The Latest News On The API Economy
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Flickr has added more real-time goodness to their photo API. Using a publish / subscribe (PubSub) system, developers can now receive real-time updates across millions of photos across Flickr friends, Flickr Commons, and by tags and geo-location using the Flickr Real-Time API.
For most of ProgrammableWeb's nearly six years, there were two things that always remained true about the mashup directory. First, that Google Maps is the most popular API used to create mashups. And second, that Flickr is a distant second, but well ahead of third. Recently one of these is no longer true, as the Twitter API has passed Flickr in popularity.
The most popular API, in terms of mashup count, is far and away the Google Maps API, which accounts for 41% of all mashups. But when it comes to the most popular pair of APIs, Flickr and YouTube mashups are the most common. Not to be outdone, Google Maps joins Flickr in a near second place.
APIs have certainly enriched our lives. Thanks to some clever mashups, we are able to share and connect with nearly everyone and everything all over the planet. But what about the world right around you? How can APIs make your own town more connected and provide some rich services to its tax-paying citizens?
There is nothing more satisfying than sharing that once in a lifetime shot with the world, except maybe seeing that it has been viewed by a few thousand people. These kinds of stats have been collected by Flickr for quite some time, and now they are available to developers thanks to some new functions added to the Flickr API.
Perhaps that Bing-Yahoo search deal is paying off. Even though Maps and Flickr aren't known to be part of the deal, Microsoft has connected its Bing Maps to the Flickr API in a unique way. It overlays geotagged Creative Commons photos over its current StreetSide imagery, as shown in the video embedded below.
Flickr has announced the release of two new Flickr API methods. The new methods are related to what are known as the Flickr Pandas, an experimental service where several virtual pandas select safe, public Flickr photos they consider interesting, or photos which have been geotagged.
Each week we see dozens of mashups added to our mashup directory and often these use and combine APIs that go beyond the typical Google Maps mashup of old. This past week three of the more innovative ones go beyond just maps by using APIs from Netflix, MyBlogLog and Flickr. Here's a quick overview:
While map mashups are what have defined this genre of application, the second most popular type of web mashup here on ProgrammableWeb are photo mashups. How popular? Just this past week the number of photo-related mashups passed the 500 mark, and there are now 505 listed.
Along with the rapid growth of video APIs, the marketplace of photo-related APIs continues to expand rapidly. Since we looked at 36 Photo APIs earlier this year, we've added nearly a dozen new ones, and there are now 47 APIs tagged "photo" in our web service directory.
Yesterday, Yahoo announced its new Internet Location Platform API, "a resource for managing all geo-permanent named places on Earth" that "provide[s] the Yahoo! Geographic Developer Community with the vocabulary and grammar to describe the world's geography in an unequivocal, permanent, and language-neutral manner."
If you want to see in realtime what's going on Digg you can use their digg spy page. This popular Digg feature uses a dynamic Ajax UI to let you see diggs as they happen. And now it serves as a model for a growing number of mashups that use web APIs to give you a realtime window into activity on a variety of services.
As announced on the Flickr Blog, Flickr has launched a new website for developers: Flickr Code. And besides announcing the new site they've both a) given interesting details on just how much API traffic they do each day (see below), and b) they announced they're open sourcing Flickr Uploadr, the cross-platform (Windows and OS X) desktop tool for uploading photos to Flickr.