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The data behind Capitol words


Last Monday we launched an update to our Capitol Words project, which indexes and tokenizes the Congressional Record daily. With the launch behind us and the dust starting to settle, I'd like to walk through how we get from raw text to attributed, searchable quotations, and provide some examples of how you can interact with the data directly.

Before delving into how it works, though, it's important to acknowledge the myriad developers whose work on this project has made it possible. I'm only the most recent steward of the site; the bulk of the data legwork for this iteration was handled by Aaron Bycoffe and Jessy Kate Schingler, and the web interface owes its beauty to Caitlin Weber and Ali Felski. Timball provided the hardware, and the list continues from contributions to the scrapers all the way back to the original conception and implementation of the idea by Josh Ruihley and Garrett Schure. It's the combined efforts of everyone involved that brought us the site that's available today.

Now, without further ado...

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