A Postman Collection Socrata Open Data Discovery and Metadata API

My friend Taylor Barnett (@taylor_atx) over at Transposit asked if I had an OpenAPI for Socrata the other day, which triggered my memory about a whole bunch of old work I had done around Socrata that I had never got to a fully complete state and therefore never published. If you aren’t familiar with Socrata, they provide public data platform for city, county, state, federal, and other entities, making them them one of the goto place when understanding open data in the United States at scale. While you can go to the almost 200 entities that Socrata publishes data for, you can also easily discover and work with data from across all the providers via the Socrata discovery and metadata APIs. Making the platform a rich place to go for mining interesting public data sets, and to get a handle on on government of all shapes and sizes is thinking about open data and APIs.

As part of my work I wanted to publish a post dedicated to the Postman collection for the Socrata city, county, state, and federal government data and APIs. Allowing any developer to quickly understand how to make calls to the Socrata APIs and search for specific public data domains and data sets. I’ve broke the Socrata Postman collections into two separate collections, one for discovery and the second one for metadata, with the follow requests:

Discovery API - Find public data domains and data sets.

Metadata API - Get information on specific data sets.

As I do with other APIs I have published Postman collections for both the Socrata Discovery API, and the Socrata Metadata API, as well as published separate API documentation for the Socrata Discovery API, and the Socrata Metadata API. Providing a more portable and precise way to get up and running with Socrata APIs, and discovering datasets. This is a particularly interesting collection for me, because in addition to Postman collections for each of the top level discovery and metadata APIs, I have published individual Postman collections for each of the 200+ public data domains available via the Socrata discovery and meta data APIs, all available via a single HTML landing page, or as a machine readable APIs.json index. I went ahead and published the APIs.json file as part of both of the Postman collections I published, providing an index to more than just the APIs, and cataloging other relevant links to each APIs operations, keeping it as a self-contained, but updatable part of each portable Postman collection.

The Socrata Discovery and Metadata API collections provide a pretty compelling look at the city, county, state, and federal government public data landscape. Providing a pretty valuable snapshot of how government is engaging in the public data and API conversation. Hopefully this collection makes it easier for any data curious individual to get started playing with government data. It is one of the things I love most about public data at this level, is there is something in there for everyone. There are so many different types of data sets available that you are almost guaranteed to find something that you find interesting. Opening up a whole world of opportunity when it comes data stewardship, activism, and evangelism and the local, regional, or nationwide level.