EveryPolitician is an ambitious project. If we’re to succeed in our aim of collecting and sharing data on every elected official in the entire world, we need help from people like you.
Right now, we’re concentrating on making sure we have current data on the national legislatures for every country in the world.
Here are the three steps we follow to put a country on the EveryPolitician map:
That might simply be finding a list of politicians on the parliament’s website, or knowing of a local group that already collects this data.
Often that means running a scraper that gets the data off the webpage and turns it into the kind of data we can easily import (or, if we’re lucky, doing next to nothing because it’s already in a lovely format).
We add it to the project by telling EveryPolitician where the importable data is, and how to merge it in.
Have a look at the list of countries we don’t have data for yet.
If a country is listed under “Source needed” then it’s still at step 1 of the process. If you know where there is comprehensive poltician data for that country, please let us know!
Incidentally, there may be more than one source for a given country’s data. Ideally, everything is in one place. However, things are often more complicated than that, so one site might have all the politician’s names and party memberships, but a different site has their twitter handles. But that’s OK because we’re happy to merge different sources.
If a country appears under “Scraper needed” it means that we do have at least one source for the data, but so far nobody has turned that data into a format we can easily import — this is waiting at step 2. It will be on our list of things to do (in fact, you should see it as an issue on GitHub).
If we’re very lucky the data identified in the source is already in a lovely format, and we can move straight to step 3. That’s very rare, though, so normally the data will need to be taken off the web pages it’s on and turned into easy-to-import data. That’s what the scrapers do, and we basically have one for every country whose data is in EveryPolitician.
If you’re a developer and you fancy writing such a scraper, we’d be stupendously grateful. We’ve written some guidelines about writing scrapers to help you (depending on how complex or clean the source data, it might be easier — and more fun! — than you think).
Once the data’s in a suitable format, we’ll add it to EveryPolitician’s list of scrapers (what this really means is making the Rake tasks aware of where to get the formatted data, and how to merge it all together). That’s step 3 and we’ll take care of that for you.
In summary, if you:
...then please send an email to email@example.com and tell us!
Found something incorrect in the data we’re currently displaying on the site?
We’re working on building tools to let you edit the data directly, but in the meantime, if you see an error that should be corrected, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include evidence for your proposed change — a link to an official source, where possible.
At this early stage, we’re focusing on making sure we have basic information about the current legislators in every country: names, contact details, political parties, and the areas they represent. Please help us gather that if you can.
Covering every current legislature is our primary goal right now, but it’s always great when we can obtain past information too. See, for example, the data for Greenland, which contains data on every Member since the formation of its current Parliament in 1979.
In this initial phase, we’re only collecting information about country-level Parliaments and Congresses. Eventually we hope that much more than this will be available, but having every national legislature would be a great first step.