Socrata is an online community for producers, publishers, and consumers of data. Through a suite of innovative Web services, Socrata provides the world's most comprehensive platform for open data discovery. Socrata APIs are sets of REST resources you can use to manage Socrata entities and data. Resources are grouped by areas of related high-level functionality.
A company best known for its tools to help governments open their data now wants to provide the same aid to businesses. Socrata today launched the API Foundary, which can convert Excel spreadsheets (and other data repositories) into customizable APIs. The company will continue to focus on governments, but it also is courting enterprises--or anyone who wants to share data and "mass produce APIs."
The Socrata Data API or SODA is one of the foremost API resources for Government and for social data discovery. One of the major use cases for open data is of course increasing law enforcement effectiveness for analysis and transparency. One such mashup using the Socrates API is the Crime Data for San Fransisco.