Today in APIs: Mining Archives, Open Innovation, and 24 New APIs

Greg Bates
Feb. 11 2013, 03:43PM EST

Why the New York Times is key to the future. Open innovation and the distributed business model. Plus: service tracks API client library changes, Twitter advertising API, and 24 new APIs.

Scientists Use New York Times Archives to Find All the Future That's Fit to Print

Writing in Gigaom, Laura hazard Cohen notes that two researchers are using 90 sources, including Wikipedia and the New York Times archives to predict future epidemics, riots and deaths,

"Eric Horvitz of Microsoft Research and Kira Radinsky of the Technion-Israel Institute describe their work in a newly released paper, “Mining the Web to Predict Future Events” (PDF)."

Where once we had "futurists" spouting off imaginary ideas like skyscrapers on wheels (okay, never say never, but come on, Alvin!), now scientists are realizing that data can make some awesome predictions. There are four great advantages this process has: the software can learn to recognize patterns; research can be done around the clock, can reduce bias, and can review news that to the human eye seems less important.

In The MIT Technology Review, Tom Simonite reveals that the results can be stunning and potentially life-saving,

"The system provides striking results when tested on historical data. For example, reports of droughts in Angola in 2006 triggered a warning about possible cholera outbreaks in the country, because previous events had taught the system that cholera outbreaks were more likely in years following droughts. A second warning about cholera in Angola was triggered by news reports of large storms in Africa in early 2007; less than a week later, reports appeared that cholera had become established. In similar tests involving forecasts of disease, violence, and a significant numbers of deaths, the system’s warnings were correct between 70 to 90 percent of the time."

APIs, Inovation and the Distributed Business Model

In the blog Innovationexcellence, Nicolas Bry  has a neat summary of the impact of APIs on innovation, taken from a presentation by the consulting group Fabernovel, including

  • making collaborative innovation possible;
  • creating new revenue streams;
  • and greater organizational flexibility by using APIs internally.

He looks at Expedia, Facebook and Amazon Web Services, among others to examine how they have spurred innovation with APIs.

API News You Shouldn't Miss

24 New APIs

Today we had 24 new APIs added to our API directory including a u.s. international tourist service, a home automation and remote device monitoring/control service, a clinical record annotation service, an order fulfillment and warehouse management service, a software project management service, a global sms service, a search engine result page analysis service and a website personalization service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

American ToursAmerican Tours API: The service provides information about over 25,000 travel destinations in the United States along with tour packages specifically intended to appeal to foreign visitors. In addition to search access and property descriptions, it provides a booking capability.

API methods support search for hotel accommodations and other lodging with location or region, specified arrival and departure dates, number of guests, and optional property name. Methods return availability and rate information along with booking data to complete a reservation. All message formatting is compliant with the Open Travel Association (OTA) structure.

ArrayentArrayent API: The service provides connectivity between home appliances or other electronic devices and mobile phones to allow remote monitoring and control. Examples from home automation include ability to activate HVAC systems and control settings, adjust lighting, and interact with security systems. The provider's Configurator application and utilities allow for integration between mobile devices and remote electronic controls for installed equipment.

API methods support secure access to equipment monitoring functions for reviewing current status, with methods for updating settings and controlling equipment functions. Methods also provide for push notifications when preset equipment states occur, such as when an error condition is detected.

Biosemantics ACCCABiosemantics ACCCA API: The service provides annotations for patient records to consistently document concepts related to problems detected in clinical settings, treatments defined for medical problems, and tests for monitoring patient conditions. The service combines input from six separate annotation systems to generate aggregate results that may be recorded to patient charts or other records. A training mode allows users to acclimate to the service and generate reliable results.

API methods support submission of plain text from clinical records and returns annotations identifying clinical concepts for additional analysis. Methods apply a simple voting algorithm to combine results of separate annotation schemes for the final aggregate annotations.

Blast RampBlast Ramp API: The service provides a platform for order entry, fulfillment, shipping and invoicing. As support for those processes, it provides warehouse and inventory management with reporting of product sales, shipping, and logistics. Integration opportunities include accounting systems and customer relationship managment (CRM) systems for tracking products and transactions.

API methods support creation and updating of product records as well as entry, updating, and status reporting for sales orders. Methods also support inventory management and variance reporting and control along with accounting updates related to product stocking and sales.

CodebaseCodebase API: Codebase is a software project management tool that includes powerful, secure, UK-based storage for users' repositories. It also provides features to help keep teams in-touch and on-schedule, such as advanced ticket management, discussions, project notebooks, and time tracking. Codebase also has activity feeds that are syndicated to RSS to allow easy desktop access. User account permissions are highly configurable to let the primary user control access to certain functionalities or to entire projects.

Codebase offers a RESTful API that allows users to work with all of the data stored in their accounts. Users can manage their repositories, tickets, discussions, projects, and more using XML or JSON calls.

CS NetworksCS Networks API: CS Networks provides an SMS gateway that lets its users SMS-enable any application, website, or system. It can deliver messages to more then 220 countries with a throughput of 100 msg/sec over HTTP and 1000 msg/sec over SMPP. The CS Networks API allows users to send and receive text messages (SMS), perform two-step authentication, locate mobile numbers, and perform other related services over HTTP (REST) or SMPP.

GeoRankerGeoRanker API: GeoRanker enables users to view search engines' SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) as a local user in over 2500 cities and 150 countries around the world. Because SERPs differ based on a user's location, these rankings reports are useful in determining the effectiveness of SEO strategies on an international level. GeoRanker uses depersonalized search queries, meaning that cookies are deleted before completing each search query.

Bulk, real-time SERP rankings reports and real-time search engine crawling are the most powerful features of the GeoRanker platform. It also provides the SERP HeatMap generator, which concentrates large data reports into easy-to-read images. The GeoRanker API generates different types of reports and receives data for placement in the user's database. Further API documentation requires an email to the provider.

GravityGravity API: Gravity is a website personalization service that enables users to deliver unique recommendations to each site visitor based on their interests, or to provide each visitor with a customizable homepage. Gravity can be added to a site simply by cutting and pasting a few lines of JavaScript and deciding what the personalized module should look like. Gravity Personalization can be used for websites, mobile apps, tablet apps, or any web-connected services.

Inflation RussiaInflation Russia API: The service provides data used in and derived by the provider's online inflation calculators. It allows research about inflation over time in Russia and analysis of its effect on prices and buying power within the country. Formats for accessing data include tables and charts summarizing inflation over time and web services that provide the same data for use by other applications.

API methods support calculation of inflation within Russia for specified time periods and raw price changes driven by inflation. Methods also provide changes in purchasing power of the Ruble for specified time period.

MambuMambu API: The service provides financial management tools across all functions of a financial institution via a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. In addition to basic transaction processing, including micropayments, and lending, it allows for customer account creation, updating, and reporting. The service can interact with retailers for point-of-sale (POS) processing and other external services such as credit scoring agencies.

API methods support creating and updating customer accounts with balance monitoring, deposit acceptance, and payment processing. Methods also support financial arrangements such as savings accounts and loans, interaction with automated teller machines (ATMs) and POS systems, and accounting processes via general ledger postings. The API includes full support for currency conversions and other locally relevant practices.

mVaayoo SMS GatewaymVaayoo SMS Gateway API: mVaayoo is an Indian company that provides bulk SMS services. Its SMS Gateway can equip any website, application, or information system with high-speed, secure, 2-way SMS capabilities. This Gateway can be integrated using mVaayoo's APIs, which are offered in a wide array of connection options. Comprehensive API integration guides are provided, covering the entire integration process.

MyTagListMyTagList API: The service provides monitoring and status reporting for devices and other objects to which proprietary electronic tags have been attached. The tags report status over wireless connections, and those reports are conveyed to the service. Android or iOS devices can then check status and determine locations of the tagged objects.

API methods support registration of wireless tags and their association with devices or objects, causing the service to detect and log their movements and temperature changes. Methods allow retrieval of reports on the logged data to determine tag location and status and to trigger signals back to the tags, helping to locate them.

NetWealth Financial CalculatorsNetWealth Financial Calculators API: The service provides calculations of standard financial ratios and other measures based on input provided by a user or application. Examples include projected growth of a retirement or other savings account, how long before retirement goals are met assuming specified regular savings, etc. Calculations are specific to the Australian financial environment and reflect government policies for superannuation, account splitting, and other practices specific to retirement accounts.

API methods support calculation of savings plan contributions needed to meet specific monetary and time-based retirement goals. Methods also provide for government co-contributions, splitting contributions between accounts, superannuation effects, and current income sacrificed by retirement savings plans.

New York Federal Reserve SOMA HoldingsNew York Federal Reserve SOMA Holdings API: The service reports on holdings and purchases of U.S. Treasury securities by the New York Federal Reserve Bank as part of its role in implementing U.S. currency supply policy. It provides data updated weekly either for batch download or for real-time access via a web service. Applications can access this authoritative data for selected time periods starting in 2003.

API methods support retrieval of either a summary or specific time series data, either monthly or quarterly, for open market holdings by the New York Fed. Methods also allow retrieval of holdings data by type of security.

ONEISONEIS API: ONEIS is a system for creating and curating collections of information and associated files. It includes functions for precise searching, browsing, discovery, and notification of stored information. ONEIS is designed for representing interrelated information rather than highly structured data.

ONEIS also provides an extensive API and web application development framework. The JavaScript API enables users to build applications that incorporate ONEIS functions. The RESTful API, using XML over HTTP, lets systems running on other servers or client applications access objects in the ONEIS object store.

OneMusicOneMusic API: OneMusicAPI is a collection of music metadata from multiple music sources and databases around the web. The OneMusicAPI allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of OneMusicAPI with other applications and to create new applications. Some example API methods include searching music, retrieving music metadata, and displaying music metadata.

OVH CloudOVH Cloud API: The service provides hosting and provisioning for online storage and application hosting environments. It allows control of hosting resources from bringing them online to configuration, installation, ongoing monitoring and adjustment, and taking them offline.

API methods support defining and configuring storage space, setting and changing permissions for resources, starting an application instance and ending it, and other functions for controlling hosted applications. Methods also support user account management and performance monitoring with routine and ad hoc reporting.

Pearson Brilliant SeriesPearson Brilliant Series API: Brilliant books, from Pearson, are outcome-focused and straight to the point. Brilliant books cover over 100 topics to help readers learn about a subject quickly.

The Pearson Brilliant API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality and data of Pearson Brilliant books with other applications. Some example API methods include retrieving books, retrieving book information, getting author information, and searching books and authors.

Polk VINtelligencePolk VINtelligence API: The service provides specifications for a vehicle based on the vehicle identification number (VIN) submitted. Specifications include year, make, and model as well as features like engine and transmission, color, standard and optional equipment packages.

API methods support submission of an individual VIN or a a batch of numbers, and the API returns detailed specifications. Returned data summarize each vehicle's country of origin and make/model detail along with engine and powertrain detail, options included by the manufacturer, and other specifications like gross vehicle weight (GVW), list price, etc.

Prj2EPSGPrj2EPSG API: The service provides basic conversion of mapping data from the shapefile projection format -- .prj files -- to the encoding standard of the European Petroleum Survey Group (EPSG). The provider offers an interactive form to return EPSG codes matching a search term entered in a form or by parsing an uploaded .prj shapefile, and the same functions are available via API.

API methods support submitting search terms, either free-text keywords or contents of a .prj shapefile, as URL parameters. In keyword mode, the API returns any matching ESPG codes. In WKT mode, the system parses the shapefile data and returns any missing code. Either way, the return data includes a URL to access the EPSG code description page for any matching code.

Smart TribuneSmart Tribune API: Smart Tribune is an online client relationship manager (CRM) in French. Smart Tribune offers features to manage customer relationships and communicate with clients.

Smart Tribune’s API provides a technical way to access platform data, which lets third-party tools interact with Smart Tribune's service. Some example API methods include listing platforms, managing accounts, and adding and deleting contacts, comments, and content.

TokenizerTokenizer API: The service provides highly secure authentication that combines a conventional password entered by a user with a signal from an app registered to that user's mobile device. Similar services combine password entry with possession of a USB device or other single-purpose hardware, but this service takes advantage of the user's smart phone as a tool for confirming identity.

API methods support creating a new authentication listing with the service for an application or updating an existing one. Methods also support creating or updating a client listing on a mobile device that corresponds to a service listing. Methods then support accessing the client listing to verify access to the authenticated resource.

TroveboxTrovebox API: Trovebox makes it easy for users to collect their photos from multiple sites and devices and keep them in one place. Trovebox has importers for Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram that allow it to collect photos posted to those services. Users may choose to store their photos with Trovebox or in an existing storage account with Dropbox, Box, Amazon S3, CX, or DreamObjects. Migrating between storage accounts only takes a few button clicks. Users can access their photos from anywhere using Trovebox's mobile apps for iPhone and Android or simply by using a web browser.

TrueSampleTrueSample API: The service provides validation of sample populations for online surveys to help ensure qualified responses from legitimate responders and generate valid results. It includes methods to be used before and after collecting survey data to predict respondent engagement and measure accuracy of those predictions.

API methods support tracking of respondents by name, location, contact information, and date(s) and time(s) of registration and survey completion. Methods also support tracking of questions presented, responses provided, and surveys completed.

Greg Bates A writer for Programmableweb since 2012, Greg is a freelance writer and a maniacal editor of dissertations and term papers. - Follow me on Google+

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