Introducing the Upcoming Open States GraphQL API

The Open States API is arguably the most important part of the project after the scrapers. The API was launched in 2010 and now sees millions of requests a week. Today we’re announcing experimental availability of the Open States GraphQL API, our intended successor to the existing API. You can start experimenting w/ the API today: check out the alpha documentation or dive in! This API is currently in an early alpha state. [Read More]

Google Summer of Code 2017 Final Update

Hello everyone! I’m finally wrapping up my Google Summer of Code project. It was a very successful journey, and I’m extremely happy that I got to work with an organization like Open States. I would like to thank my mentors Miles and James for providing me guidance to successfully complete the project. Here’s a summary of what I produced: Overview The purpose of this project was to build Open Civic Data administrative data tools, and additionally to help with the pupa-ization of existing scrapers. [Read More]

Open States Data Availability Survey

Help evaluate your state’s legislative data. In 2013 the Open States team put together an Open Legislative Data Report Card. The report card ranked states in several categories, helping us provide states feedback and apply pressure to states to improve their data availability. That survey was greatly aided by volunteers helping us evaluate state data sources. We’d like to revisit this for 2017 and once again want to call upon our community for assistance. [Read More]

Google Summer of Code — Data Quality Tools Update

Hitesh has been working with us as part of Google Summer of Code. Prior updates: intro, first update. Hello everyone! A lot of work was done this month and hence the third blog post. So continuing from my last blog post, here’s a quick overview of what’s been accomplished so far: Introduced a new data quality check to capture if there are too many people associated with a post or too few people associated with a post. [Read More]

2017 So Far

With the bulk of 2017 sessions now adjourned we wanted to give an update for what we’ve been working on besides keeping the scrapers running & what’s coming next. scraper commits for 2017; https://github.com/openstates/openstates/graphs/commit-activity Diving into Open Civic Data In May, with the help of dozens of new contributors, we finished converting all of our scrapers to the Open Civic Data ecosystem. This was our big push for the first half of the year and it is fair to say that this is the biggest improvement to the Open States project since 2012, when we released openstates. [Read More]

Progress on the OCD Data Quality Tools

Hello everyone! It seems like just yesterday that I was selected for Google Summer of Code, but I’ve now completed my first of three months with the Open States project. Continuing from my last blog post, here’s a quick overview of what’s been accomplished so far: I helped to complete the organization’s switch to scraping into the Open Civic Data format. I wrote a Django command to detect data quality issues in scraped OCD records, and store these issues in the database. [Read More]

Google Summer of Code — Improved Data Tools

Hello, Universe! I am Hitesh Garg, one of the two Google Summer of Code (GSoC) students working with Open States this summer. I’ll be helping to transition the project to Open Civic Data (OCD), by implementing admin interfaces to this new data structure. My journey to Google Summer of Code I’ve always been fascinated by the open-source software community, and wanted to contribute my skills to society and do something impactful. [Read More]

Google Summer of Code — Crowdsourcing & Scraper Fixing

Hello everyone! My name is Bikram Bharti, I am working with Open States this summer aspart of the Google Summer of Code program. About Me I am a junior year student with major in Electronics Engineering at IIT (Varanasi) BHU. I started my journey with open source contributions in 2016, with contributions in few of the web-development related projects of fossasia. I started contributing to Open States last spring, helped convert many states from billy to pupa, wrote documentation for event conversion and fixed a few scrapers. [Read More]

Open States API Keys

TL;DR- We’re requiring API keys for API access again, register for a key and start using it by May 12th of this year. This applies even if you have a Sunlight-issued key. When we took over Open States from Sunlight last year we temporarily removed the API key requirement. While it hasn’t been a priority, we’ve recently seen some excess usage and decided it was about time to turn keys back on. [Read More]

Open States Virtual Code Sprint: Sunday, April 23!

We’re excited to announce our second code sprint of 2017. And this time, we’re running it virtually, so that community members outside of DC can join in! So, hop on the Open States Slack, set aside Sunday, April 23 on your calendars, and get ready. James, myself, and other core developers will be online from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Eastern Time (14:00 to 22:00 UTC). During that time, we’ll be ready to enable any and all contributions to the project, including: [Read More]