USA Today API Now Serving Reviews and Snapshots

Romin Irani
Mar. 23 2011, 08:00AM EDT

USA Today is continuing its march towards opening up more of its data via its USA Today API. The newspaper company most recently made available articles, including blog posts, newspaper stories and wire feeds back to 2004. The latest set of APIs announced includes three reviews APIs and a snapshots API that give access to USA Today’s movies, books and music reviews and its iconic statistical graphics.

The USA Today Reviews API allows developers to construct customized feeds going back to 2004 of USA Today’s music, movie and book reviews. The USA Today Snapshots API allows developers access to a customized Snapshots feed. The three reviews APIs are fairly consistent and allow you to access reviews that are either recent or further fine grained depending on actor, author, artist and much more.

For example, http://api.usatoday.com/open/reviews/movies/recent?count=10&api_key=XXXXXX returns you a list of 10 most recent movie reviews. Similarly, http://api.usatoday.com/open/reviews/books/book/harry+potter?api_key=XXXXXX returns you review information for each of USA Today’s Harry Potter reviews.

The Snapshots API is quite interesting. USA Today Snapshots are easy-to-read statistical graphics that present information on various issues and trends in a visually appealing way, posted online every day Monday to Friday. You could also specify additional parameters like keywords which would allow you to specify one or more tags to filter your search. The example Snapshot response at the documentation page contains interesting snippets like a Quick Question & Answers, that developers could use on their sites.

USA Today has steadily increased the information that one can now access via its APIs. It started with best selling books and sports salaries, then its articles and now has moved on to reviews and snapshots. Phasing in its API introductions makes a lot of sense because its gives USA Today a good indication of existing API usage patterns and issues if any, before introducing new data sets.

What else would you like to see USA Today or other newspapers provide via API?

Romin Irani Romin loves learning about new technologies and teaching it to others. Follow me on Google+

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