Open 311 API – An Early Draft

Last week we blogged on the growing need for an open API for 311 and local issues/service requests. There has been a lot of attention paid to getting data OUT OF government. Gov 2.0 types have been all a-Twitter about and the feeds being created at a rapid pace. That's wonderful.

There also should be ways to send important and actionable data INTO governments and other civic organizations. It's time for an open API for sending service requests or identifying issues that have a specific geographical component. For example, reporting a storm drain that is clogged or a streetlight that is out. Imagine if your smart-phone, your local blog, and websites like SeeClickFix could talk back and forth with local governments automatically.

We got a great response to the blog post (thanks!) and now it is time to move the conversation to the next level. And considering that there is a session at ChangeCamp Canada this weekend on discuss such a topic, Kam and I thought it best to publish an early draft.

As we mentioned in the last post, we want this to a community-supported standard. We'Re not sure where it should live on the web (here or here?) or how it should be owned, licensed, etc. Should one vendor or local government drive the conversation or should an independent third-party carry the banner? Andrew Greenhill suggested perhaps the National League of Cities or the Conference of Mayors would be a US institutions interested in such an effort.

Regardless, we wanted to get our thoughts out there and get the party started.

Open311 API
Draft Specification


Please read through it and let us know your thoughts. Look forward to hearing from you.