License to Inspect: City of Philadelphia L&I API will drive PlanPhilly transparency app

A Technically Philly exclusive: If the deadlines of today are worth more than the deadlines of the past, the City of Philadelphia is due to release before the end of the year the first, most comprehensive agency data API framework in its history. It will power an online tool billed as a giant leap forward in city transparency. If fast tracked, the project, dubbed ‘License to Inspect,’ could be a signature good government initiative in Mayor Nutter’s reelection bid come November.

More likely, it will land around the new year and the process for the data release — sharing an in-house API to be built upon by a third party — could likely serve as a landmark example for municipal government transparency, a thoughtful, progressive move from a city government trying to raise its standing in the technology community. The trouble, of course, say numerous sources close to the matter, is how long and how much trouble the project took — and what will happen to the API once the app goes live.


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