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US Census Bureau posts its first API, allows smartphone apps for the stat-obsessed

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As much as the US Census Bureau has worked to embrace the digital space, its sea of data has been largely locked away from developers not keen on doing much of the heavy lifting. As of late last week, however, there's now a public app programming interface (API) for quickly putting all of that knowledge to work. Both mobile and web apps can hook into either the complete 2010 census or the 2006-2010 American Community Survey, bringing in basic demographics as well as more complicated subjects such as commuting habits and education. The Bureau sees the API leading to not just a more informed public, but to smarter government as well -- imagine a state government that knows the income levels by county through a custom smartphone app. Budding statistics hounds can request a key for API use right away, but if you'd rather just see what public access will mean in practice, you can check out an app gallery at the second source link below.

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