Reuters Labs has announced the release of their new Spotlight API. Spotlight is a non-commercial platform designed to "allow users to innovate and develop their ideas by harnessing the content Reuters publishes." Reuters Labs is the R&D branch of Thomson Reuters, the largest information services company in the world.
The objective of making information available in new formats, in a timely manner, with greater simplicity, was a central topic of an interview titled The Coming Revolution in Financial Information at the Money:Tech Conference in New York City this past February. Tim O'Reilly interviewed Devin Wenig, COO of Reuters Group PLC. Spotlight wasn't mentioned in that interview, but Spotlight surely is one aspect of Reuters fulfilling that objective.
Devin Wenig also talked about Reuters efforts at semantic annotation of content. Remember the Semantic Web? The Reuters Spotlight API:
provides Reuters.com content in the form of multimedia articles, pictures, videos and text news through a set standards based consumer XML APIs. The Spotlight service also provides an option to receive the content automatically annotated with rich semantic metadata.
As you can see in our new API profile the Spotlight API uses the REST protocol, with data available in six different standard data formats including Atom and JSON. Authentication is via an API key. The documentation includes a Handbook and code samples. The Spotlight Forum is available for questions and discussion.
At the Money:Tech Conference, Devin Wenig told us: "150 years ago Reuters used carrier pigeons to transfer information, because that was faster than human carriers." Today, Reuters continues to innovate, making its vast information universe available through the simple, fast, automated access of this new API.