Oh, New York Times, how you irritate me with your constant talk of a paywall (I don’t care if you institute it, I’m just tired of hearing the endless coy reveal and discussion. Paywall or get off the pot.) But no matter how much the NYT gets on my nerves, I always forgive it after a visit to the Open Blog. Latest from NYT Open: version 3 of the Congress API, which was announced late February. Version 2 of the API will be supported until June 2010.
There are several new additions and changes to the new version. New responses for the API include a list of members leaving office, chamber schedule, votes by date, and member sponsorship comparison. Changes to responses include vote responses (which now include bill information), member bio responses now include current party and state attributes (and some social media information if available), and bill details responses now include version information. You can get an overview of all the changes here. Full documentation is here.
So how can you put the new API to work? The Open folks have put together a sample app at http://nytcongress.appspot.com/ that compares voting records between a pair of senators (they’re random; refresh the page to see different pairs.) You also get a list of bills that the pair has cosponsored with links to additional legislation information. (You can get the code for this application at http://github.com/dwillis/NYT-Congress-API-Demo.) There’s also a forum available for discussion of new applications but it’s not active at the moment.
More great stuff from the NYT Open blog. Maybe as the US government starts releasing more data sets the NYT will start integrating some of that information into its APIs?…