Google has released a new API for Fusion Tables, a Google Labs app that allows users to import, integrate, analyze, and visualize data in a variety of ways. The new API allows developers to programmatically perform a variety of tasks, including data import and export (more at our Google Fusion Tables API Profile). The API itself is integrated with several other Google APIs, including the Google Maps API and the Google Visualization API. In fact, developers can also leverage App Engine to easily develop data processing and analysis apps that easily integrate with various other Google APIs.
The new API was announced on the Google Code Blog, which provides some additional insight into some of the benefits of the API:
Is your dataset active, always changing? Is it being collected right now on cell phones or websites? With the new Fusion Tables API, you can update and query your dataset in Fusion Tables programmatically, without ever logging in to the Fusion Tables website. The API means you can import data from whatever data source you may have, whether a text file or a full-powered data base. On the more exotic side, imagine you’re collecting data via survey software on GPS-enabled cell phones, as the Open Data Kit project is doing. Open Data Kit uses Google App Engine and the Fusion Tables API to instantly map locations of survey results.
The RESTful API supports both GET and POST requests, and currently it is limited to 5 requests per second. A subset of SQL is used to query and retrieve data, insert new data, update existing data, and delete data. Google has made various resources available for developers including reference documentation, tutorials, a FAQ page, tutorials, a code sample (Java), and a Google Group. Note that authentication is needed in order to access both public and private tables.
The video below provides a good overview and case study that will bring you up to speed on the Google Fusion Tables app and its powerful data analysis, collaboration, and visualization capabilities.