The Guardian, IMO, has a very forward-looking strategy around Open Data. Please see my previous related post on this topic.
This post is going to explore some of the core underpinnings of the Guardian’s Open Data strategy.
The Guardian’s Open Platform Strategy
In March of this year The Guardian officially launched its Open Platform strategy. It’s a very forward-looking strategy IMO, and has been generally applauded.
Here’s a link explaining what the Guardian’s Open Platform is all about. Effectively, it opens up the Guardian’s content “to the world”, and to developers, as a platform upon which to develop appliactions and services … in an application style this is called a “mashup” application.
The Content API and the Data Store
There are two key components to The Guardian’s Open Platform: (i) the Content API, and (ii) the Data Store.
The Content API is a mechanism for progamatically accessing Guardian content. You can query the Guardian’s content database for articles and get them back in formats that are geared toward integration with other internet applications.
The Data Store is a VERY cool product. It is a collection of important and high quality data sets curated by Guardian journalists. You can find useful data here, download it, and integrate it with other internet applications.
The Data Store and Database-driven Journalism
The Guardian’s Data Store is a brilliant enabler of database-driven journalism. Adrian Holovaty of Everyblock is probably the leading proponent of this movement, and I’m sure he’d be a big fan of The Guardian’s Data Store.
For a wonderful example of the power of The Guardian’s Data Store, and the mashup-friendly services that the product enables, check out this wonderful blog post by The Guardian’s Martin Belam describing the Data Store’s role in a scandal that arose in Great Britain this summer around MP expenses, and his discussion of the contrasting “open” and “closed” models of 21st-century journalism. It’s a great read.
All for now.