ProPublica API Client
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README.md

README.md

ProPublica API Client

CRAN Version Downloads Build Status

The package is released under GPL-2 as part of the rOpenGov project. Licenses for the data depend on the particular API, but access to that data (regardless of license) through the APIs is allowed under ProPublica's Data Terms of Use.

The package serves as a client library for the (currently) three ProPublica data journalism APIs:

  • Nonprofit Explorer, which provides access to IRS Form 990 data on for every organization required to file a Form 990 (i.e., those claiming tax exempt status). These data are in the public domain.

  • Forensics, which provides state- and county-level data about coroner and medical examiner systems. These data are released under a modified Creative Commons license.

  • Free the Files, which provides access to political television spending data based on FCC filings in 33 swing markets. These data are released under a modified Creative Commons license.

Installation

RPublica is available on GitHub and can (soon) be installed from within R from your favorite CRAN mirror:

install.packages("RPublica")

And the latest development version, available here, can be installed directly using devtools:

# install.packages("devtools")
library("devtools")
install_github("rOpenGov/RPublica")

Using the package

Nonprofit Explorer

The Nonprofit Explorer API functionality includes two functions: npsearch, to retrieve subsets of available organizations, and np_org to retrieve detailed information about a given organization including a direct link to the complete Form 990 for that organization (as a PDF).

library('RPublica')
str(np_search('propublica'), max=1)
## List of 14
##  $ total_results : int 2
##  $ filings       :'data.frame':	2 obs. of  101 variables:
##   .. [list output truncated]
##  $ num_pages     : int 1
##  $ cur_page      : int 0
##  $ page_offset   : int 0
##  $ per_page      : int 25
##  $ order         : NULL
##  $ sort_order    : NULL
##  $ search_query  : chr "propublica"
##  $ selected_state: NULL
##  $ selected_ntee : int 0
##  $ selected_code : NULL
##  $ data_source   : chr "ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer API: https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/api/\nIRS Exempt Organizations Business Master Fi"| __truncated__
##  $ api_version   : int 1
str(np_org(142007220), max=1)
## List of 5
##  $ organization        :List of 31
##  $ filings_with_data   :'data.frame':	2 obs. of  68 variables:
##  $ filings_without_data:'data.frame':	9 obs. of  5 variables:
##  $ data_source         : chr "ProPublica Nonprofit Explorer API: https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/api/\nIRS Exempt Organizations Business Master Fi"| __truncated__
##  $ api_version         : int 1

Forensics API

The Forensics API functionality includes two functions: geos, to return data for a specific state, and systems, to return detailed data and statistics about specified medical examiner (or coroner) system.

library('RPublica')
g <- geos()
str(g[1:5])
## 'data.frame':	80 obs. of  5 variables:
##  $ geo.ar_association_key_name: int  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...
##  $ geo.cached_slug            : chr  "ak" "ar" "ct" "de" ...
##  $ geo.coroner_system         : chr  "none" "county" "none" "none" ...
##  $ geo.created_at             : chr  "2011-05-04T12:22:11-04:00" "2011-05-04T12:22:11-04:00" "2011-05-04T12:22:11-04:00" "2011-05-04T12:22:11-04:00" ...
##  $ geo.district               : logi  NA NA NA NA NA NA ...
str(geos('ny'))
## List of 1
##  $ geo:List of 15
##   ..$ cached_slug            : chr "ny"
##   ..$ coroner_system         : chr "sometimes"
##   ..$ created_at             : chr "2011-05-04T12:22:12-04:00"
##   ..$ district               : NULL
##   ..$ id                     : int 36
##   ..$ kind                   : chr "state"
##   ..$ medical_examiner_system: chr "sometimes"
##   ..$ name                   : chr "New York"
##   ..$ note                   : NULL
##   ..$ population             : NULL
##   ..$ postal_abbreviation    : chr "NY"
##   ..$ updated_at             : chr "2011-05-04T12:25:11-04:00"
##   ..$ system_types           :List of 2
##   .. ..$ medical_examiner_system: chr "sometimes"
##   .. ..$ coroner_system         : chr "sometimes"
##   ..$ medical_examiners      : list()
##   ..$ coroners               : list()
str(systems(36), max=1)
## List of 18
##  $ accreditation              : chr ""
##  $ autopsies                  : NULL
##  $ bc_forensic_pathologists   : int 22
##  $ cached_slug                : NULL
##  $ created_at                 : chr "2011-05-04T12:23:55-04:00"
##  $ fellows                    : int 4
##  $ forensic_pathologists      : NULL
##  $ id                         : int 36
##  $ name                       : chr "New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner"
##  $ note                       : chr "Not included in analysis of autopsy data. "
##  $ pending                    : NULL
##  $ pt_bc_forensic_pathologists: int 0
##  $ pt_uc_forensic_pathologists: int 0
##  $ uc_forensic_pathologists   : int 4
##  $ updated_at                 : chr "2011-05-04T12:23:55-04:00"
##  $ website                    : chr "http://www.nyc.gov/html/ocme/html/home/home.shtml"
##  $ stats                      :'data.frame':	42 obs. of  3 variables:
##  $ geos                       :'data.frame':	5 obs. of  12 variables:

Free the Files

The Free the Files API functionality includes four functions: market (for retrieving available markets, or a specific market), station (for retrieving station-specific data, committee(for retrieving sponsoring committees, or a specific such committee), andfiling` (for retrieving details of a specific filing). A codebook describing the values returned by each function is available at: https://projects.propublica.org/free-the-files/api.

library('RPublica')
str(market()[1:5])
## 'data.frame':	33 obs. of  5 variables:
##  $ market.name          : chr  "NEW YORK" "PHILADELPHIA" "BOSTON (MANCHESTER)" "WASHINGTON DC (HAGRSTWN)" ...
##  $ market.slug          : chr  "new-york" "philadelphia" "boston-manchester" "washington-dc-hagrstwn" ...
##  $ market.titleized_name: chr  "New York" "Philadelphia" "Boston and Manchester, N.H." "Washington, D.C. and Hagerstown, Md." ...
##  $ market.filings_ct    : int  475 718 1736 988 5 658 1331 2687 1429 565 ...
##  $ market.freed_ct      : int  127 642 726 626 0 420 869 527 813 128 ...
m <- market('new-york')
s <- station('WEWS-TV')
str(committee())
## 'data.frame':	1203 obs. of  4 variables:
##  $ committee.gross_amt: chr  NA "221716606.25" "91778107" "57249945" ...
##  $ committee.id       : int  4665 1221 1220 942 3959 3820 883 1170 907 1172 ...
##  $ committee.name     : chr  "PLANNED PARENTHOOD/ ISSUE" "OBAMA FOR AMERICA" "ROMNEY FOR PRESIDENT" "AMERICAN CROSSROADS" ...
##  $ committee.slug     : chr  "planned-parenthood-issue" "obama-for-america" "romney-for-president" "american-crossroads--2" ...
ofa <- committee('obama-for-america')
str(filing(51212))
## List of 13
##  $ callsign            : chr "WHP-TV"
##  $ contract_number     : chr "69338"
##  $ dc_slug             : chr "501618-69338-2-13519611148107-_-pdf"
##  $ filing_type         : chr "Federal"
##  $ gross_amount        : num 35940
##  $ id                  : int 51212
##  $ market_id           : int 41
##  $ thumbnail_url       : chr "https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/501618/pages/69338-2-13519611148107-_-pdf-p1-thumbnail.gif"
##  $ transcriptions_count: int 2
##  $ upload_date         : chr "2012-11-03T00:00:00Z"
##  $ url                 : chr "/collect/files/72313/Political File/2012/Federal/President/BARACK OBAMA/69338/69338-2 (13519611148107)_.pdf"
##  $ committee           :List of 3
##   ..$ id  : int 1221
##   ..$ name: chr "OBAMA FOR AMERICA"
##   ..$ slug: chr "obama-for-america"
##  $ agency              :List of 1
##   ..$ name: chr "GREER MARGOLIS MITCHELL"