If you have created a powerful API-as-product, do you automatically have a business model you can monetize? German startup Webknox aims to answer this question and is worth following to see how they turn a powerful data product into an investable commodity. ProgrammableWeb caught up with Dr David Urbansky at the recent API World conference to talk about the very early days of this new API enterprise and to discuss the road to success that may lay ahead.
In February, Morgan and Claypool Publishers released a 54-page unfinished work by Aaron Swartz on A Programmable Web. It begins with a focus on the architecture of the web, and moves on to “what it means to build a program on top of the web.”
Life on the web is full of search terms and human filtering. Even good results often require some effort to determine which has the information we seek. There are several services attempting to help with this problem and they’re making their applications available via API.
For more than 150 years, The New York Times has meticulously indexed its archives, giving it one of the most authoritative news vocabularies ever developed. Now this archive has been linked to the open knowledge bases DBPedia and Freebase.
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).
Wolfram Alpha, the up-and-coming “answer engine” that we reported on back in May, has just released an API that developers have been awaiting since this spring. The new RESTful API provides access to the vast stores of data and computational knowledge available through the Wolfram Alpha project (technical details at our Wolfram Alpha API profile).
Did you know that leraar is a Dutch word? A new API, LangID can help you with those pesky language identification problems. Feed it a string of text and the API returns the name of the language, its ISO code and even an image of the flag for a country that speaks the language (the latter could be a hot-button political issue–watch out). You can choose your output as either XML or browser-friendly JSON. (More details at our LangID API profile.)
Editor’s note: This guest post comes from Jim Hendler, a professor, web researcher, and Semantic Web evangelist working at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. You can see more of his teams’ ongoing research at Tetherless World.
A recent article by Tim Berners-Lee, “Putting Government Data online“, has attracted significant interest to the datasets published at the US data.gov [...]
While social networking sites already help users maintain connections with friends and interest groups, a recent trend in web services has been the growth of semantic technologies that connect people across different websites. New York startup AdaptiveBlue offer a service called “Glue,” which uses semantic web techniques to understand the content of popular web pages that describe lifestyle objects such as books, music, and movies. It then lets you do many useful, in-context things based on that data, such as learn more about the movie or actors on IMDB, buy the soundtrack on Amazon, read the historical background on Wikipedia, and a interact with a variety of other sites and services.
As far as web search tools go, few have generated as much hype as Wolfram Alpha. The service, which bills itself as a “computational knowledge engine,” differs from search engines such as Google, in that it does not return lists of web pages. Rather, Wolfram Alpha attempts to calculate answers to user queries. For example, a query of “los angeles county median household income” will return the result “$43,518.”