Media publishers XO Group hosted Hack Upon a Cause in New York last weekend. ProgrammableWeb spoke with the organizers about how to manage a hackathon aimed at solving real world problems, and checked in with the FullStack Academy winners who learned to code at a bootcamp just four weeks prior to the event.
A new not-for-profit launched by 3scale and API Evangelist aims to help speed up the process of developing APIs by encouraging the sharing of API code and descriptions. Launched at Defrag in Denver Colorado today, API Commons provides an open source-like, Creative Commons-modelled platform for developers to share and reuse API code. Co-Founder Steve Willmott spoke to ProgrammableWeb on the eve of the launch, while his fellow co-founder Kin Lane worked behind-the-scenes to upload some government open data API code examples.
The new Public Insight Network API from American Public Media aims to help journalists and media outlets more easily connect with community sources when drafting news content based on local issues.
New updates to the UK Police API extend the possibility of using crime data to create innovative products and services. While many of the new mashups and services that could be created from using an extended, anonymized dataset of all crimes in the UK could have benefits for local citizens and businesses, there is also the risk that the data could be used to infringe on civil liberties.
100 competitors of the first HACKtivate ED hackathon – held June 14 – 16 in San Francisco, California – made use of education and location APIs and datasets in a race to solve 9 realworld education challenges. APIs used by competitors included the Edmodo API, and several location-based APIs.
An independent, open source platform aimed at making it easier for governments and businesses to publish open data has released a new version of their API. The CKAN API allows access to catalog listings of open datasets, full-text searches, and sharing of statistics on open data usage.
A project of the Elgg Foundation, Elgg is a free open source social networking engine licensed to users under the GNU Public License v2. The REST Elgg API allows developers to integrate Elgg and offer new apps for it. To give a sense of its size, 1,646 plugins have been created so far by the user community, with nearly 3 million downloads. Examples of plugins include blogs, forums, social bookmarks.
The Cliflo API from New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) gives access to data from 6,500 climate stations maintained by the government of New Zealand. The API webpage notes that access is by subscription, though the cost is free, suggesting that only registration and agreement with the terms and conditions are required. Access to data gathered by Pacific Island stations is restricted by agreement with Pacific Island countries. However it is possible to obtain access by permission.
The Salsa Commons API is a REST and XML API that, as Salsa explains,
“At it’s simplest, using the Salsa API may consist of just a form placed on an external website … At it’s most complex, you could use a Ruby library to authenticate, pull down information on recent supporters and events, validate that data, change it, and submit it back to the node, while generating and displaying counts of petition signers — all through the API.”
The Votizen API aims to get friends to involve their friends in supporting candidates. The API website notes that the API is entirely based on HTTP. Votizen is based on the premise that, “Voters are more likely to listen to friends than campaign volunteers.” Votizen is the first “social campaigning platform built entirely on personal connections.”