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The Rise of the Open API

Submitted by on January 4, 2011 – 12:22 pm5 Comments

I’ve been “into” the concept of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for a few years now, because I think that in general they have pretty big implications in health. If research is based on data, then what better data sets exist than the ones we voluntarily fill out about ourselves on the regular? Programmable Web is showing that API growth doubled in 2010 and I think that this is a very good thing for two reasons:

Programmable Web API Timeline Graphic

Sharing is Caring As an increased number of online destinations allow access to their data sets, innovation increases, leading to more utility online. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Twitter community has pushed the boundaries on all things Twitter, from predicting Box Office Revenues to finding people like you. Whether you personally find value in Twitter or not, it’s clear that the conscious decision to open up Twitter’s data has allowed people to innovate and ultimately drive up the value of Twitter altogether.

The More Data The Merrier Clay Shirky argues that there is no such thing as information overload, but rather the problem lies within the failure of our filters. I can understand not knowing exactly what to do with mounds of data. However, that is a far better problem to have than not having enough data to do anything with… The Federal Government has realized that open data is a good thing, which is great for everybody. The more data we have, the more connections and discoveries we are able to make with it.

What are your thoughts on open data and open APIs?

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