The free internet-based automation service IFTTT wants to provide an easier way to bring public information to the people, via the Data Access Project, a new group of services IFTTT announced June 22. The project connects information from 40 federal agencies, nonprofits, transit authorities, city and state governments, and other institutions (such as the International Monetary Fund) to IFTTT. This means you can build “If this, then that”-style automations, called applets, to receive the latest news through different social networks, devices, services and programs.
A sample of some of the applets IFTTT has built based on information from transit authorities.
Ashlee Clark Thompson/CNET
Here are some examples of the applets you can enable:
- Receive a text message when a New Jersey transit advisory affects your bus commute
- Get an email when the USDA posts a new open recall because of allergens
- Receive a weekly digest of IPO filings from the US Securities and Exchange Commission
You could also build applets to connect this information to smart home devices. For example, you could build an applet that would make your connected Philips Hue light bulbs flash red if the US Department of State issued a new travel alert.
“It’s not that the information isn’t out there — companies, governments and institutions are releasing information all the time. But for the average person, it’s overwhelming,” IFTTT CEO Linden Tibbets said in a statement. Tibbets continued, “Now people can easily find, and use, that information in brand-new ways. We’re excited to see the response and plan to expand the Data Access Project with more services in the near future.”
IFTTT began to connect its services to public information when it launched a channel for the city of Louisville, Kentucky, the first city to have its own channel on the platform. (Louisville is the home of CNET Appliances, the CNET Smart Home and the CNET Smart Apartment.) IFTTT has also partnered with ProPublica for a channel devoted to the dissemination of information about the US federal government.