Sunday, August 28, 2011

Data: World Government Data Store

The World Government Data Store and its associated API is easy to use and contains well over 2,000 datasets indexed from government data stores and it is growing all the time.
Governments around the globe are opening up their data vaults – allowing you to check out, visualise and analyse the numbers for yourself. The UK Government opened its data store to the public, an action The Guardian's Free Our Data campaign has long campaigned for.

By having datasets from all over the world in one centralised place, it is much easier for users to compare and contrast data.

As we wanted this resource to be widely used by developers "The Guardian" created a simple API onto the data store. The API allows developers to search government data from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

The newspaper provides search results in both JSON and ATOM formats.

JSON output provides you with all the meta-data on each dataset, whereas the ATOM feeds provide you with a smaller subsection of meta-data. By default ATOM feeds are ordered by the date that datasets are added to our site, therefore they are useful for discovering the latest datasets.
The URL structure for using the API are pretty straight-forward. As a starting point you can use the search page and simply replace "/search?" with either "/search.json?" or "/search.atom?".
For further details to how to access and make use of APIs, please click here.