A Look at the Future of Data APIs

I finally made some time to write up a review of the new Infochimps Geo API, and I think their approach gives us a glimpse at the future of data APIs.

With the new Infochimps Geo API, Infochimps provides some very important features for developers:

  • Aggregation of data from multiple sources
  • Tying together with a simple schema
  • Intelligent clustering and summarization
  • Provide a flexible query interface
  • Allow linking with other data sets

These are all problems developers face when working with Geo data, but they are also problems that are encountered when working with other data sets.

The future of delivering data via APIs is not just about providing access to the data via a simple RESTful interface (though that is a great start). It is also about actually solving the common problems developers face when integrating the data into their applications.

I think InfoChimps approach provides a model for other data APIs, and shows they have a viable business model that makes them more than just a data marketplace.