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World Bank API re-launch causes some buzz

Sameer Vasta's picture

Buzz about the API on TwitterThanks to a wonderful post by Giulio on the Private Sector Development blog, the news of the re-launch of the World Bank API has started to create some significant buzz about international development and the sharing of data.

For those of you that haven't heard just yet, the Bank re-launched its API with a new call structure, query generator, and new data sets too. In simple terms: the Bank is allowing developers to use a lot of its development data to create new and exciting applications for web users.

Tim Berners-Lee would be proud.

I just talked to Jeff Mccoy, one of the people here at the Bank that has been instrumental in getting the API re-launched and easier to use, and he's "really excited to see some of the things people will build with World Bank data."

So am I. And I'm pretty excited to help feature some of the neat things people build using the Bank's data as well.

If you're building a neat application with the new World Bank API, let me know how to reach you in the comments. I'll give you a shout and hopefully feature your project and ideas here on this blog.

For more information about the API and the importance of open data, check out the next few links:

World Bank Developer Network
Phase2's blog post on the API launch
Tim Berners-Lee's TED Talk on data
Vivek Kundra's thoughts on open data
Wikipedia entry for API

Comments

Submitted by Mike on
For what it's worth, this announcement created a storm in my little corner of Twitter -- this was my first tweet to be heavily RT'ed. Upon reflection, this sort of thing is exactly the type of thing that Twitter can help go 'viral' quickly --> easy to understand in 120/140 characters, and something of possible interest to a lot of the influencial early adopter-types on Twitter. Making available this API is an excellent, excellent initiative of the Bank -- hopefully this signals the start of a new, sustained process of opening of World Bank information and data to the world in useful and transparent ways, and can serve as another example of the power of how transparency and opening yourself up to collaboration as a default way of operating can have significant benefits for everyone.

Thanks Mike. We're working hard on opening up our knowledge and data in ways that are most useful to users, whether that be through the API, visualizations, blog posts, or simply making information easier to find and process on the website itself. We'd love to hear more ideas if you've got any. Thanks again!

Submitted by C S on
The API is well designed - a few lines of code and you can make some nice charts: http://r-chart.blogspot.com/2010/06/plotting-world-bank-data-with-r.html http://r-chart.blogspot.com/2010/06/3-lines-of-r-code-to-process-web.html

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