Instagram may be looking to find its location data from Facebook, dislocating Foursquare. Pitney Bowes and IBM to cooperate using PB's location services APIs with IBM's cloud platform. Plus: Google's cloud platform adds new features and price cuts, security breach created as users publish Amazon Web services keys on Github, and 8 new APIs.
Instagram Experiments with Facebook Places as Location Service to Replace Foursquare
Instagram may be looking to replace Foursquare with Places from parent company Facebook. Foursquare is a huge player in the location services space; their free API is used by Flickr, Vine, Path, Pinterest, and Uber among many others. Is Instagram's possible switch just a preference for the homegrown or is this the beginning of a defection from the location giant?
As Austin Carr reports in FastCompany, this isn't about Instagram favoring the services of the company that bought it. It's about the value of the data:
...it's likely Facebook is wary of sharing Instagram's data with a potential competitor, especially when it could better serve one of Facebook's own properties. Instagram boasts more than 150 million users, who collectively upload tens of millions of photos each day. When these photos are tied to a location, they paint a comprehensive portrait of a venue and even reveal when that venue is most popular. If tons of Instagram photos are taken at Zazie in San Francisco on Saturday mornings, it's safe to surmise that the restaurant is a hot brunch spot on weekends (thanks in part to its pancakes, judging by the Instagram photos tied to its location).
Carr dismisses reports that Facebook is trying to kill off Foursquare, however. But he does suggest that the switch will reveal whether Foursquare has staying power and can offer services that others won't want to create internally.
Pitney Bowes Teams with IBM to Make APIs Available on PaaS
Pitney Bowes, famous for postage meters, is also a big player in the location space. Now, it's launching location services to give clients tools to see connections between their customers, geography and networks to deliver more personally relevant experiences. To do this, it will use IBM's "BlueMix" cloud platform.
As the companies commented,
For Pitney Bowes, the partnership provides the opportunity to expose key solutions, such as location-based services, e-commerce fulfillment, Internet postage, and parcel management, through IBM’s API Management to an extended ecosystem of innovators and developers. It also speeds the availability of new services from Pitney Bowes to vast new markets globally.
Postage meters may be tied to a post office that is often seen as offering a relic service, but PB's location services are huge and this could portend a big move. Its intelligence solutions are used by more than 1.2 billion people globally when they use location -sharing features on major social media platforms.
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8 New APIs
Today we had 8 new APIs added to our API directory including a technological and engineering job listings service, a document object model tool service, a social service database and a government data retrieval service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.
Dice Jobs API: Dice is a website where technology and engineering professionals can search for jobs. It provides listings for more than 80,000 jobs in technological fields, as well as articles on technological developments and career advice. The Dice Jobs API allows users to search for jobs, retrieve jobs by ID, and get lists of recommended jobs.
Mozilla DOM API: The Mozilla DOM API is a Document Object Model for HTML and XML documents. It connects scripts or programming languages to web pages, providing structural representations of documents. Developers are able to modify content and visual presentation. Web developers have access to all of the properties, methods, and events to manipulate and create web pages. They are organized into objects that are available via scripting languages.
Per provider, API specifications are not yet stabilized.
One Degree API: One Degree provides a way to find, manage, and share nonprofit services, that includes reviews and feedback. Currently available for the San Francisco Bay area.
The API enables access to their free, public database of social services and agencies. This API is still in Beta.
Open Civic Data API: Open Civic Data (OCD) is a project that provides free tools and formats for organizing government data in a way that allows the data to be consumed by apps and other tools. The OCD data model is designed to handle information on people, organizations, events, bills, and votes. Anyone is free to search for OCD data or to add their own. Data may be retrieved as a bulk download or via API. The Open Civic Data API also allows users to search through all of the information captured by the OCD project.
PS Print Studio API: PS Print Studio is a cross-platform printing service that allows users to take images and print them in different formats.
PS Print Studio has created a REST API and mobile SDKs for developers to use customisable templates, add photographs, fonts, or PDFS as assets, and initiate print orders.
As product resellers, developers can choose to process payments themselves or earn commission on orders placed with PS Print Studio.
TaxJar API: TaxJar provides retailers with easy access to the information they need to file their sales tax returns for all counties and cities in the U.S. TaxJar provides access to its information through two APIs: the Smart Sales Tax API and the Sales Tax Rate API. The Smart Sales Tax API allows users to determine the amount of sales tax that should be withheld based on a shipment's origin and destination points. The Sales Tax Rate API allows users to retrieve the sales tax rate for a given location.
Xplenty API: Xplenty is a cloud service that processes big data for large and small companies. Its platform provides all the system administration needed to use Hadoop, so that businesses can access their data through the XPlenty dashboard without investing in new infrastructure and data personnel.
The Xplenty REST API allows the control and management of data processing jobs and job clusters, and also provides the ability to monitor job and cluster activities and status.
YAddress API: YAddress from Yuri Software is a web service that provides address correction, validation, standardization, and geocoding for US addresses. It can be used from any development environment that is Web-enabled. Through a CLR function, this functionality can be used from Microsoft® SQL Server.
YAddress can correct misspellings, abbreviations, and alternative street and city names. It provides the corrected addresses in USPS standard form, and also assigns the correct ZIP.
Supports both HTTP and SOAP.