Build Multimedia Timelines with the Dipity API

Jordan Running
Aug. 08 2008, 01:32AM EDT

Dipity is an innovative web service that lets users create interactive multimedia timelines for anything from breaking news to Internet Memes. But the real action is behind the scenes with their extensive web service, which allows third parties to build and manage timelines programmatically (our Dipity API profile).

Their API provides REST methods for creating and retrieving timelines and adding, retrieving, and editing timeline events, plus uploading images to go with events. Authentication is provided by developer key. Responses are provided in XML or JSON according to the request's Accept: header. Example code in the form of a PHP SDK is available on Dipity's developer page, and support is provided through a Google Groups discussion board.

Dipity has built several impressive mash-ups using their own API. My favorite is Tickr, which fetches Flickr photos based on a keyword you enter and plots them both on a "flipbook" timeline and a map of the world:


There's also Archaelogist, which plots Digg's daily top stories all the way back to 2004 using the Digg API, and a timeline for YouTube, which puts YouTube videos on a timeline based on keywords like "Barack Obama" or "American Idol."

TimeTube

Four of these Dipity mashups are listed in our directory including the Tickr mashup, TimeTube, the Archaeologist mashup, and Newsline which is a mashup with the Daylife API (our Newsline mashup profile).

With Dipity's several viewing options—in addition to the ordinary timeline there are flipbook, list, and map views—and the ability to embed a Dipity timeline in any web page, the Dipity API has huge potential for presenting chronological multimedia on the web.

Jordan Running I'm a serial tinkerer living in the midwest and dreaming of a totally machine-readable, interoperable future.

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