Media Content providers are increasingly opening up their vast amounts of data to developers. The latest to announce this is USA Today, with plans to provide much of its content via an API later this month. The nationwide newspaper aims to raise internal awareness about its databases first, with public access and a developer contest to follow.
At the moment, the developer site is open to internal developers only. However, USA Today plans to launch it to the public by end of September. The company has already announced two of its upcoming datasets: the Best Selling Books API and Sports Salaries API. USA Today provided ProgrammableWeb early access to its to API for our USA Today API profile and this post.
The Best-Selling Books API returns the weekly list of the nation’s top-selling books (1-150) as compiled by USA Today, along with several pieces of metadata like Author, Rank, History and so on. An example call to retrieve all titles by J.K.Rowling that appeared in the top 150 is given below:
The Sports Selling API gives access to the USA Today Sports Salaries database. This database called MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA and is available for multiple seasons, player, position and team data. It should help enable some interesting mashups. An example call is shown below, returning the 10 most highly paid outfielders in the MLB from 1988 to present:
The move by USA Today to expose their datasets is a clear indication that content providers are increasingly seeing the benefits of opening up their data and building an ecosystem of developers and applications around it. Interested developers can write to USA Today at firstname.lastname@example.org.