Government APIs made simple like IFTTT

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Government APIs made simple like IFTTT Leah Bannon 11/1/13 1:47 PM
Hi - I was thinking that there should be some government agency channels on IFTTT -- this could be a great way to promote government APIs. Or we should just build our own simple page with ideas and how to implement them.

Off the top of my head, some ideas:
  • The lines at my airport reach a certain time length
  • The government's status changes
  • Certain keywords come up on FOIA, USAJobs, Federal Register, etc...
What do you think?

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Leah T. Bannon
Re: Government APIs made simple like IFTTT Alan deLevie 11/1/13 1:49 PM
Not sure if possible, but new entries to regulations.gov would be nice.

-Alan
Re: Government APIs made simple like IFTTT Justin Herman 11/1/13 1:49 PM
We are currently wrapping up Terms of Service negotiation with them -- one of their founders is a former fed and has an eye for this sort of thing. 


On Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 4:47 PM, Leah Bannon <leahb...@gmail.com> wrote:

Re: Government APIs made simple like IFTTT Kin Lane 11/1/13 1:51 PM
Great idea / thread.

Have you reached out to Zapier(https://zapier.com/) folks as well? 

It would be nice to have gov represented across services.
Re: Government APIs made simple like IFTTT Gray Brooks 11/1/13 2:08 PM
Huh - good idea.  

A few specific ideas below but a general thought first:  

Is there a generic API-intake that we could use to combine gov't APIs (or really any APIs) with IFTTT ?  There's a 2 dimensional layer to that, using the Feed channel if something is available as RSS, but it'd be really powerful if there was X service that had a channel in IFTTT and then also could intake any restful API.  I'm not smart enough to know - is what I'm describing basically YQL or Yahoo Pipes?  

Some ideas - 

* I would say 'farmers market opens for the year' but think that the metadata for that API isn't parsed out well enough for that.  

* I wonder if it'd be possible to use the NREL API to power something that would alert you whenever there's a new alternative fuel station that opens within a certain geographic area...

* Maybe airport status (not quite the same as line times)?  E.G.  Triggers that are based off of an airport getting shut down.  I feel like many frequent flyers would be interested in getting a heads up of an event like this morning's at LAX for any airport in the lower 48, not just certain ones.  

A big question I don't know the answer to is how hard it would be to use IFTTT or any number of other services to set up an alert to new or updated entries in a certain query of an API.  That's something which I think fits many of the public APIs and would have hundreds of use cases.  

Anyone have any ideas how to do this scalably?  

Gray 
Re: Government APIs made simple like IFTTT Bryant 11/1/13 2:28 PM
Hi Alan,

What do you have in mind for the new entries for regulations.gov?

Thanks,

Bryant

On Friday, November 1, 2013, Alan deLevie wrote:
Not sure if possible, but new entries to regulations.gov would be nice.

-Alan


On Fri, Nov 1, 2013 at 4:47 PM, Leah Bannon <leahbannon@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi - I was thinking that there should be some government agency channels on IFTTT -- this could be a great way to promote government APIs. Or we should just build our own simple page with ideas and how to implement them.

Off the top of my head, some ideas:
  • The lines at my airport reach a certain time length
  • The government's status changes
  • Certain keywords come up on FOIA, USAJobs, Federal Register, etc...
What do you think?

--
Leah T. Bannon

Re: Government APIs made simple like IFTTT erie.meyer 11/1/13 2:37 PM
It would be awesome to bring in fed developers, team IFTTT, and the public to have a "cook off" where people could create and submit different recipes.

Love this idea, Leah!

Sent from my iPhone
Re: Government APIs made simple like IFTTT Justin Herman 11/1/13 2:39 PM
I had always envisioned agencies pushing each of their posts from any platform into an open Google Calendar so they can better see the spread of coverage between their sub-agencies, etc, and there would also be an easy to evaluate record for the public. 

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 1, 2013, at 5:28 PM, Bryant Crowe <bryant...@gmail.com> wrote:

Re: Government APIs made simple like IFTTT Eric Mill 11/1/13 3:24 PM
IFTTT has, I think, been careful to avoid opening up a general purpose API-driven Channel, as they concentrate on sustainability and making deals with specific partners. It would reduce their leverage and the value of their partnerships if anyone could jack into IFTTT and create arbitrary recipes -- as cool as that would be. 

I asked them on Twitter once about it (can't find it now) and they said they plan to, someday.
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Re: Government APIs made simple like IFTTT Joseph Mosby 11/1/13 3:52 PM
Bryant (and Alan, jumping in here),

Regulations.gov does not currently accept new comments on regulations via its API, per the documentation here: http://www.regulations.gov/docs/Regulations_Gov_API_User_Guide.pdf

It would be awesome to be able to request new proposed regulations, identified by the document ID, and post comments on those regulations via the API. Using this, I could set up a Twitter hashtag for a key new regulation and automatically feed comments with that hashtag into regulations.gov as formal comments on the regulation. Stitch the two together on IFTTT and the public can drive the discussion with ease. Whatever the choice of connected medium, this could increase public regulatory discussion substantially. 

Joseph Mosby
615.310.8192
@josephmosby

On Nov 1, 2013, at 5:28 PM, Bryant Crowe <bryant...@gmail.com> wrote:

Re: Government APIs made simple like IFTTT Read Holman 11/3/13 5:15 AM
Winner: "Text me when the CDC reports a Zombie outbreak" Apparently it exists... And has over 3,000 users?! (Seriously i just stumbled on this)

https://ifttt.com/recipes/48155

This also highlights that RSS feeds are the more useful IFTTT triggers.

Re: Government APIs made simple like IFTTT Jed Sundwall 11/3/13 5:46 AM
Government's status change is a great one; OPM could really benefit from creating a few APIs like "status," "federal holidays," "GS pay tables," etc. 

How about an IFTTT recipe based on particularly large CPSC recalls?
Re: Government APIs made simple like IFTTT Leah Bannon 11/12/13 4:06 PM
Hey everyone - Thanks for your awesome input. I've started corralling ideas/suggestions/things to research in this GItHub repo: https://github.com/leahbannon/if-gov-then-that/

I'll be organizing/researching/structuring/brainstorming for this project at tomorrow's Code for DC meetup if you're interested. :)


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Leah T. Bannon