For the first time ever, the U.S. Census Bureau is making their giant database accessible to app developers with the release of a a public API. This will allow developers to work much of the government’s statistical and demographic information into new web and mobile apps.
With the public API, developers now have access to two different statistical databases – the 2010 Census and the 206-2010 American Community Survey.
The former is the basic statistical record of the country, complete with everything on population, age, sex, racial stats, and geographic breakdown.
The latter goes a little deeper into some specific topics like education, income, occupations, commuting, etc.
Apps give people simpler access to our statistics so they can get the information they need to answer questions or solve problems,” said Stephen Buckner, chief of the Census Bureau’s Center for New Media and Promotions. “As Web developers exercise their creativity with our statistics, we believe the public will gain more opportunities to access more of our information on their laptops and mobile devices — anytime and anywhere they wish.”
Along with the release of the public API, the Census Bureau has also unveiled an “app gallery,” which houses a couple of web apps that have already been developed using Census data (the gallery will hopefully become more populated as developers use the new API).
If you’re a developer and you want to get started with Census data, here’s your portal.