Help us hack FOIA data at BuzzFeed’s hackathon

We now have over 112 gigabytes of public records data. It’s all yours.

Written by Michael Morisy
Edited by JPat Brown

On April 23, MuckRock is joining BuzzFeed and dozens of other transparency enthusiasts to figure out what we can learn from a database of tens of thousands of FOIA and public records requests. The free event is currently full, but there is a waitlist available.

If you’re going and want a head start, we’re working to pull and clean up our data for access, with plans to open up four different data sets:

We also have a script that allows programmatic filing of requests, although it is currently a little crusty.

We’ll update these data sets over the coming week on this page. If you have additional columns or ideas for data that would be helpful, email us or tweet us at @MuckRock, and we’ll see what we can provide.

If you can’t make it, we’d still love to hear what you do with the data!

Join us, in person or on the web, and let’s make FOIA a little more open.

Data Notes:

  • 3 p.m. 4/17/16: First pass at Request data is posted. Agency and jurisdiction is listed with our internal ID, which helps if you’re using the API but otherwise isn’t super useful. Working on updating to include both our internal IDs as well as plaintext names for agencies and jurisdictions.
  • 6 p.m. 4/16/16: Second passes at Agency and Jurisdiction data are posted, including detailed jurisdiction information and additional fields. Thanks Mitch!
  • 10 a.m. 4/16/16: Currently, first passes at Agency and Jurisdiction data are posted. Both of these are missing state information, which we’re working to add now. We’re working on transferring the full request data set to a computer that can seed the torrent.

Image via Flickr is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0