Today in APIs: Sunlight Foundation's API Portal, US Gov's Open Source API Management, and 14 New APIs

Greg Bates
Aug. 05 2013, 01:00PM EDT

Sunlight Foundation has added an API portal to make government more transparent, as well as an interactive query builder. US government turns to open source for its API management solution. Plus: is API management wagging the dog? Also, Philips combines Hue lightbulbs with API for bright idea, and 14 new APIs.

Sunlight Foundation's New Portal: Let the APIs Shine In

The Sunlight Foundation's mission is simple and clear: make government more transparent and make the data available quickly. Speed is important--often data in the legislative process are held back until after votes on legislation are cast, making it too late to react to information that shows who is influencing the creation of the law.  But for those who want to dig into how legislative sausages are made, to paraphrase John Godfrey Saxe, the Sunlight Foundation has several APIs now listed together in a portal.

The Sunlight Foundation shines light on more than federal legislation, however. By my count they have 5 different APIs. There's the Congress API that has contact and biographical information about Senators and House Reps. That's not to be confused with the "Real time Congress" API, which focuses on floor updates, hearing schedules, whip notices, key documents and votes. The Capitol words API organizes speeches given by members of Congress. The Open States API does what the first API does on the state level: give name and contact information on state legislators. Finally there is the Influence Explorer API that shows you the money.

You can actually try these out to see how they work. As an example, the Congress API trial prompts you to enter your contact data and will return your senator's contact info based on where you live.

It's not all dry data manipulation. According to Sunlight, someone used the Capitol Words API to go through speeches given by Congresspeople over several years, showing that the grade level the legislators are speaking at is...wait for it... declining.

US Government Deploys Umbrella, an Open Source API Management Solution

Friday we published an interview with Promod Haque of Norwest Venture Partners about its repeated investments in Apigee. He argued the case for why the investment was a sound one. We pressed him, wondering if the potential advent of open source API management might be a threat. Just one day later we learn of the US government's decision to deploy an open source solution to managing their APIs for federal agencies.

Powered by the open source API umbrella, api.data.gov provides a lot of the usual features one would expect, from analytics to API keys. The goal is to make it easy for federal agencies to release and manage APIs. They promise other features as soon as this month, including "Self service web admin for managing APIs"--there's that ubiquitous term in API management, "self service," again!--improved documentation management, granular admin permissions, and more. Services covered are the Census, the Federal Communications CommissionMyUSA (a service to discover related government content), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

API News You Shouldn't Miss

14 New APIs

Today we had 14 new APIs added to our API directory including a customized dashboard platform, a human body 3d imaging service, a group communications and collaboration platform, an email marketing service and an application monetization platform. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

DashbookDashbook API: Dashbook is a platform that allows users to create and manage all of the information they want in one dashboard screen. Users can tailor and customize the feeds and information they want to see in their dashboard.

The Dashbook API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Dashbook with other applications and to build new applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should sign up here http://dashbookapp.com/#contactForm for access.

FlixFitFlixFit API: FlixFit provides applications and websites with the ability to take high quality human measurements through imaging. It can use regular consumer devices such as laptops, smartphones, and iPads to take pictures of an individual. FlixFit then uses those images to create a three-dimensional representation of their body. It is designed to replace traditional methods of taking body measurements and provide sizing information for online shopping.

HallHall API: Hall is a communications platform for organizations, teams, and businesses. Hall offers a variety of communications and collaboration features, such as group chats, file sharing, and instant messaging on multiple platforms.

The Hall API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Hall with other applications, such as Zapier, Zendesk, Github, and Get Satisfaction. The main API method is linking Hall to accounts on these other applications.

MarketingshipMarketingship API: Marketingship is an email marketing and email newsletter service. Organizations can create, manage, and track email marketing campaigns with Marketingship.

The Marketingship API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Marketingship with other applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should contact info@marketingship.com for more information.

MoPubMoPub API: MoPub is a monetization platform and service for mobile and web applications. MoPub offers features like advertising integration, a dashboard of revenue, and other monetization services for applications.

The MoPub API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of MoPub with other applications. Some example API methods include retrieving revenue lists, retrieving transactions, and managing account information.

NACappNACapp API: NACapp is a service for relaying notifications, alerts, and chat messages to groups of mobile devices. It is designed to provide timely messaging services to teams who communicate primarily via mobile devices. Users can create messages by logging on to the website, via email, or by using the REST or SOAP APIs. Once a user sends a notification, they can see which devices have received, viewed, and acted on the notification.

OlapicOlapic API: Olapic is a crowdsourced visual content platform. Olapic offers eCommerce features for attracting customers, buying, and selling visual content and photos.

The Olapic API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Olapic with other applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should contact Olapic for more information: https://www.olapic.com/contact-us/.

ScreenPlayScreenPlay API: ScreenPlay provides an API web service for customers to access their video database with a simple series of parameters. This method of accessing ScreenPlay content allows publishers to integrate with websites and apps more efficiently by programming specific calls from the Screenplay API. Some example API methods include requesting specific titles, categories and retrieving data.

Public documentation is not available; interested developers should contact information@screenplayinc.com for more information.

SlidePaySlidePay API: SlidePay is a credit card payment acceptance service. SlidePay allows merchants and users to accept swiped credit card payments in their applications on a variety of platforms.

The SlidePay API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of SlidePay with other applications. Some example API methods include processing payments, retrieving payments, and sending receipts.

SlimSurveysSlimSurveys API: SlimSurveys is a survey creation and management service. Users can create mini surveys that can be completed in a short amount of time. SlimSurveys offers features to create different types of surveys, with images and different responses.

The SlimSurveys API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of SlimSurveys with other applications and create new applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should sign up here: https://slimsurveys.com/developer.

SnapComms Desktop AlertSnapComms Desktop Alert API: SnapComms is a push notification solution for employee communication on desktop and mobile devices. The SnapComms API gives organizations the ability to integrate the SnapComms push notifications with other platforms (for example, intranet and contact center solutions). Notification formats include: pop-up alerts, scrolling tickers, pop-up quizzes and surveys and interactive screensaver messaging.

Public documentation is not available; API access comes with account service and login.

Squirrel ToolsSquirrel Tools API: Squirrel Tools is an API that lets users calculate poker odds and hand rankings. It works for regular poker with hands of 5, 6, or 7 cards as well as for Texas hold'em with 3, 4, or 5 cards on the table. It will also determine the winner for a group of known hands and return the Sklansky group for a pair of cards in Texas hold'em.

UltraHookUltraHook API: UltraHook is a free webhook service. UltraHook allows users to create and manage webhooks over localhosts, allowing for updates over HTTP requests.

The UltraHook API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of UltraHook with other applications. The main API method is sending webhooks.

USERcycleUSERcycle API: USERcycle is a service designed to help optimize products through actionable learning. It starts off by benchmarking product performance and identifying constraints or metrics that can be improved. From there, developers can make changes and measure whether those changes make the product better or worse. Developers can feed data into USERcycle from their product or app by using either the REST or JavaScript API.

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+

Comments