Help Us Grow
OpenGovernment Beta

OpenGovernment for Developers

Dig your teeth into an exciting new project...

This entire site is free and open source, and we're always looking for developers to get involved. OpenGovernment is the Ruby on Rails application you're using right now, and GovKit is a Ruby Gem that wraps common open government APIs from around the web. In addition, we're continually working on a free API of our unique user-generated data: the most-viewed bills, legislators most-in-the-news, and more, additions forthcoming.

Here at Participatory Politics Foundation, we think OpenGovernment can be similarly powerful across US State Legislatures (and at the city and country level as well, ultimately). But we're a tiny team, so our goal right now is to make this project accessible for developers who want to help out!

Here's a map of our little corner of the open government datascape:

Datascape

Getting Started

If you want to improve this site's features, get started by downloading and setting up OpenGovernment on your machine. Our README on GitHub contains complete installation instructions. We maintain a public Pivotal Tracker project with our full wish list, and an Issue Tracker at Lighthouse. You can drop by the IRC channel anytime: chat.freenode.net channel #opengovernment. We're there during business hours most days.

If you want to add your state to OpenGovernment, we pull the core state-level data from Sunlight Labs' Open State Project. So the best approach is to get involved with Sunlight Labs' Open State project. They are looking for contributors! Open State maintains scrapers (written in Python) that bring state legislative data into a common data format for their API. They then host the scraped data.

Quick Links

Contact Us

Just getting involved?
, PPF's Director of Technology, and say hello.