The Open API Universe At NASA

Nick Skytland | | September 19, 2012

NASA has a LOT of interesting data. NASA’s commitment to open data expands the audience for the vast body of knowledge captured in nearly 100 years of U.S. aeronautics and space data. Developers, technologists, entrepreneurs, citizen scientists and many others can contribute directly to the exploration of space and Earth by helping to create new ways of looking at this data.

Additionally, the release of administrative and procedural information from within NASA enables researchers and analysts to understand more about the inner workings of NASA as well as allow our own employees to better understand other functions of our Agency. We are continually working to improve accessibility to this data and incentivizing the use of government data by citizens.

One way that NASA data can be made more available online is through an “application programming interface” or API. While the name may be intimidating, you probably use APIs every day. APIs bring us real-time news, weather, and photosharing. APIs feed the content to many of your favorite website or mobile applications. In the past few years, APIs have experienced an exponential increase in popularity and usage.