CityDashboard – the API

Here is the API documentation for CityDashboard. It’s really not a very advanced API, and it’s not delivered in a “proper” format (e.g. XML or JSON), instead it’s available as a number of CSV/TXT-formatted files. It ain’t pretty but it works!

I’ve put together this documentation as a number of people have asked. However, it should still be considered to be a “private” API, so could change or break at any time, for one of three likely reasons:

  • I make a change to the API structure. If it’s a big change, I will attempt to preserve the old structure, possibly by using an extra parameter (e.g. &v=2) to indicate the new one.
  • Our server goes down. Certainly not inconceivable!
  • One of the upstream data providers changes their feed format in such a way that it causes the CityDashboard data to freeze up. Again, quite likely, particularly as generally I don’t have a formal agreement with the upstream organisations.

1. Finding the cities available

The list of cities available can be found at:
http://citydashboard.org/cities.txt

Notes:

  • Comma-separated.
  • The city_id is the first field of each line.
  • Ignore lines starting with #.

2. Finding the modules available for a city

The list of modules available for london can be found at:
http://citydashboard.org/cities/[city_id].txt

Notes:

  • Comma-separated.
  • The module_id is the first field of each line.
  • Ignore lines starting with #.

3. Getting the data for each module

The data for each module can be found at:
http://citydashboard.org/modules/[module_id].php?city=[city_id]&format=[csv|html|blob]

Example:
http://citydashboard.org/modules/weather_cr.php?city=london&format=csv

Notes:

  • Comma-separated or HTML, depending on the format parameter you use.
  • Ignore lines starting with #.
  • The CSV format will be most useful, as the HTML and “blob” formats are specifically designed for the CityDashboard website. However, many of the modules don’t (yet) have a CSV format feed available – a blank page will instead be returned.
  • The first line in each CSV file contains a number in the second field. This is the number of seconds between each update. i.e if this is 5, then the file won’t update more than once every 5 seconds.
  • Modules which have a CSV feed for them, have an “m” included in the sixth field in the appropriate row in the london.txt file (typical values, d, db, dbm etc)

By the way, the module list will most likely be changing very soon to add a couple of important fields that I overlooked – first of all, the source URL will be in a field of its own, and secondly I will add in a proper attribution statement for each source.

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