Shutdown could cripple apps

By Adam Mazmanian; Oct 01, 2013

stock_tickerThe shutdown manual provided by the Office of Management and Budget is putting a lot of public-facing government websites on the shelf as Congress and the White House try to come to terms on a temporary spending plan. At the same time, data feeds and government-run application programming interfaces (APIs) that answer calls for data from software and app developers are also going dark.

The datasets, tool catalog and government apps hosted by the General Services Administration at are shut down, as are the popular Census APIs, data from the Centers for Disease Control, the National Center for Education Statistics, and other federal agencies. FCW has learned that government servers were heavily tasked by users of government data downloading files in advance of a shutdown.

The nonprofit data-mapping service PolicyMap, which relies on Census data, is still up and running, according to a blog post. PolicyMap doesn’t use APIs to pull data, relying on summary files it downloads from the government and hosts on its own servers. The government is pushing developers in that direction, and PolicyMap will likely shift to APIs.

“[The shutdown] doesn’t give me pause because we’re not there yet,” said Elizabeth Nash, director of data and product development at PolicyMap. “I think we can feel safe for the next couple of months using downloaded data.”

Continue reading the article by Adam Mazmanian on the FCW website