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There’s growing awareness of the need to publish data online, and to support programmatic access to that data. In this conversation, host Jon Udell talks with Steven Willmott about how his company, 3Scale, helps businesses create and manage application programming interfaces to their data.
Says Jon on his blog:
In the latest installment of my Innovators podcast, which ran while I was away on vacation, I spoke with Steven Willmott of 3scale, one of several companies in the emerging business of third-party API management. As more organizations get into the game of providing APIs to their online data, there’s a growing need for help in the design and management of those APIs.
By way of demonstration, 3scale is providing an unofficial API to some of the datasets offered by the United Nations. The UN data at http://data.un.org, while browseable and downloadable, is not programmatically accessible. If you visit 3scale’s demo at www.undata-api.org/ you can sign up for an access key, ask for available datasets — mostly, so far, from the World Health Organization (see below) — and then query them. [more…]
For the price of a beer (or a pitcher, or a round), you can support VisibleGovernment.ca … the non-profit that promotes online tools for government transparency, openness and accessibility around government and civic data (yay!).
They’ve got a little fundraiser going, in celebration of Canada Day: Beers for Canada …
How we’ll spend your money
We work on several aspects of transparency:
- Creating new tools: We work with developers and designers to build websites that encourage citizens and governments to communicate openly.
- Encouraging government openness: We show elected officials the benefits of open, two-way discourse, highlighting places where information is lacking and celebrating the efforts of those who want to be more transparent.
- Public awareness: We emphasize the civic importance of transparency and open government.
- Working with other organizations: We share and collaborate with organizations like the Sunlight Foundation, MySociety and Changecamp.
We’re also organizing Code For Canada, an application design competition that awards prizes to people who build web, facebook, and iPhone apps that provide visualization, analysis, and access to federal government data sets.