Today in APIs: Expedia API Launched to Help Travel Agents Access Inventory

Expedia's new API is at the the heart of its Travel Agent Affiliate Program. Chinese dissident and artist AI Weiwei bellows out names of over 5,000 killed in Sichuan earthquake, shares recording as dataset used in hackathon. Plus: Microsoft unveils a machine searning service for prediction, and Zimbabwe's EcoCash API is launched.

Expedia Launches Travel Agent Affiliate Program with API for Select Agencies

Expedia has launched an API for its Travel Agen Affiliate Program (TAAP), which began in 2010. The program offers US agents access to Expedia's global inventory, and allows them to earn commissions. The API is for XML with certain agencies.

As the company commented, TAAP offers a range of tools to customize itineraries and add service fees:

"TAAP demonstrates Expedia's commitment to giving travel agents a competitive edge, letting them generate incremental revenue and expand their client base," said Linda Lossing, US head of Expedia's Travel Agent Affiliate Program. "This is the industry's most efficient and comprehensive travel agent affiliate Platform and we're thrilled to make it available to travel agents nationwide."

The program covers more than 40 countries, offers access to more than 240,000 hotels and 400 airlines.

London Hackathon Winner Uses Unusual Dataset from Ai Weiwei

Hackathon team $echo, comprised of Guy Armitage, Ron Herrema, Gavin Clark, Marko Kirves, took first prize in last week's London hackathon, billed as the world's largest art hack. It was the kick off to London's Technology Week. Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei had donated a recording of his bellowing out the names of 5,385 people who died in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake as a dataset.

As David Gilbert reports in International Business Times,

The winning project sought to challenge the way people perceive their security online by helping them hear and visualise the constant attacks on their presence and pushing them to question the ethical reasons behind these attacks, illustrating this with a data set donated by Ai Weiwei. $echo, along with the two runners up (Perspective and The Glasshouse) will now be commissioned to research and develop their projects to the next stage.

In addition, an art platform co-funded by the BBC and the Art's Council was also launched called The Space. An Open Call was issued for original ideas for digital art. The call is open until July 11, 2014.

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