API Technical Discussions

Feedback on multiple technical issues

Campaign: API Technical Discussions

Data dictionary should be hierarchical

The XML format for the data dictionary is a great start, but it could be a lot better. In particular, the hierarchical structure of the variables is not mapped. Let's take P012B049: African American female 85 years and over. It's extremely tedious to tease apart that this is the combination of three variables: race, sex, and age group. One of the great features of XML is its hierarchical structure, which makes it easy ...more »

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Maximum number of variables per request

Greetings, Though we have provided this infomation in a reply to an existing thread, we also wanted to create a "fresh" post to let everyone know that the maximum number of variables per request has been increased from 4 to 50. The documentation on www.census.gov/developers/ will be updated to reflect this information as well. Thank you to everyone who has provided feekback so far. We do take the feedback into account ...more »

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Response format is unusual and hard to use

First, let me applaud the Census Bureau for doing this, it's an awesome project. I'm glad to see JSON as the response format for the API, but structure makes it really hard to use. I also haven't seen this list-of-lists format for individual records before. What would work much better would be one of the following: a) an array of objects. Within each object, each field name is a key, each value is the value associated ...more »

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Census Personnel Inadvertently Removed An Important Page

You inadvertently removed an important page: http://www.census.gov/developers/data/?eml=gd&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.

 

This page had links to documentation, variables and examples for the ACS5 API.

 

It took us a while to find this page. Please put it back up.

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Ignore unknown paramaters

the api should simply ignore any parameter it doesn't understand instead of throwing an error. For example jquery will append _=randomNumber to prevent caching of jsonp by the browser. This feature breaks that.

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JSONP Callback

The jsonp callback should be 'callback' not 'jsonp' there is no reason you can't have both, but almost every single site that uses jsonp uses callback as the parameter, using something weird prevents people from easily making apps.

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Access Micro-data for Blocks

I'm working on a school project with 2010 Census data. Currently, we are getting tract-level data using codes from http://api.census.gov/data/2010/sf1/variables.json to get data. For example, to find the white 65-year old males in a county's tracts, we make the API call: http://api.census.gov/data/2010/sf1?key=[key]&get=PCT012I068,NAME&for=tract:*&in=state:08+county:059 However, when making the same call at a block ...more »

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Avoid reserved words in parameter names

'for' and 'in' are reserved words in JavasSript avoiding these words in the parameter names would probably be a good idea, same thing with 'get' which could cause confusion with the http verb.

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Open sourced some iOS code!

I open sourced some code for iOS civic hackers to work with the Census & FCC APIs. Hope you guys find it useful:

 

https://github.com/pj4533/AFCensusAPIClient

https://github.com/pj4533/AFFCCAPIClient

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API supporting multiple geography query

Hi All,

I have been working on my application and one of the things I would like to do is query the same variable on multiple geographies. For instance, get the total population at the Block Group, Tract, County, State, and Nation.

 

Right now, it is my understanding that this would represent five different calls to the API.

 

Can this be done in one call to the API ?

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Population by Zip

Hoping someone can point me in the right direction. I'd like to query the population for a specific zip code. I'm hoping there's a way to do this without defining the two number state code in the query. Here's what my current query looks like... http://api.census.gov/data/2010/sf1?key=[myKey]&get=P0010001&for=zip+code+tabulation+area:[myZipCode]&for=state:*"; This works perfectly when I define the Zip Code and ...more »

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API Variable Question for ACS2011 5 Year

Preface: New to API Calls & Census Data (not sure the proper Campaign to post on) Curious, how can I more efficiently pull data through the API without having to specify each individual Unique ID (found in the ACS2011_5-Year_TableShells.xls file)? If I wanted to pull all data for Table ID: B01001 what would my {&get=} be? Currently, I am using each individual Unique ID as so: http://api.census.gov/data/2011/acs5?{key}&get=B01001_001E,B01001_002E,B01001_003E,B01001_004E,B01001_005E,B01001_006E,B01001_007E,B01001_008E,B01001_009E,B01001_010E,NAME&for=state:06 ...more »

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