The Big Picture

There are four primary types of information you'll access from the CrisisNET API: Items, Tags, Sources and Licenses.


An item is anything that happens at a time in a place. All report or event-level data in CrisisNET are represented as items. This can be anything from a tornado sighting to a report of violence. You can filter item documents based on their location, keywords, tags, publish date, and more. A list of items can be retrieved from the /item endpoint.

View item documentation


A tag is metadata about an item. An array of tag objects will be assigned to the majority of item documents. These can be used for categorization, like armed-conflict, or to note that an item references a particular religion, ethnicity, or known group. The full list of available tags can be retrieved from the /system-tag endpoint.

View tag documentation


A source provides a stream of information to CrisisNET that we transform into item documents. This might be a static dataset of incident reports populated by an NGO, a social media feed like Facebook, or even data scraped from a website. Item documents from all sources are returned by default, but it is also possible to filter your stream to include only items from particular sources. A list of available sources can be found at the /source endpoint. Data from this endpoint also includes information about how each source should be credited, and rules governing how data from that source can be used.

View source documentation


Even source has an associated license, which dictates the conditions under which its data may be used. Make sure you understand the attribution and usage guidelines for each source that contributes to the list of item documents you retrieve from the API before using that data in your application, visualization or research.

View license documentation