Reuters Releases Calais Web Service

John Musser, February 6th, 2008

Last week Reuters introduced its Calais metadata generation web service, an open API available for commercial and non-commercial use. As described on their developers website:

“Using natural language processing, machine learning and other methods, Calais categorizes and links your document with entities (people, places, organizations, etc.), facts (person ‘x’ works for company ‘y’), and events (person ‘z’ was appointed chairman of company ‘y’ on date ‘x’).”

Developers can call either a SOAP or a REST-based service with plain text or XML documents, and receive back the results of the metadata analysis in RDF format. The initial semantic analysis categories are geared towards business-related people and events, with more specialized metadata to come. English is the only language supported today, but the product roadmap indicates that this year will see a release for Japanese, Spanish, and French, and further capabilities for automatic metatagging of visual and audio content. The semantic metadata flows both ways – publishers who submit text for analysis can upload their own metadata, and the service will combine that information with its own generated metadata.

Calais is offering a bounty program for developers who make creative use of the API. The first contest is offering a prize of $5000 for the developer who creates the best Wordpress plugin that provides auto suggestion of semantic categories, a semantic tag cloud, and placement of a global identifier (GUID). This is now listed on our Contests page.

The Reuters technology looks to be based on their 2007 acquisition of ClearForest, whose API and 10 mashups are cataloged here including the example below, TopicTrends. The API itself is managed via ProgrammableWeb sponsor Mashery.

Open API developers previously had access to the Yahoo term extraction service, which has been available since 2005, but Calais ups the ante with a service goal of under 1 second response, a strong feature set, and terms of service that allow for commercial exploitation.

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3 Responses to “Reuters Releases Calais Web Service”

February 6th, 2008
at 4:31 pm
Comment by: rascunho » Blog Archive » links for 2008-02-06

[...] Reuters Releases Calais Web Service Using natural language processing, machine learning and other methods, Calais categorizes and links your document with entities (people, places, organizations, etc.), facts (person ‘x’ works for company ‘y’), and events (person ‘z’ was appoint (tags: blog.programmableweb.com 2008 mes1 dia6 at_home webservices API Calais ClearForest web_semântica semantic_web REST SOAP ***** Reuters concurso) [...]

February 12th, 2008
at 8:53 pm
Comment by: links for 2008-02-13 « PK

[...] Reuters Releases Calais Web Service This is really interesting, the idea of being able to easily use these kind of services to build dynamic metadata from content opens up some interesting use cases. (tags: webservices semantic web api) [...]

May 20th, 2008
at 4:22 am
Comment by: Ο Σημασιολογικός Ιστός εισβάλλει στη Wordpress, στο Yahoo, στο Digg, στο πρακτορείο Reuters!… « OMADEON

[...] Reuters Releases Calais Web Service [via Zemanta] [...]

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John Musser
Founder, ProgrammableWeb

Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.