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Nuts and Bolts

........short articles to help our users.

Older--But Still Valid--Flood Maps

FEMA transitioned to digitial maps in the early 2000's, but maps going far back as the 1970's are still in about 400 counties.

These older maps are still valid and are used to determine flood insurance requirements. National Flood Data tracks all changes to the older maps and reconciles them with the new maps.

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What is an API?

An API is a way for two computer systems to communicate with each other. The letters stand for Application Programming Interface. An API allows a service or data to be available to users, generally outside the company offering the API. To take flood data as an example, an insurance company may receive requests for insurance quotes. The insurance company receives an address and would like to determine the quote to offer. The insurance company's software can send the address to National Flood Data automatically. The National Flood Data API receives the address, uns a process within National Flood Data to determine the flood zone and then returns that data to the insurance company.

An API may sound technical and the formal description may look complicated, but they are very efficient and follow conventions that make them quick and easy to use. Using an API can save an enormous amount of time. Rather than communicating by email, for example, two software systems can communicate automatically. Insurance companies are turning more and more to software to make their work more efficient, and APIs are a key part of this.

See documentation for our API

Main changes in v3 of the API

With v3 of the API, National Flood Data will be able to update flood data daily. This required a few formatting changes, which our users will see in v3. We've also added some new helpful features to make the data better organized and easier to use.

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