Interfaces for the Cloud: Curating the Data
Digital Methods Winter School Workshop 2012
Anne Helmond, Bernhard Rieder, Ric...
An application programming interface (API) is a source
code based specification intended to be used as an
interface by sof...
Application Programming Interface
“this refers to a set of tools that developers can use to
access structured data.” (boyd...
When used in the context of web development, an API
is typically a defined set of Hypertext Transfer Protocol
(HTTP) reque...
The web as platform
Historically, some types of software like desktop
operating systems have been called 'platforms' becau...
Programmable web
Definitionally, a “platform” is a system that can be
reprogrammed and therefore customized by outside
dev...
APIs and Web 2.0
A Platform Beats an Application Every Time - O’Reilly 2005
Flickr: blog this photo
realtime photo search
twitter firehose
APIs enable mashups
IFTT: combining cloud services
IFTT: combining cloud services
IFTT: combining cloud services
IFTT: combining cloud services
IFTT: combining cloud services
IFTT: combining cloud services
IFTT: combining cloud services
IFTT: combining cloud services
an interface for programming the application
programming interface
API calls
API literature
API literature
In relation to user interface/programming interface: Cramer and Fuller 2008
In relation to the reliance of ...
#1 limited API calls
There are limits to how many calls and changes you can
make in a day
API usage is rate limited with a...
#1 limited API calls
#2 changing APIs
#2 changing APIs
#2 changing APIs
#2 changing APIs
#2 changing APIs
“This document and the APIs herein are subject to
change at any time. We will version the API, but may
de...
#3 APIs and control
#4 APIs and access
“Register for a free API key and get 133% more
queries/day.” Topsy
#4 APIs and access
Twitter Inc. makes a fraction of its material available to
the public through its APIs. The ‘firehose’ ...
There are different data gathering methods: The API is
the polite way of gathering data and scraping could be
considered t...
how to study/critique APIs?
by Bernhard Rieder
history of APIs
the “past” and the “turn”
lines of variation and change
project proposals
validity check interface
location interface (cloud geography)
API trangulations interface
by Richard Rog...
kthxbai!
anne@digitalmethods.net
www.digitalmethods.net
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Digital Methods Winterschool 2012: API - Interfaces to the Cloud

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Digital Methods Winterschool 2012: API - Interfaces to the Cloud

  1. 1. Interfaces for the Cloud: Curating the Data Digital Methods Winter School Workshop 2012 Anne Helmond, Bernhard Rieder, Richard Rogers
  2. 2. An application programming interface (API) is a source code based specification intended to be used as an interface by software components to communicate with each other. An API may include specifications for routines, data structures,object classes, and variables. (Wikipedia) API introduction by Anne Helmond
  3. 3. Application Programming Interface “this refers to a set of tools that developers can use to access structured data.” (boyd and Crawford) “Machine-facing interfaces for your application” p. 331 “software interface to your website” p. 332 “weaving the Guardian into the fabric of the Web” p. 331 API
  4. 4. When used in the context of web development, an API is typically a defined set of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) request messages, along with a definition of the structure of response messages, which is usually in an Extensible Markup Language (XML) or JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) format. While "Web API" is virtually a synonym for web service, the recent trend (so-called Web 2.0) has been moving away from Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) based services towards more direct Representational State Transfer (REST) style communications.[5] Web APIs allow the combination of multiple services into new applications known as mashups.[6] - (Wikipedia) Web API / web service
  5. 5. The web as platform Historically, some types of software like desktop operating systems have been called 'platforms' because through their APIs they provide the foundation on which other programs are built. The phrase 'web as platform' refers to fact that as web sites start providing their own APIs, they too are becoming a platform on which other programs can be built. (Programmableweb)
  6. 6. Programmable web Definitionally, a “platform” is a system that can be reprogrammed and therefore customized by outside developers—users—and in that way, adapted to countless needs and niches that the platform’s original developers could not have possibly contemplated, much less had time to accommodate. [T]he key term in the definition of platform is ‘programmed’. If you can program it, then it’s a platform. If you can’t, then it’s not. - Marc Andreessen
  7. 7. APIs and Web 2.0 A Platform Beats an Application Every Time - O’Reilly 2005
  8. 8. Flickr: blog this photo
  9. 9. realtime photo search twitter firehose
  10. 10. APIs enable mashups
  11. 11. IFTT: combining cloud services
  12. 12. IFTT: combining cloud services
  13. 13. IFTT: combining cloud services
  14. 14. IFTT: combining cloud services
  15. 15. IFTT: combining cloud services
  16. 16. IFTT: combining cloud services
  17. 17. IFTT: combining cloud services
  18. 18. IFTT: combining cloud services an interface for programming the application programming interface
  19. 19. API calls
  20. 20. API literature
  21. 21. API literature In relation to user interface/programming interface: Cramer and Fuller 2008 In relation to the reliance of Web 2.0 on APIs: Langlois, McKelvey, Elmer and Werbin 2009 In relation to the volatility of methods: Helmond and Sandvig 2010 In relation to proprietary API calls: Berry 2011 In relation to Big Data: boyd and Crawford 2011 In relation to data gathering skills: Manovich 2011 In relation to scraping: Marres and Weltevrede 2012
  22. 22. #1 limited API calls There are limits to how many calls and changes you can make in a day API usage is rate limited with additional fair use limits to protect Twitter from abuse. https://dev.twitter.com/docs/things-every-developer-should-know
  23. 23. #1 limited API calls
  24. 24. #2 changing APIs
  25. 25. #2 changing APIs
  26. 26. #2 changing APIs
  27. 27. #2 changing APIs
  28. 28. #2 changing APIs “This document and the APIs herein are subject to change at any time. We will version the API, but may deprecate early versions aggressively.” - Love, Delicious. http://delicious.com/help/api
  29. 29. #3 APIs and control
  30. 30. #4 APIs and access “Register for a free API key and get 133% more queries/day.” Topsy
  31. 31. #4 APIs and access Twitter Inc. makes a fraction of its material available to the public through its APIs. The ‘firehose’ theoretically contains all public tweets ever posted and explicitly excludes any tweet that a user chose to make private or ‘protected.’ Yet, some publicly accessible tweets are also missing from the firehose. Although a handful of companies and startups have access to the firehose, very few researchers have this level of access. (boyd and Crawford 2011)
  32. 32. There are different data gathering methods: The API is the polite way of gathering data and scraping could be considered the impolite way of harnessing data: “You can arrange digital research methods on a spectrum of niceness. On the one hand you use the industry- provided API. On the other you scrape Facebook for all it is worth.”(Helmond & Sandvig 2010) Scrapers stand in complex relations to API’s - compared against the industry provided (limited) APIs, scrapers may be viewed as the less polite variant of data collection and in some cases may works against copyright, terms of service, and “trespass to chattels”. (Marres & Weltevrede 2012) # 5 ethics: APIs “versus” scraping
  33. 33. how to study/critique APIs? by Bernhard Rieder history of APIs the “past” and the “turn” lines of variation and change
  34. 34. project proposals validity check interface location interface (cloud geography) API trangulations interface by Richard Rogers
  35. 35. kthxbai! anne@digitalmethods.net www.digitalmethods.net

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