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people.xml format change

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  • Josh Tauberer
    Hi all. I ve just changed the format of people.xml. It s been bugging me for a few years. The old people.xml in data/us/SESSION/repstats continues to exist but
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 9, 2009
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      Hi all. I've just changed the format of people.xml. It's been bugging me
      for a few years.

      The old people.xml in data/us/SESSION/repstats continues to exist but
      will not be updated. I will delete it eventually to make sure everyone
      updates to the new file(s).

      There are two new people.xml files:

      data/us/people.xml
      ------------------
      Same as the old one, except without current-committee-assignment
      elements. It is a database of everyone that has ever served in Congress,
      plus since a few months ago it now also has all of the U.S. presidents
      (<role type='prez' .../>).

      data/us/SESSION/people.xml
      --------------------------
      Like the old one, but including only people who have a term as a
      representative/delegate/etc. or senator in that Congress (no
      presidents). People that go from rep to sen in a session will have two
      roles in the file.

      Both files now mark the current role as "current='1'".

      --
      - Josh Tauberer
      - GovTrack.us

      http://razor.occams.info

      "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
      falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
      Tortoise (in "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
    • Josh Tauberer
      Hi, all. I m making a change to the people.xml files on GovTrack. Previously, the role start and end dates were January 1 of the start year and December 31 of
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 25, 2009
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        Hi, all.

        I'm making a change to the people.xml files on GovTrack. Previously, the
        role start and end dates were January 1 of the start year and December
        31 of the last full calendar year of the Congress. This was an early
        oversight that I have wanted to fix for a very long time: sessions of
        Congress don't start so regularly. Usually they start on January 4th-ish
        and end two January 3rds later.

        Just to clarify terminology, what GovTrack calls a session is really a
        "Congress". What people call a "session" are sort of terms within each
        Congress. These days there are two per Congress, one for each year.
        Early in the nation's history there were three per two-year session.

        A list of start and end dates, from a page on the House Clerk website,
        is here:
        http://www.govtrack.us/data/us/sessions.tsv

        You can use that to interpret the people.xml start and end dates, as
        opposed to numerical trickery that was possible in the past and now will
        not work.

        Also- Many cases of district="0" were sloppy recording of "I don't
        know", in addition to district="-1" which also means "I don't know".
        I've got through all of the zeros and the ones that are left are really
        At Large reps. The zeros that were "I don't know" are now -1s.

        --
        - Josh Tauberer
        - CivicImpulse

        http://razor.occams.info
        http://www.civicimpulse.com

        "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
        falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
        Tortoise (in "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
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