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As NPP's new database manager, I'd like to add some technical commentary to the mix. There’s a few exciting projects in the works—projects that will extend the reach of our publications, analysis, and curated data.
NPP’s online database is unique because it supplements Federal government spending numbers with demographic, education, environment, health, and military indicators.
Truthfully, the database’s front-end is looking stale. But later this spring we’re launching a brand-new tool with a more intuitive search interface and better options for pulling data into your tool of choice (CSV, JSON, XML). And maps!
FY12 budget negotiations are underway, and we hope the timing of this launch will help people who want to understand how our government spends money.
What’s an API, and why does it matter? Think of it as a way for programmers to bypass the search interface and access our database directly. Developers love APIs, and to make sure ours is useful to a wide audience—even government data novices—we’ll be updating the documentation.
An online database is only as good as the people who use it. We hope that by making our budget data more accessible, we enable organizations, organizers, and curious citizens to pursue their causes. Watch our website for stories and visualizations based on the data we collect.