While Hamilton dithers, other cities release open data APIs

The good writers at ProgrammableWeb provide regular updates about new APIs on the web. Today, they note 35 new APIs including the following cities releasing APIs:

  • City of Boston Citizen’s Connect API – allows citizens to report problems in their neighbourhood such as #pothole (potholes or road damage), #streetlight and #gaslight (issues with streetlights), #graffiti and #offensivegraffiti, #sidewalk (sidewalk issues),  #sign (damaged street signs), and #other issues.
    The City released mobile apps with the API and a Twitter account that monitors citizen tweets directed to it. The Twitter account (@citizensconnect) tracks reports and updates citizens when the problem is fixed.

With the work already done by Boston, the City of Hamilton can easily adopt this solution for reporting problems. All it takes is City Council to adopt open data and stop dithering on the subject. (We’re currently conducting a study about maybe launching a pilot sometime mid-to-late next year.)

  • OpenBaltimore Socrata Open Data API – The City of Baltimore starting exposing their 231 datasets via API this week.
  • NYC 311 API – New York City’s release of 311 information via an API will open many opportunities for better understanding the issues of current importance to citizens and provide interesting insight into how people interact with government. I’m interested to see what NYC’s large development community does with this dataset.
  • data.seattle.gov API– The City of Seattle starting exposing their 355 datasets via API this week. The most popular: Real Time Fire 911 Calls.