Civic Innovations

Technology, Government Innovation, and Open Data

Turning Government Web Content Into APIs.

Inspired by a recent Open City project that repurposes data on sewage in the Chicago River, I wanted to work through a quick example of turing a web page that houses useful information on water quality in Philly into an API.

Here is a quick screencast showing how easy it is to take information rendered as part of a standard HTML page and turn it into a useful JSON API.

It goes without saying that as more and more data producers in government learn about how data can be repurposed by others – both inside and outside of government – we’ll see more and more valuable information exposed as structured data and APIs. Viva #opendata!

Until then, there are some very powerful tools available for turing web content into powerful, reusable APIs.

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About Me

I am the former Chief Data Officer for the City of Philadelphia. I also served as Director of Government Relations at Code for America, and as Director of the State of Delaware’s Government Information Center. For about six years, I served in the General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Services (TTS), and helped pioneer their work with state and local governments. I also led platform evangelism efforts for TTS’ cloud platform, which supports over 30 critical federal agency systems.

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