Department of State Releases Online Tool to Share Critical Safety Information with U.S. Citizens Abroad
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs has released a new online service to share Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts with U.S. citizens traveling or living overseas. The new Application Programming Interface (API) lets developers access these particular datasets from the Bureau of Consular Affairs and integrate them into websites and mobile applications such as tourism guides and online travel agencies.
Once a dataset is programmed into a third-party site or application, that platform can then display to consumers real-time travel warnings and alerts pulled directly from the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website, travel.state.gov. For example, a user who purchases a plane ticket through an online travel agency may then, within that same website, view the latest security information in the destination country. Making this critical information more accessible directly supports the Bureau’s number one mission of protecting the lives and safety of U.S. citizens overseas.
The release is in response to the Digital Government Strategy, President Obama’s directive to build a 21st century government that delivers better services to the American people. The Strategy is built on the proposition that all U.S. citizens should be able to access information from their government anywhere, anytime, and on any device; that open government data — data that are publicly accessible in easy-to-use formats — can fuel innovation and economic growth; and that technology can make government more transparent, more efficient, and more effective.
Developers will be able to access the datasets in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud via the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website or through Data.gov. This information is also still available through the Department’s RSS feeds.