State Department's Developer Community Builds Upon Digital Government Strategy

Posted by Janice Clark
May 23, 2013
People Work on Laptops and Mobile Devices

One year ago today, President Obama issued a directive entitled "Building a 21st Century Digital Government." The Administration launched a comprehensive Digital Government Strategy aimed at delivering better digital services to the American people.

We are pleased that, in support of that strategy, the State Department promotes the application of agency data in the public and private sectors.  Our recently launched page connects developers with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) they need to unlock government data. This page is the primary resource for developers interested in the State Department’s data, and we will post information about the API, API Datasets Sampler, frequently asked questions, and the ability to get and maintain API keys.

Just this week, the State Department’s Office of the Historian announced a web API that allows third-party web and application developers to integrate the live OPDS Catalog of Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) into their products. The FRUS series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and offers historians and researchers an in-depth look at significant diplomatic activity.  But this is just one example of how we can use our data in innovative ways. API Link:

Another API launched by the State Department is for foreign per diem rates by location. These rates are established monthly by the Office of Allowances as maximum U.S. dollar rates for reimbursement of U.S. Government civilians traveling on official business in foreign areas. Lodging and M&IE (Meals & Incidental Expenses) are reported separately followed by a combined daily rate. API Link:

If you have other suggestions for APIs you'd like us to make available, send us your ideas, comments, or questions.  We'd really like to hear from you!

About the Author: Janice Clark serves as Director of Website Management.



William B.
United States
May 27, 2013
It would be nice to have an API for transmitting emergency information to cell phones. Most people were not aware of 9-11 until way after it was happening. I believe that if we had a SMS or an APP for emergency broadcasting to digital devices it would allow people to learn of such emergency on a massive scale just like the early warning system on TV. Female, national guard and off duty police officers and fireman from around the country could all be called to action with this system without having tones go off for firemen, or the chief having to call in off duty officers across the nation. This one signal could put things in motion as soon as the APP went off in our cell phone. It should be mandatory for the safety of our country. API's need to upgrade these systems of calling a nation into action at a moments notice. Having the Whitehouse APP would allow everyone to view the video of the President when he/she addresses the nation. As the entertainment industry moves to the internet world, so must the emergency broadcast system.


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