A North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) API

I am continually working to improve the vocabulary I use to search for APIs, and as part of my most recent investment I found myself forced to decide which industry classification I would be using, where I eventually settled on using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) because that is what the Census has adopted. There are other classification system like the Industry Classification Benchmark, Global Industry Classification Standard, International Standard Industrial Classification, Standard Industrial Classification, and the Thomson Reuters Business Classification, but I settled in on NAICS because I’ve worked with the folks over at Census on API strategy and ensuring my narrative dovetails with theirs is important to me.

What do you think the next thing was that I did after deciding to use the North American Industry Classification System? I “Bing’d” NAICS API, of courseI!! I was pleased to immediately find the NAICS API, which is a product of Code for America’s 2013 Team Las Vegas, Lou Huang and Ryan Closner, with Michal Migurski, Richa Agarwal and Shaunak Kashyap, and you can find the source code for the API on Github. #winning The API is pretty straightforward to use, and I quickly threw together a Postman Collection for me to use in my work, but of course to also share with everyone else. I also published API documentation for the NAICS API. I am just going to use the NAICS code by year API to automate some of the API and schema searches I conduct as part of my endless quest for new and interesting APIs, but it is also nice to have the collection available to pull more information based upon specific NAISC codes, as well as traverse the hiearchy.

The NAICS API provides another interesting pattern for me—which I will blog about separately. There is an open API hosted by Code for America to ping when making API requests, but the code for the API is also available on GitHub. Which really is how MOST commodified digital resources should be in my opinion. I am going to add the NAICS API collection to one of my open data Postman workspaces, where I am going too file away essential APIs that I need across my storytelling, and building of open data projects. I like keeping the core of my API search solutions using standardized schema and vocabulary whenever possible, as well as just supporting these standards by telling stories about them so that other people will know about them and put to use in their own work. Hopefully people respect the fact that is open source and give credit whenever they use in their own API or application solutions. That is what you do when you are a good open source community member.