The Federal Register is now available in XML for download from data.gov and GPO’s FDSys (http://www.fdsys.gov/fdsys/bulkdata/FR).
- Federal Register 2.0: Opening a Window onto the Inner Workings of Government, by Ray Mosley, White House blog, (Oct. 5, 2009).
- A More Web-Friendly Register With Federal Data in XML Form, Users Have New Options, By Ed O’Keefe, Washington Post (October 5, 2009).
- Federal Register XML Release, By John Wonderlich Sunlight Foundation blog (10/05/09). “
As John Wonderlich notes, this is big news!
Now that the XML will be available, we can expect to see a renaissance of public reuse of Federal Register data. Sites that let you follow government activity by geographical or issue area will now feature more reliable, more timely data, since all that scraping and parsing will now be unnecessary. More advanced analysis will also be possible as well, allowing for trends and patterns to more readily emerge from this vital collection of national information.
According to the documentation, this version is not “official” — yet.
The XML-structured files offered for bulk download are not part of the official on-line format of the Federal Register. While GPO’s XML files are based on the original source data submitted by Federal agencies, OFR markup, and GPO typesetting and composition markup in SGML, only the PDF and Text versions of Federal Register content on GPO Access and FDsys have legal status as parts of the official online format of the Federal Register. Additional development will be required before OFR/GPO can specify that XML files are a part of the official online edition of the Federal Register.
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