The Latest News On The API Economy
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The internet is the perfect medium for matching supply with demand. You can find your next freelance job or, as Craigslist has been singled out for, find just about anything else (if you know the right euphemisms). Now, with Data Marketplace, you can request or provide datasets covering anything you can think of.
Google has released a new API for Fusion Tables, a Google Labs app that allows users to import, integrate, analyze, and visualize data in a variety of ways. The new API allows developers to programmatically perform a variety of tasks, including data import and export (more at our Google Fusion Tables API Profile). The API itself is integrated with several other Google APIs, including the Google Maps API and the Google Visualization API. In fact, developers can also leverage App Engine to easily develop data processing and analysis apps that easily integrate with various other Google APIs.
Structured data has an open platform, thanks to a new startup aptly named Factual. At first glance, it seems like Excel on the web. However, Factual is more database-oriented, with joining and filtering built-in. Plus, sharing and discussing the data is an integral part of the experience. Most functions on the site, including both reading and writing data, can also happen via the Factual API.
When Google announced its Maps Data API (our Google Maps API profile), it provided programmatic access to the features available in the Google My Maps product. With it, developers can create, organize and update maps. Could it also replace a database for holding geographic points?
Spatial data provider Maponics has released a new API that provides developers with access to several boundary data sets. Previously available as a beta release in February, the Maponics Spatial API (our Maponics API profile) provides access to carrier route, ZIP Code and neighborhood data for the United States.
In big news on the government data and transparency front, the premier provider of federal campaign finance information, Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), have announced they are opening for bulk download 20 years worth of data used to power their web site OpenSecrets.org. More than 200 million records are being made available of itemized contributions, campaign spending, lobbying, personal finance, and sponsored travel. CRP began tracking campaign contributions in the late 1980s. Their stats and staff are trusted and quoted by the Media as the gold standard reference.
Earlier this week Microsoft announced that it is making some of the imagery used in its Virtual Earth platform available for purchase (more on Virtual Earth in our VE SDK profile). The imagery, taken with Microsoft's proprietary UltraCam shown below is available for approximately 200 cities (in high resolution and averaging less than two years old).
As reported by the BBC, the UK government has established a task force, aptly named the Power of Information Task Force, to lead a massive data sharing effort. The task force was established in March of this year by Cabinet Office Minister Tom Watson with the goal of fostering social and economic progress by enabling widespread access to government data.