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Azavea Cicero API and Google Civic Information API: A New Partnership


For years, the Cicero API has provided legislative district and elected official information for the U.S. and other countries.  We’ve gone far and wide to assemble what we feel is one of the most comprehensive databases on the market.  Most recently, this has included adding social media identifiers for elected officials in all the geographical areas we maintain.  This led us to look for geographic patterns in the social media data.  In addition, we’ve expanded the database to include coverage of Mexico, Puerto Rico and several more U.S. cities.  Finally, we are beginning to incorporate Open Civic Data Division Identifiers (OCD IDs) into the Cicero database.  Many Cicero clients use this data to connect their constituents with elected officials, enrich CRM databases, or provide legislator look-up forms on their website.

Our work gathering data for the Cicero API has resulted in some exciting opportunities.  In 2012, we worked with Google’s Politics and Election team to release our redistricted congressional district dataset.  We were the first to release a complete, spatially accurate GIS shapefile of all the new congressional districts redrawn after the 2010 Census.  We did the same for state legislative districts and released it through our API prior to the 2012 election.  This enabled our users to get a leg up on the election and match constituents to the districts they were going to be in after the election.

This year, we’re excited to announce a new partnership to support Google’s Civic Information API.  You can now access portions of the of Cicero Database of elected officials through the Civic Information API, at no cost.  The Civic Information API accepts the address of a registered voter and returns elected officials, polling places and upcoming elections for that location. The polling places and upcoming elections have been available through a partnership with the Pew Charitable Trust’s Voting Information Project.  The inclusion of the Cicero data is part of a new set of functionality released by Google to support advocacy and communication with legislators.  Early users of the new features include Change.org and others.

We’re excited that this new partnership will enable a new audience to leverage the Cicero database. The good news for our current Cicero API users is that these partnerships enable us to make the Cicero API offering more valuable at no additional cost to them.  Follow us on twitter to find more information about our data updates.