Applet service IFTTT launches project to expand use of government information

U.S. airmen at Kadena Air Base, Japan, check out weather patterns in April. This image is part of a Defense Department photo essay — one of the streams of information that IFTTT users can access with an Applet created under the service's Data Access Project. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Linzmeier)


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IFTTT, a free service that connects and automates tasks across mobile apps, has announced its Data Access Project, a new suite of services intended to promote access to information from local, state, national, and international governmental bodies as well as various other organizations.

The web-based IFTTT, which stands for If This Then That, works with Android and iOS devices. It allows, for example, a person’s Instagram post to automatically go out as a link on Twitter. IFTTT calls these chains of commands Applets and says about a billion are run every month.

On the government side, Applets tap into changes in key streams of data and information. An announcement from a federal agency can trigger a notification on a user’s phone. One Applet automatically saves NASA’s picture of the day to an iOS album. Another allows a voter to get an email every time the local congressman tweets.

IFTTT’s announcement of the project said Applets will be open to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Library of Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and Amtrak, among many others.

The Data Access Project builds on a recent effort by IFTTT to allow Applets to run off RSS feeds. “After launching this new platform feature, we realized we now had the opportunity to showcase our commitment to data access,” IFTT said.

The new project features access to hundreds of Applets compiled by topic, as well as the ability for partners to create more themselves.

The Data Access Project also comes on the heels of IFTTT partnerships with ProPublica and the City of Louisville.

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Applets, data, IFTTT, mobile and wireless, Social Media
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