Data is Journalism: Politics API from The Guardian

Adam DuVander
Mar. 01 2010, 04:00PM EST

UK newspaper The Guardian is expanding its Open Platform (our Guardian API profile). Today they've launched a useful new government API that covers information about politicians and elections in the UK, with many details going back to 1992. It also contains limited older data, as far back as 1945.

The newspaper announced the API, noting it was built from a pre-existing internal system and noting there's more to come:

This is the first of what will become a series of thematic APIs; ones which expose content in a tightly organised facet of our subject expertise. Our editorial staff have long since used and contributed to a resource known as Aristotle. This forms the basis of the Politics API which you can now build applications with, just as we will in advance of this year's General Election.

With an election coming in the next few months, The Guardian is urging developers to use its platform to create applications. When election results come in, that data will also be immediately available via the API. For technical details see our Politics API profile.

Gordon Brown in Guardian API

In order to encourage wide use of the new API, the barrier has been lowered. No API key is required and every method returns JSON, which has quickly become the preferred data format. Additionally, Matt McAlister of The Guardian told us, "commercial use is encouraged. We just require attribution," living up to the "open" in Open Platform.

Another way the newspaper has made it easy to use the new API is by providing a sample application, complete with a walk-through. There's also a clear getting started document.

It was less than a year ago when The Guardian first announced its platform. In October it launched an app gallery.

For similar APIs, be sure to see our 43 government APIs and 22 news APIs.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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