Just because your favorite US Government Web site is reachable during the federal shutdown doesn’t mean that the APIs that go with it aren’t impacted. As ProgrammableWeb editor-in-chief discovers, there could be more to the government shutdown than meets the eye.
The impacts of the US Congress’ impasse on passing legislation to fund government activities has stretched to the White House’s APIs and to APIs provided by US Federal Government agencies. US Government managed APIs are currently offline. It is a blow to the Federal Government’s emerging open data infrastructure.
The New York City Government has raised the bar for open government programs everywhere by launching several brand new NYC Open Data APIs, a redesigned Open Data Portal and Developer Website. The NYC Open Data Portal now has over 1,100 datasets available including 200 brand new datasets that have just been added.
In a presentation to the recent Open Knowledge Foundation conference in Switzerland, MapBox CEO Eric Gundersen argued that open data business models will be an ‘intermediary’s game’: a model that will position open APIs as the key tool in creating business value.
Transports Publics Genevois (TPG), the primary public transportation system operator of the Geneva area, Switzerland, has officially launched the TPG Real-Time Open Data API which provides programmatic access to real-time, hourly TPG data such as commercial stops, traffic information and next departures.
Exversion is hoping the need to access wide-ranging open datasets has matured enough to create a viable business as an open data marketplace. Their new Exversion API provides developers with a RESTful interface to search and access the open datasets stored on the Exversion data platform. At present, the API returns queries in JSON or XML format, with full XML support to be provided in the near future.
API Moscow just opened its doors with plans to spark entrepreneurial activity and prevent innovative companies from taking talents abroad. The API in the name refers to application programming interface that PW, and many others, find the future of the connected world will be built upon. Although APIs will most likely play an essential role among the many startups that will occupy the incubation space, in the case of API Moscow, the name represents the connection where innovators, investors, mentors, and markets can meet and launch new businesses and products.
This week is national farmer’s market week, with over 8,100 markets across the country. The farmer’s market directory API that gives access to the data is one of five USDA APIs in our directory. Two of the other 4 are no longer available: ERS/USDA Per Capita Food Availability Data API and USDA Animal Identification Management System API. However, the USDA Economic Research Service API, and the USDA Soil Data Access API are still live. We last covered the farmer’s market directory API on its released mid-May.
Open data infrastructure is being built out across the globe to better allow governments at all levels to improve access to data sources. Across the globe, governments are adopting their own API management platforms, announcing roadmaps for data accessibility, improving internal API capacities and unlocking government-held data so that it can be used by local citizens and businesses seeking to build new commercial products and technologies.
In recent months, the number of government open data APIs has been increasing rapidly due to a variety of factors including the development of open data technology platforms, the launch of Project Open Data and a recent White House executive order regarding government data. This post is a general overview of several recent factors that have led to the rise of government open data APIs.