Last week I had the pleasure of attending the O’Reilly Strata Conference in New York City, and sat in on a very important keynote from Drew Conway and Jake Porway about their project, Data Without Borders. Data Without Borders is looking to match non-profits in need of data analysis with freelance and pro bono data scientists who can work to help them with data collection, analysis, visualization, or provide decision support.
Last weekend at the AT&T Mobile Hackathon I had a pleasure of checking out the MongoLab's MongoDB service. In short: it was a delight to work with. I fell in love with that technology. It worked exactly the way I thought--MongoDB architects got it right. After spending a good part of the day fighting my hibernate configuration in JUnit I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that Mongo keeps their documentation and design accessible with plan old object and simple REST calls to its MongoLab API.
A new API tool that transforms open datasets so they can be accessed by a REST API is capturing the attention of local governments interested in implementing smart cities policies. The DataTank is a data publishing platform that can also be used as a plug-in with the CKAN open data platform. It is created and managed by the Belgium chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation, which operates as a social enterprise startup. ProgrammableWeb spoke with The DataTank's Technical Lead Jan Vansteenlandt about the new open data/API tool and how it can be used to drive the smart cities agenda.