On the continuum of greater collaboration, there is open data, open API’s (application programming interface) and open source. Today’s release of Geoclient under an Apache 2.0 license (press release) on GitHub (here) further strengthens NYC’s overall commitment to openness and collaboration.
NYC government provided data for free download prior to the landmark NYC open data legislation in 2012. One of the earliest examples, if not the first, was the Department of City Planning’s (DCP) release of the LION street centerline file in November 2001. However, the open data legislation greatly opened the data spigot with many more data sets being released and included a plan to release all applicable data sets by 2018.
NYC’s open data portal was followed by a developer portal that was populated with data feeds and API’s. Geoclient was first released to the public on the developer portal as a freely available API. All that was required for access was the provision of an API key, which has since been automated.
We are excited about the release of Geoclient and hope it provides additional benefits to its end users. Although not the first release of source code on GitHub – there are already numerous NYC projects including my team’s Pre-K finder – Geoclient represents arguably the most significant when measured by volume of transactions and number of client application integrations. Geoclient is used by startups, universities, research institutes, other governments and the local developer community. Geoclient has seen almost 300% growth over the last year alone.
We look forward to greater collaboration and hearing from the community of users. However, like any open source projects we cannot guarantee a response to every issue and question but we will do our best. Hopefully the user community gets involved to answer some of the questions. Please bear in mind that Geoclient is a moving target under active development because it is used internally by City systems and staff whose needs are constantly evolving. Yes, we do eat our own dogfood.
Finally, none of this would have been possible without the dedicated staff at DCP who have maintained and extended Geosupport for over 30 years. And of course I’d be remiss without recognizing the hard work of Matt Lipper at DoITT. Kudos to all!
Source code – https://github.com/CityOfNewYork/geoclient
Developer Portal – https://developer.cityofnewyork.us/api/geoclient-api