If Gov Then That

Let's promote government open data by designing clever uses for government APIs.

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What is this project?

Our goal is to promote government APIs and learn more about them. We are creating clever uses for gov APIs to promote and educate the public about APIs, government data, and agencies. This project uses IFTTT’s two-part trigger and action idea. So, if something happens (like the government posts a new data set) that’s a trigger that leads to an action (for example, the data gets saved to your Google drive directory). Learn more about IFTTT and see their (much better) explanation of this.

So, for example, one of our ideas is for you to receive a text message if the lines at your airport are longer than 40 minutes (based on the TSA API). Another idea is for you to receive an email with a different, random newspaper cover from that day in history (based on a Library of Congress API). Browse through more of our ideas and add your own!

If you’re looking for a civic project that is already live and working, you might like Sunlight Foundation on IFTTT.

How can you contribute?

Any level of tech skill can contribute to this project. You might be especially interested in joining if you want to learn more about APIs, government open data, or GitHub.

Here are a few ways you can get involved:

  • Get creative: You could start by brainstorming government services and how they might be used. Review this list of government APIs for ideas. Add your ideas here.
  • Learn more about APIs: You can learn more about APIs on Zapier or Code Academy. (Additional recommendations for learning more about APIs are very welcome.)

Questions? Want to discuss something?

Create an issue! Easy as pie!