Developing an Open Data API Strategy

As the City of Philadelphia’s open data strategy matures, we’re investing time in building out the infrastructure to support public facing Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). These are the components that will be used to develop maps, apps and services that take the city’s data and add value to users throughout Philadelphia.


There are a number of different facets to a good API strategy, and we’re emulating the best practices from the technology industry to build ours. For the past 8-12 months, we’ve been documenting our APIs on a new developer site, and providing usage examples, a discussion forum and other tools to help developers and others quickly and easily use our APIs to build new services.

For another key component of our strategy, we’ve partnered with a local technology company – Jarvus Innovations. Jarvus has developed a new API management solution that will serve as the gateway to our growing collection of open data APIs. Aptly called “Gatekeeper,” the solution is also available as open source software so that other cities may use it as part of their API infrastructure.

Pursuing this important part of our overall API strategy with a local technology partner has enormous benefits – it helps underscores the value of our open data program to local companies that are invested in our community and want to make our city better. Jarvus also shares our strong commitment to open source technology so they were a natural fit for the project.

With these important components of our API strategy in place, we’re moving forward with the release of new data sets and new APIs. We’re excited about the future of our open data program and the potential for even more impactful projects with the members of Philadelphia’s thriving local technology community.

3 thoughts on “Developing an Open Data API Strategy

  1. Pingback: The Promise and Pitfalls of Government APIs | Civic Innovations

  2. Pingback: Some Tips on API Stewardship | Civic Innovations

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