Sunshine Week: New York Launches New Open Data Tool

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New York Attorney General Eric Schniderman has launched a new API geared toward offering more information about government. is an effort by the Attorney General’s office to promote the public’s right to know and monitor governmental decision-making, according to a statement.

The website and API aggregates a range of government information including – campaign finance, lobbying, charities, state contracts, member items, corporate registrations, elected officials, and legislation. The NY Open Government API will allow developers easier access to this data, which they can use in the creation of applications. Currently, the database is used by good government groups, reporters, and law enforcement agencies for analysis, general information, and even investigations.

The introduction of an API for NY’s Open Government website will begin with testing by students at NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) program. Eventually, the API will be open to the public and all interested developers.

Currently, the NY Open Government databases can only be accessed through a simple search tool bar. The API will allow developers to build new graphical interfaces, devise algorithms for mining the data and create applications.

This initiative is being led for the Attorney General’s Office by Special Counsel Simon Brandler, Research Director Lacey Keller, Confidential Assistant Liam Arbetman, Information Technology Specialist Namita Mishra and Information Technology Specialist Kevin Ryan.