Today in APIs: APIs Transforming the Web, Google Launches Website Promoting Google Maps and 14 New APIs

Wendell Santos
Oct. 04 2012, 03:07PM EDT

Ben Rooney opines on how API are transforming the web. Google launches a new website to spotlight the Google Maps API. Plus: An infographic about Twitter's shift from startup to media network, Shopsavvy's app now uses Best Buy's API and 14 new APIs.

How APIs Are Transforming the Web

In the Wall Street Journal, Ben Rooney opines on how APIs are transforming the web. While much of what he says is well understood by ProgrammableWeb readers, it is still interesting to see these pieces of knowledge make it to mainstream outles. Among his conclusions Rooney says:

  • For small companies, API lower development time and costs.
  • APIs ease the sales process by allowing prospective clients to try out a service before signing on.
  • Open APIs allow for the compounding of data across several services.

John Musser, founder of ProgrammableWeb, is quoted saying

"APIs enable companies to take their online presence beyond their web site and become integrated into customer experiences wherever they are—on their own web site, their own mobile apps, or any third party or partner app regardless of what platform. As everything goes mobile, users are going to spend less time coming to you and so you to go to them."

As APIs make the jump from tech companies and startups to larger, more established organizations we should continue to see the number of APIs and the possibilities surrounding them grow.

Google Launches “More Than A Map” Website Promoting Google Maps API

On Wednesday, Google announced that they were launching the "More Than A Map" website in support of Google Maps. The site works almost as an API gallery showing examples of how developers have used the Google Maps API in a variety of applications.

Google denies that the timing of the site is in any way related to Apple's decision to release Apple Maps, instead choosing to focus on highlighting their development community's work. On the site, visitors can also find information about the "Google Places API Developer Challenge"

API News You Shouldn’t Miss

14 New APIs

Today we had 14 new APIs added to our API directory including a croatian online identity management system, forex trading platform, musical compositions archive search, location-based information resources, arkansas geographic information service, australian business number look-up service, computer technology education and support service, news article retrieval service, on-this-date lookup service, eldercare search service, u.s. zip code search service, media transcoding service, electronic financial trading service, typing game statistics service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

AAI@EduHr AOSIAAI@EduHr AOSI API: AAI@EduHr stands for Authentication and Authorization Infrastructure Research and Higher Education in Croatia. AAI forms the foundation of an electronic identity management system that was designed as a place where data on a person's electronic identity could be stored for personal reference and for use by applications requesting identity information.

AOSI refers to applications for the maintenance of the contents of the system directory. Thus, the AOSI API enables users to search, modify, and retrieve information from the directory. This service uses SOAP calls issued in XML format.

The website and all API documentation are provided solely in Croatian.

ADS SecuritiesADS Securities API: ADS Securities is a Middle East based trading platform that provides forex, bullion and commodities trading solutions to institutional and professional investors. The ADS Securities API allows clients to access executable streaming prices. The API can also be used to feed ADS Securities’ liquidity into existing systems or GUIs to add our the liquidity pool into existing feeds.

Alan Bush Music Trust CompositionsAlan Bush Music Trust Compositions API: The Alan Bush Music Trust is a charity established to promote public education and appreciation for music, especially with regards to the works of British composer Alan Bush. The website serves as an archive of Alan Bush's music and related information.

The Music Trust provides the Compositions API to enable users to search the archve's musical compositions and categories programmatically. This service uses SOAP calls issued in XML format.

AnnotatedEarth LocationAnnotatedEarth Location API: AnnotatedEarth is a user-driven community for collecting location information. It is specifically designed to provide location-aware information to devices such as laptops, palm pilots, and cell phones via a service interface on the website. AnnotatedEarth is focused on determining what is immediately in the surrounding area (e.g. 20, 50, 100 feet away). Although usable with mapping services, AnnotatedEarth, as a system, doesn't directly provide for map creation or directions.

The AnnotatedEarth Location API enables developers to fully access AnnotatedEarth's location-aware infrastructure and information.

Arkansas GeoStorArkansas GeoStor API: The service provides a geographic information service (GIS) for locations in the U.S. state of Arkansas. It provides simple search and advanced (field-specific) search against a repository of information about Arkansas and its subdivisions and regions. Advanced search allows specification of category and publisher from which results should come along with date characteristics of results to be included.

The basic service is an implementation of ArcGIS and supports methods of that API within its namespace. In addition, API methods support basic search and advanced search by category and publisher against the state's geographic information repository. A separate API allows interaction with the data viewer incorporated within the site.

Australian Business Register ABN LookupAustralian Business Register ABN Lookup API: ABN Lookup is the public view of the Australian Business Register (ABR). It provides access to the publicly available information supplied by businesses when they register for an Australian Business Number (ABN). The most efficient way to search for a business is by ABN, ACN, ARBN, or ARSN. Searching by name will generally return multiple results ordered by relevance. The advanced search functions can be used to refine the results returned by a name search.

This service is available on the website, but can also be accessed programmatically using a SOAP API.

CommunityMXCommunityMX API: CommunityMX (CMX) hosts a panel of experts who help visitors learn about the latest web development techniques and provide personal support with project goals. Every day, CMX adds new articles, tutorials, videos, starter kits, and discussions on the latest developments and uses of popular products.

CMX provides an API that enables users to search for and retrieve content and tips from the website. This service is accessible using SOAP calls issued in XML format.

CompuServe Newsgroups PublicCompuServe Newsgroups Public API: CompuServe is a subsidiary of AOL that provides internet access and products. The CompuServe homepage hosts articles and content from Time Warner sources such as CNN, People, Fortune, and Entertainment Weekly.

The CompuServe Newsgroups Public API enables users to retrieve articles from CompuServe or to post articles to a selected newsgroup. These functions are accessible using SOAP calls issued in XML format.

DayDetailsDayDetails API: The service provides historical and trivia information pertinent to a specified calendar date. It calculates equivalents for the entered data according the the Islamic, Iranian, and other calendars and time comparisons for various locations. Calculations also include duration from the specified date to the current date in weeks, days, hours, and seconds.

ElderCare LocatorElderCare Locator API: The service from the U.S. Administration on Aging provides lookup against a database of services available for seniors and aging Americans in locations nationwide. Applications can connect elderly users and their caregivers with listings of medical and social service providers, among other applicable support services.

API methods support search for matches against a national database of senior services maintained by the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services. Queries match against service descriptions and can be filtered by location specified as either city and state or Zip Code.

Malaika Consultants ZipCode LookupMalaika Consultants ZipCode Lookup API: The service provides information about a geographic area within the United States specified by a particular Zip Code of the U.S. Postal Service. Available specifics include the location by state, region, city, exact boundaries, and elevation. Data also include telephone area codes for the region, with some information about city classifications, where appropriate.

API methods support submission of a Zip Code, and returned data provide the city, state, and county where it is located along with city type, latitude/longitude, time zone, elevation, and telephone area codes. Methods also support listings of Zip Codes located within a city or state and the specific code for a latitude/longitude.

Mogreet TranscodingMogreet Transcoding API: Mogreet is a SMS/MMS marketing service focusing on the delivery of high quality video, audio and images. Mogreet clients can create, manage, and track their text message marketing campaigns through Mogreet's platform and customer relationship manager (CRM).

The Mogreet platform is capable of ingesting various content such as audio, images and video and transcoding it to allow for use in mobile apps, web and messaging. The API lets users list all the content ingested, retrieve the Smart URL for a given content id, and to destroy a piece of content hosted in the system. The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in XML and JSON.

Orbis Orbis API: Orbis is a provider of secure electronic trading systems for the global financial industry. With Orbis' solutions users have access to markets with real-time quotes, rapid execution times, and tools to help manage their portfolio and evaluate market trends. Orbis provides a fast trading API for use by automated traders. The API provides real-time market access and includes customizable risk management tools to prevent over-buying and over-selling of shares, as well as a live monitoring feature that allows users to track the progress of their trades and get real-time P&L information. Interested developers should contact the provider for more information.

RankMyTypingRankMyTyping API: The service provides access to statistics compiled by an online game to measure the user's typing or keyboarding speed. Users state their age, gender, and occupation before taking the test, so data available include these variables. Statistics break down correct and incorrect keyboarding by word within the sample passages presented by the test. Statistics also report average typing speed, both overall and by demographic and occupational category .

API methods support searches for statistics of keyboarding skill compiled over the course of game use. Returned data provide counts of words and individual letters typed correctly and incorrectly, along with summaries by demographic category, occupation, and zodiac sign.

Wendell Santos

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