Session on APIs?

Would anyone be interested in a session on APIs?  Starting with basics: what they are, the various types, how they work (in theory and in reality)? Institutions (particularly museums) often provide access to their data via API’s but I and many others are thwarted from  getting to these data by the whole skill set needed to successfully use APIs.

9 Responses to Session on APIs?

  1. Ooh, I would. There was an API workshop at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities a couple years ago that I didn’t get to go to. I’ve sometimes managed to hack together some basic things, such as customized embeds from Twitter’s API, but it’s been rough going.

    Are you able to teach this, Diane? Or would we need to recruit someone who could teach it?

  2. Amanda,
    So glad to hear there’s another interested soul! I am a total newbie on this, so we’d need to recruit someone to teach/lead it. Any ideas?

    • Hmm, no, unless maybe someone from NYPL Labs would be willing. They have an API to their digital collections, which I think are mostly historical but doubtless include some art images. See

      Still, you’re right that there’s a whole skillset involved in using APIs, which is basically best described as “being a web application developer.” Let me cogitate a bit — I can send some emails on Monday.

  3. LOVE this topic!

    Perhaps Google Maps API might be a low-barrier tool to teach?

    Perhaps someone from ARTstor might be willing to talk about what their API might make possible in the future (particularly for ARTstor Shared Shelf)?

    • I work at Artstor and I plan to be at THATCamp today. But I’m not the right person to talk about APIs… I do collection development (aka content person). I’ll see if any of my colleagues are attending and if I can relay valuable info.

  4. There are actually a whole slew of taped presentations on APIs available from that MITH workshop I mentioned — see I did also send some emails to people at NYPL Labs, Brooklyn Museum Labs, and ARTSTOR today to see about getting some more digital whizzes here. But in true THATCamp style we could probably just hang out in a room together and do our best to figure some things out together, informally …