Last month Google launched a huge update to their Google Civic Information API that "lets developers connect constituents to their federal, state, county and municipal elected officials—right down to the city council district." Fetching information on a constituent's elected representatives (including office, contact info, and social media accounts) is now as simple as passing an address to an API endpoint.
The API also provides a wide range of information useful during election season, including polling places, early voting locations, candidate data (like campaign websites!), and more.
Needless to say, we were more than a little excited to start integrating the data into the projects that we are working on for our clients.
In order to make it easier to access and use the data, a few days ago I put together the CivicAide gem. CivicAide acts as wrapper for the Google Civic Information API endpoints and returns data that is much more convienent to work with than the raw API response.
For more information on installation and how to use the gem, view the README on Github.
To see an example of what can be done with the data, view Google's Map Your Representatives project and read more at the Google Civic Information API website.
Additionally, if you keep an eye on our website or Twitter feed throughout campaign season, you are bound to see additional applications that utilize the data from the API.
As always, please feel free to shoot us any feedback and suggestions for improvements.