APIs Coming Out Of The Netherlands

As we gear up for API Strategy & Practice in Amsterdam, March 24-26th, I’m spending my time getting to know API companies across Europe. I published a listing of APIs I found from the United Kingdom a few days ago, and next up is taking a look at what APIs are coming out of the Netherlands.

You tend to not think of what country an API is from, unless its attached to public infrastructure, or a company is extremely vocal about their home country. I confess that I couldn’t name a single API from Amsterdam before this week, but now I notice that Distimo, Drillster, ElasticSearch, Peerreach, and TwitterCounter were all out of the Netherlands, and were APIs I am already familiar with.

I was able to easily find 17 separate APIs out of the Netherlands:

Arts Holland

Arts Holland is a consortium of three leading players in the field of arts, culture, new media and tourism. The institutes part of this consortium are the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions, Netherlands Uitburo and Waag Society. Together with organizations in the field of arts, culture, communication, transport, creative industry and technology, a series of tools will be developed that will guide any arts lover through the high-brow cultural landscape Holland has to offer to it’s visitors. The Arts Holland data platform, developer's site and SPARQL tutorial are created and hosted by Waag Society.


The bol.com Open API gives you access to the complete range of the biggest online store in the Netherlands. Use bol.com data into your own concept or application and earn money through the affiliate program bol.com.

Democracy API

The Democracy API enables developers to interact with the Democracy web site programmatically. It's designed to make it possible for anyone to improve Democracy or integrate Democracy into other applications. You can develop a Democracy interface for a mobile phone, build a Democracy widget for your blog, or develop an application that makes it easy to post photos to your feed from your iPhone.


Distimo has a very clear objective: to make the app market transparent. The company was born out of the frustration of a lack of insights into the performance of apps and the manual work needed to track important metrics. Our goal is to provide the best and most actionable app intelligence for anyone who wants to compete in the app market. Our data-driven team seeks to help developers, brands and financial services companies gain actionable, timely and factual knowledge of what’s happening daily in the global app market.


The Drillster API enables any developer to write applications that interact with Drillster. The API is based on the principles of REST, and comes in both an XML and a JSON flavor. Authentication is taken care of by the OAuth 2.0 protocol. Non-commercial use is free of charge, but commercial use requires prior arrangement.

Dutch Parliament

Digitization of collections creates new opportunities for cooperation. Are you interested in offering collections of KB through your own online channels? Want your digital collection enrich our datasets?

Dutch Schools

The educational system in the Netherlands is complex, and many public bodies are tasked with keeping schools and students on the right track. However, data regarding this task is made available to the general public in a way it is not easily processable, which makes checks by the public (and press) more difficult. The OpenOnderwijs API alleviates this problem by providing a unified interface to data on education collected from several institutions with different responsibilities with regard to the Dutch educational system, such as DUO, Onderwijsinspectie and Vensters voor Verantwoording. The OpenOnderwijs API is built on open source technology, such as Scrapy for scraping school data (the scrapers can be found at Github), Sphinx for the documentation, and ElasticSearch for efficient data storage and retrieval. Also, all school addresses are geocoded using the BAG42 service, an Dutch initiative aiming to integrate high quality, official data sources with “regular” geocoding.


Elasticsearch is on a mission to organize data and make it easily accessible. The company delivers the world’s the most advanced open source search and analytics engine available and make real-time data exploration available to anyone. By having a laser focus on achieving the best user experience imaginable, Elasticsearch has become one of the most popular and rapidly growing open source solutions in the market. Today, Elasticsearch is used by thousands of enterprises in virtually every industry. We take good care of our customers and users, providing production support, development support and training worldwide.


Geosophic is the gaming platform that allows you to get behavior analytics from your players while offering them new engagement triggers in the form of geolocated leaderboards. Geosophic is your ‘neighbourhood arcade’ of the mobile age. Our location based leaderboards allow gamers to show off that they’re the best in their cities, countries as well as the whole world. They also include customized game recommendations (performance advertising) which creates a new monetization channel for the developers


Nimbuzz is the free call and messaging app for the connected generation. Nimbuzz combines the powers of the Internet and mobile communications into one, and lets you meet, share and connect with family and friends on any mobile device. Nimbuzz users enjoy the freedom of communicating with friends between any internet enabled device, from mobile to mobile, mobile to PC/Mac and vice versa, harnessing the power of the Internet (Wi-Fi, 3G, 2G, GPRS). With its mobile, Web, Wap and desktop clients, Nimbuzz is available on thousands of the worlds’ most popular devices across all major platforms – Nokia Symbian, iPhone, iPod touch, Android, BlackBerry, J2ME, as well as Windows and Mac desktop computers. Social networks & communities supported by Nimbuzz include, Facebook®, GoogleTalk , Twitter, Yahoo!.


Peerreach is an Amsterdam-based social media startup that provides an influence metric that measures your influence within different areas of expertise. The Peerreach algorithm is similar to the pagerank algorithm that Google uses to identify influential websites.

Postcode API

The Dutch postal codes, addresses and locations, since early 2012 public data. We believe that public data should be accessible via accepted standards. Really open And that everyone has access to that data, and that data can be used. The Postcode API gives you free and easy access to the postcode database of the Land Registry.


ReadSpeaker speech-enables online content on the fly in 35+ languages and 100+ voices. In 1999, ReadSpeaker pioneered the first-ever speech-enabling application for websites. Today, the company provides a portfolio of web-based text-to-speech solutions for websites, mobile sites, mobile apps, RSS feeds, online documents and forms, as well as online campaigns. Its solutions are used by over 5000 corporate, media, government, and nonprofit customers around the world.

Rijksmuseum API

The Rijksmuseum API (Application Programming Interface) is a new, state-of-the-art service for application developers. Using the API allows the Rijksmuseum collection and other content, and (high resolution) images available for use in, for example apps or web applications.


Springest is a Dutch continuing education service that helps users find and compare courses, books, articles, training courses using search and filter capabilities. The Springest API opens up all of the searchable data from Springest to users. Users can query for training guides, courses, and other content as well as integrate it into programs. The service uses REST calls and returns XML or JSON.



TwitterCounter is Feedburner for Twitter.

TwitterCounter tracks Twitter users and displays attractive stats to everybody interested. Bloggers can add a simple button displaying the number of Followers they have on Twitter.

Thousands of blogger currently display the TwitterCounter button which links to their personal stats page at Twittercounter.com. All these buttons drive traffic to TwitterCounter which shows simple text ads next to the Twitter stats. This creates a positive feedback loop of increasing members, traffic and ad views.


Weather API

This is a very basic JSON API for very basic weather data from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute. The KNMI offers no simple API for simple data, so I built this one, which scrapes their website. Currently, it only offers a single API call, for the latest weather observations at 36 monitoring stations.

I noticed numerous open data portals as I was doing my research into APIs out of the Netherlands, which I will showcase in a separate post—you can tell there is a serious passion for open data in the country.

I’m sure there are other Dutch API efforts I’m missing, so if you know of any companies with a significant presence in the Netherlands, doing cool stuff with APIs, make sure and let me know @kinlane.