The New York Times Rolls Its Own Map Mashup: Represent

The New York Times made news earlier this year through its release of several APIs (our Campaign Finance API Profile and our Movie Reviews API Profile). There's been promise of more APIs to come, and the latest prototype created by The New York Times gives a preview of what is to come.

Represent -

Represent is a sophisticated map mashup that integrates stories from the New York Times and the City Room blog to provide citizens of the Big Apple with relevant information about political representatives at various scales of government. More details at our Represent mashup profile.

The post on the Open Blog summarizes Represent:

Using your address as a starting point, Represent figures out which political districts you live in and who represents you at different levels of government. It draws maps that show how where you live fits into the political geography of the city. And using information collected from around the Web, it presents a customized activity stream that tracks what the people who represent you are doing.

This is a promising experiment for the New York times and it draws from information from article searches and a Congressional votes database that The New York Times claims will soon be available as APIs. One of the interesting aspects of this mashup is the open source stack that the Times developers used to create Represent, which includes Django (and GeoDjango), PostGIS spatial extension for PostgreSQL, GEOS, and Geocoder-US. The end result is a home-grown geospatial mashup that provided the development team with a easily and readily customizable solution.

Learn more about The New York Times APIs that are currently available, and be sure to visit The New York Times Developer portal for additional documentation. Wired has some additional thoughts on Represent as well. [Hat Tip: Paul Ramsey]

Be sure to read the next News Services article: US Congress Gets an API