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API Release Notes for 8/30/2016: Discovery API, Imports API, and SNI

A Better Way to Search Open Government Data

The Socrata data platform hosts tens of thousands of government datasets. Governments large and small publish data on crime, permits, finance, healthcare, research, performance, and more for citizens to use. While this large corpus of government data is already accessible via OpenDataNetwork.com, today Socrata has further opened up its full catalog of government data for automated searching, research, and use via a new API.

Our new Discovery API allows users and applications to query all public Socrata-hosted government data by keywords, categories, tags, asset types, metadata, and much more. Users can limit results to specific domains or search across all government data publishers, and can use this API to dynamically access views, visualizations, and maps created from datasets for deeper analysis. This service also takes advantage of our platform’s powerful search capabilities to ensure results are served quickly and ranked by relevance.

Suggested uses of the API:

  • Analysis of data published according to certain annotations, categories and tags
  • Development of meta catalogs which search across government data publishers
  • Exploration of government metadata and data descriptions

The documentation for the Catalog Search API is available here: http://docs.socratadiscovery.apiary.io/.

 

SNI now required for HTTPS connections

As part of the August 19th maintenance window and our move to Amazon Web Services, we now require all HTTPS connections to customer APIs and portals to be made with clients that support the Server Name Indication (SNI) extension to the TLS protocol.

If you’re using the most up-to-date version of your web browser, HTTP client, and SSL library, you probably didn’t even notice the change went into effect. However, if you have an older system or application developed before SNI was an accepted standard, you may need to update your system or environment to a newer version. Wikipedia has this handy table that can help you determine if you need to upgrade.

Head over to this Changelog update on dev.socrata.com for more details, and if you are having trouble updating your data after the 19th reach out to us at support@socrata.com.

 

Imports API Feedback

The open data made available online today is most valuable to users if the data itself is accurate and up-to-date. To ensure data can be updated in as real-time as possible, many data publishers make use of the Socrata Imports API to programmatically make updates on their Socrata platform. We are working on designing and building a replacement for our Imports API, and would love your input on what to change or improve. If you have ideas, please join the discussion on Github, or reach out to us at support@socrata.com.


Check out our other Product News, and give us a shout at support@socrata.com with questions or ideas.

 

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