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A little app that reads all the names of all the politicians in the world and publishes them in a single CSV file.

The data comes from the EveryPolitician project.

The file of names is published here: -- be careful, that's quite a big file because there are lots of politicians!

That file is actually names.csv in the gh_pages branch of this repo.

The EveryPoliticianBot has blogged about everypolitician-names.

What's in names.csv?

All the politicians' names that are in the EveryPolitician data. Some polticians have more than one name. Often a politician has more than one name because it's written in more than one language.

The CSV (comma separated values) file has a header line, and then one line for every name. There are four values on each line:

  • id -- a unique id for the politician, that you can use to determine when two or more names are for the same politician (if you need to know). You can also use this to match it with other data from EveryPolitician.

  • name -- the name of the politician.

  • country and legislature -- so you can tell which country and legislature this politician is from.

That's all -- if you need richer data (for example, you really need to know what language a name is in), it's all avalailable from (look in the Popolo JSON for the full details).

Nerdy detail

We're actually running this as a wee Sinatra app on Heroku that runs whenever EveryPolitician's data updates (the app is subscribed to EveryPolitician's update alerts), which gets that latest data and compiles it into a new names.csv file which it then commits to its own gh_pages branch, so it's automagically published in GitHub pages. Yeah.

For developers: install

First you'll need make sure you've got a couple of system packages installed:

  • ruby >= 2.0.0 (brew install ruby on a mac)
  • redis (brew install redis on a mac)

Then you'll need to install some required gems:

gem install bundler foreman

If installing gems fails with a permissions error you may need to prefix the command with sudo.

Next clone the repository from GitHub and change into the cloned directory:

git clone
cd everypolitician-names

Now you need to install the project dependencies with bundler:

bundle install

Finally you'll need to create a Personal Access Token on GitHub. The default scopes are fine. Then copy .env.example to .env and add the generated access token.

cp .env.example .env
$EDITOR .env
# Replace 'replace_with_github_access_token' with an actual access token


To start the application's web and worker processes you can use foreman:

foreman start

Then to trigger a rebuild you can manually hit the / endpoint (note this must be a POST request, because we're anticipating this really coming from the EveryPolitician app-manager, which sends POSTs):

curl -i -X POST http://localhost:5000/


The / endpoint is registered to receive webhooks from EveryPolitician whenever there's a change to countries.json. When a webhook is received a NameCsvGenerator background job is queued.

The NameCsvGenerator#perform method does the bulk of the work. First it clones the everypolitician/everypolitician-names repository, then it switches to the gh-pages branch and runs the code in the block that's passed to with_git_repo. It pulls in each of the names.csv files that EveryPolitician currently generates for each legislature, and writes them out as one big CSV names.csv into that gh_pages branch.

Once the with_git_repo block finishes, any changes to the cloned repository are committed with the provided message and pushed back to GitHub.


Generate names.csv (all the politicians' names from's data)






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