What is an API?
Application Programming Interfaces let computer programs “talk” to one another and exchange information, so a dataset with an API can be accessed by third-party developers with innovative ideas. For instance:
- The Federal Aviation Administration provides travel websites and mobile apps with live airport status and delay information through its Airport Service API.
- The Pillbox API from the National Library of Medicine powers third party mashups that serve consumers who need to quickly identify an unknown pill.
- The Sunlight Foundation’s ‘Scout’ project consumes the Federal Register API to provide alerts and notifications for formal government action.