Announcing the Locator API
We’re pleased to announce a more flexible way to access the information found in our HIV/AIDS Service Provider Locator tool (a location-based search tool that allows you to search for testing services, housing providers, health centers and other service providers near your current location). We’re launching an API, or application programming interface, making it possible to display, analyze and manipulate the raw location data behind locator.aids.gov.
Two years ago, when we began development on the Locator, the goal was to create a one-stop, single website to host Federal HIV/AIDS prevention and service locations on a user friendly mapping tool. Once we released the Locator as an application, we created a widget to allow website owners to embed that content on their own sites.
With the emergence of mobile, we saw a significant increase in traffic to the Locator via mobile devices and modified the Locator to work with mobile devices as well as desktops. This combination, merging location data with mobile devices (ideal for mobile search) has grown significantly. Mobile traffic accounts for 30% of all visits, up from just 8% last year.
While the Locator is widely distributed, and is optimized for mobile, we believe there is still more to be learned by making this resource available to developers and programmers through the API. Allowing this access could lead to new ways of using this information. We hope to see new, different, and exciting uses for this data brought to life through the API.
Through the API, we’re making available all of the service types you can now find through the Locator: testing, housing assistance, health clinics, Ryan White clinics, mental health care facilities, substance abuse care facilities, and family planning facilities. Searches are based on location: either latitude and longitude coordinates, or ZIP Code.
For more information on exactly how to use the API, please see the documentation.
By Lance Roggendorff, AIDS.gov Developer