August 2, 2017
Leading travel companies are broadening their distribution channels by building platforms that enable partners and customers to connect and access their inventory and sales systems via application programming interfaces. APIs are the tools powering many of today’s mobile and Web applications.
Publisher Pearson recently launched its new API program with three of its top titles. The new platform provides a common set of tools that developers have grown accustomed to: documentation, sample code, app showcase, blog, forum and FAQs, for example. Pearson has a lot of content to pick from with its core offerings, as well as its numerous partners, and they decided to start by launching three very different content APIs: FT Press API, Longman Dictionary API and Eyewitness Guide to London API.
It's funny that when I talk to people in the travel industry about mashups and APIs, most of them get glazed looks in their eyes. Throw in terms like location based services or geospatial awareness and I've lost them. What most of them don't realize is that the majority of the travel apps that are starting to come out, both online and for mobile are mashups that are relying on location awareness and geospatial data. Many of them, like Pocketvillage are a consumer interface on top of a variety of APIs all normalized for a single homogenous user experience. That's right, it's essentially a metasearch tool that pulls in content from a variety of sources including Viator, GetYourGuide, TourCMS, Rezgo, AirBnB, and many others. What differentiates a metasearch like Pocketvillage from other metasearch applications however, is the fact that with location based services enabled, Pocketvillage can return content based on your current location. The issue right now however is that not all geo data is equal. Not all APIs provide geolocation information and some return it based on different criteria.