Technical.ly Philly

Civic

Jun. 19, 2013 11:30 am

PHL API: City of Philadelphia’s API database

First developed to be used at PennApps spring 2013, the city built the database with an eye toward making its APIs as "attractive" to developers as possible, said Chief Data Officer Mark Headd.

Chief Data Officer Mark Headd's Philly Homicide map.

You know about OpenDataPhilly, the city’s open data library. Now meet its cousin, PHL API.

Still a work in progress, it will eventually be a database of the all city’s APIs — you know, those tools that pipe in fresh, clean data into the tools and applications you love.

It already features loads of geospatial APIs, as well as the APIs for crime data, L&I data and 311 data. The site also features resources for developers, like tips for using a specific API, anda gallery of apps made using the different APIs.

Visit PHL API here.

First developed to be used at PennApps spring 2013, the city built the database with an eye toward making its APIs as “attractive” to developers as possible, said Chief Data Officer Mark Headd.

“I think cities like Philly need to look (and act) like every other company that has a public API,” Headd said in an email, referring to the fact that companies with public APIs provide resources around them for developers, like “detailed documentation, code samples, client libraries in a variety if languages, a forum for discussion and feedback.”

Only one other major city – Chicago – does this with its APIs, but Philly’s is more expansive, Headd said.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Technically Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called “It’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

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