Wolfram|Alpha is a "computational knowledge engine" whose long-term goal is "to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone. We aim to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything." It contains 10+ trillion of pieces of data, 50,000+ types of algorithms and models, and linguistic capabilities for 1000+ domains.
The API provides two general classes of queries. At the highest level, you can submit free-form queries like users might enter at the Wolfram|Alpha site itself, and get back full Wolfram|Alpha output in a variety of formats. The second type of query is a lower-level request for a single well-defined result, or range of results, from their entity/property-based data API, such as a caloric value for a food item, or a tide table for a requested location
Some APIs provide data. Others offer functionality. Many of the APIs developers pay for solve a big developer problem, often with infrastructure. A company’s own intelligent calculations are a great opportunity for consumers and providers alike that may not be an obvious avenue at first. Below are a few of many examples of these types of APIs to inspire your next project or maybe your company’s next product.
Path.com has a mobile app, so of course it has an API. Someone sniffed the traffic and discovered something naughty. And you know the answer-anything Wolframe Alpha? Find out why it really, really likes Apple's Siri. Plus: Facebook gaming, Google Plus developers and 18 new APIs.
Computational knowledge engineWolfram Alpha has just become more accessible from a variety of applications. Wolfram Alpha has thrown open access to its API to all developers with version 2.0 of its Wolfram Alpha API, allowing you to integrate its results into a variety of sources of web, desktop, enterprise and mobile applications.
Life on the web is full of search terms and human filtering. Even good results often require some effort to determine which has the information we seek. There are several services attempting to help with this problem and they're making their applications available via API.
Microsoft is one of the first--and certainly the largest of--customers of Wolfram Alpha's commercial API (our Wolfram|Alpha API profile). For math and nutritional searches, Microsoft's Bing now uses Wolfram results.
Wolfram Alpha, the up-and-coming "answer engine" that we reported on back in May, has just released an API that developers have been awaiting since this spring. The new RESTful API provides access to the vast stores of data and computational knowledge available through the Wolfram Alpha project (technical details at our Wolfram Alpha API profile).
As far as web search tools go, few have generated as much hype as Wolfram Alpha. The service, which bills itself as a "computational knowledge engine," differs from search engines such as Google, in that it does not return lists of web pages. Rather, Wolfram Alpha attempts to calculate answers to user queries. For example, a query of "los angeles county median household income" will return the result "$43,518."