NASA Wants You To Help Build More APIs

Curtis C. Chen | ProgrammableWeb | October 1, 2012

Space is big. Really big. That means a lot of information, and where there’s data, there’s opportunity for automation. Now, NASA wants your help to create new APIs for its extensive and ever-growing data archives. Launched in 2011, offers APIs for many different types of information–ranging from Mars Science Laboratory Raw Images to Annual Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Reports–as JSON objects via a RESTful interface.

All the APIs are categorized and tagged, and there’s a search function to locate keywords in the description of each data set as well. (Easter Egg: the empty search results page features astronauts’ “latest tweets….FROM SPACE!!!“) But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Last week, as part of a webinar on how government agencies are using APIs, NASA Program Manager Nick Skytland presented “NASA’s Open API Universe” and called for more crowdsourced API development. In his words...