There are tons of APIs that will return the zip code, neighborhood, city, county, or state of a lat/long or address, but none that also offer police beats, police areas, wards, community areas, census tracts, census block group, and PUMS areas as well. These geographies are at the core of many MCIC data sets, and such a service would not only be useful in and of itself but at the heart of the still-in-the-works data service.
What has excited me the most about working with MCIC is the care and feeding provided to the data they work with. After they’re done, it’s not uncommon to see a 7-8% improvement in geocoding success. These are the folks who meticulously clean the boundaries of every arcane geography, ensuring that the each side of a street is in its proper place and overlaps/gaps are removed. And they’re excited to see what you will do with it.
Your thoughts and comments on the details are welcome:
-What formats to you want to see?
-What additional information should we provide?
-How can we design the API and write documentation to make your lives as developers easier?
-What kinds of data should we prioritize next? (vote here)
We’ll be testing this API soon; if you’re interested in early access please let us know in the comments.