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Overview & Roadmap

Open States is a fairly large & somewhat complex project comprised of many moving parts with a long history.

As you look to contribute, it may be beneficial to understand a little bit about the various components.

Repositories

These repositories make up the core of the project, if you're looking to contribute there's a 90% chance one of these is what you're looking for.

These repositories are other pieces of our infrastructure, but are generally not interesting to the average person.

2020 Roadmap

Our current priorities:

Power User Features

  • Add user logins & profiles. (Q1)
  • Introduce bill & issue tracking. (Q1)

Data Quality

  • Improve data quality and timeliness. (Ongoing)
  • Provide publicly accessible data quality dashboard. (Q2)

API

  • Improve speed of most popular graph queries. (TBD)
  • Provide simplified endpoints for common queries. (TBD)
  • Introduce a pub/sub type mechanism for staying in sync with bill & vote updates. (TBD)

Bulk Data

  • Add new per-state CSV data exports. (Q1)
  • Add custom data-export creation page. (TBD)
  • Provide bulk geographic data ahead of 2021 redistricting. (TBD)

Community

  • Documentation updates (Q1)
  • New Contributor Support (Q1-Q2)
  • API User Dashboard (Q2-Q3)

Recent Major Work

To give a sense of recent priorities, here are major milestones from the past few years:

  • Restoration of Historical Legislator Data - Q4 2019
  • Full Text Search - Q4 2019
  • 2019 Legislative Session Updates - Q1 2019
  • OpenStates.org 2019 rewrite - Q1 2019
  • OpenStates GraphQL API - Q4 2018
  • Scraper Overhaul - Throughout much of 2017 we reworked our scrapers to be more resilient and to use an updated tech stack, replacing the one that powered the site from 2011-2016.
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