapper – Application allows users to render embeddable maps of petition signatures.
  • Where the People – Application generates a visualization based on the location of petition signers.

Developers interested in using the We the People API can find more information at the We the People Developers website.

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