The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has unveiled a new and interactive data platform to make it easier for stakeholders to access, use and download data on the transportation of agricultural products by rail, truck, barge and ocean-going vessels.
The open data platform developed by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Office of Transportation enables users to:
- View up-to-date, interactive dashboards or major transportation modes and markets;
- Access data in many different, open-file formats;
- Select and download data using easy filtering and aggregating tools;
- Create a variety of visualizations that are updated automatically to show the latest information; and
- Save personalized dataset views and visualizations that are updated automatically.
Those utilizing the database will have the ability to access data through automatically generated and maintained Application Programming Interfaces (API), which open the door to the development of cell phone and web apps built using the data.
The new platform is an enhancement to AMS’s previous static pdfs and Excel spreadsheets of data gathered and maintained by the agency, which issues several transportation reports – including the weekly Grain Transportation Report. In addition, AMS officials say the agency is working to incorporate publicly available data from the Surface Transportation Board into the new USDA transportation open data platform to enhance its value.
The USDA transportation open data platform may be accessed at: https://agtransport.usda.gov.