Brightkite's API for Location-based Social Networks

The fledgling location-based social networking service Brightkite, itself in limited beta, have announced the first release of its beta API (our API profile). The service which lets you use mobile and web interfaces to specify your location to connect with friends is described by CNET's Caroline McCarthy like "a more feature-intensive version of Dodgeball".

Brightkite's API offers both basic HTTP Authentication and OAuth. Resources available through the API include users, their friends, places, checkins (i.e. when a user "checks in" at a particular place), notes and photos about a place, placemarks (a user's saved favorite places, comments left on notes and photos, and user-to-user messages. It also makes available the service's "streams," or recent actions from friends or people nearby. Developers may choose to receive responses in XML or JSON format, and the API is fully RESTful--- HTTP POST for object creation, GET for reading data, PUT for updates, and DELETE to delete an object.

In the announcement, Brightkite's Brady Becker uses Socialthing! as an example of the API in action. Socialthing! uses the API to pull in a user's Brightkite updates as well as his avatar and has filters for notes, photos, and checkins (our mashup profile):

Socialthing! uses Brightkite API

Brightkite is organizing third-party developers using Google Groups and some appear to be hard at work building Brightkite mashups, as well as interfaces for Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and other devices.

Be sure to read the next API article: 5 Ajax Libraries to Enhance Your Mashup