Creating a civic tech app with the Chicago data portal

A lot happened last month in April. Chi Hack Night turned five! And the City of Chicago Data Portal got a major facelift.


This is a mini tutorial on how to start creating a civic tech app using the City of Chicago Data Portal.

How to get an API Key

Go to

Go to the upper left hand corner and click on the Sign In Button.
Sign in with your username and password. If you do not have one just click Sign Up to create an account.
On the upper right hand corner click on Edit Account Settings.
On the left hand side you will see a menu. Go to App Tokens.
Fill out the form and click the big read Create button


There you have it, your app token.


How to find API documentation on any dataset


Go to the data set you want to create an app for. In this case the Alternative Fuel Locations – Chicago

Click on the Export Button, its baby blue color.
Click on the drop down accordion that says SODA API
Then click on API Docs and it will show you how to extract data programmatically in JQuery, Python Pandas, SAS, Ruby and other languages 

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