USA Today Expands APIs to Include Articles Back to 2004

Romin Irani
Dec. 14 2010, 12:00AM EST

USA Today is keeping its promise to release more data from its network. The latest dataset that the newspaper has exposed is Articles, where you can use the USA Today API to access feeds and present it to your users in ways that you want. The dataset contains all web stories going back to 2004, as well as blog posts, newspaper stories, and even wire feeds.

Announcing the Articles API, the blog post goes on to mention that you can now pull out editorially-prioritized content by section, using basic search or tag search, or calling feeds from one of the USA TODAY communities. USA Today itself uses this API to power several of its own applications.

If you have not signed up for the API, you can do that via the sign up page which will provide you with an API key that is necessary to use their Articles API. The API key can also be used with its Best-Selling Books API and Sports Salaries API. The Articles API data is available in both RSS and JSON formats. The same rate limits apply i.e. 1,000 requests per day. For more details on the terms, developer blog and forums, visit ourĀ USA Today API profile.

Examples of the Article API usage are given below:

  • For stories featured in the USA Today Home page

http://api.usatoday.com/open/articles/topnews?api_key=XXXXXX

  • To request Top News by section

http://api.usatoday.com/open/articles/topnews/{section_name}?api_key=XXXXXX

where {section_name} can be one of several. For e.g. health, religion, weather, life, tech, etc.

You can tweak the response by several other parameters. Please refer to the documentation for full details.

The approach by USA Today to keep opening up its data to developers is positive. The company is releasing parts of its data selectively and in a phased manner. This probably allows it to gauge API usage, monitor it and then bring the results of that into the next revision of its API. It looks like we can definitely expect more data sets to be released in the near future and a possible developer contest.

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

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