Sometimes it takes a little human intervention to make semantic applications easier to build. The Guardian newspaper has augmented its Open Platform API with unique identifiers for bands and books. In turn, the company has simplified the process of creating a mashup that uses multiple sources to focus on a single work, which may help its content spread farther.
One of the most valuable resources of the english language is the dictionary. I won’t get into the history of the dictionary or what it’s done for literal society. I will note that incorporating inline definitions into reading apps is not the easiest thing to do. Sure, we now have eReaders like Apple’s iBooks and the Amazon Kindle that have dictionary integration built in, but what about the rest of of the text-based universe?
Our directory lists 216 mashups under the real estate category. While these mashups provide their own take on browsing and evaluating real estate listings, several of them lack critical school data, which is an important part of a family’s housing decision. Education.com plans to change all of that via its API.
Short is the new long. Twitter keeps you to 140 characters, which means sometimes you have to cut things short. Help make sense of the acronyms with the Abbreviations API (our our Abbreviations API profile). Pass a term and receive its many meanings, along with the context where each meaning is used.
Do you have an idea on how to aid writers with spelling, context and grammer and like the idea of a few extra dollars? Wordnik, an online dictionary service, has announced a competition to create a mashup using their API.
Your next meal could be served up by BigOven’s new API. The comprehensive service for those who like to cook provides more than 170,000 recipes in XML or JSON format (our BigOven API profile). From there, you can display it however you want, though there’s a yet to be determined fee for commercial applications.
Desktop word processing software, such as Microsoft Word, features powerful spelling and grammar tools that help writers catch mistakes. Thanks to standards-based web services, online word processing tools are starting to catch up to the desktop competition. Two APIs, Wordnik and After the Deadline, give developers powerful new tools to aid writers with spelling, context, and grammar.
How far back do your newspaper’s online archives go? The U.S. Library of Congress has a database of thousands of newspapers dating back to the 1800s. In the case of over 150 of the papers, there are also digitized, searchable pages. And it’s all available via its new Chronicling America API (technical details at our Chronicling America API profile).
Now you can use an API to find out once and for all whether you are among the living. The U.S. Social Security Administration maintains a “death index” to prevent fraud. CDYNE Corporation subscribes to the updates and has opened the index up with a fee-based API (details at our Death Index API profile).
The new Obama administration’s focus on transparency and the recent economic crisis has given a great deal of attention on the value of online APIs for accessing government data. One of the latest examples comes from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis who have recently released a new API to access their FRED database, a comprehensive collection of U.S. economic trends. The API also provides online access to ALFRED, an archive of historic economic data, which features information dating all the way back to the 1920s. We’ve added a FRED API Profile with technical details.