All posts tagged ‘API’

File Under: APIs

Dropbox API Lets You Add Cloud Storage to Your Apps

dropboxDropbox, the free, web-based file backup service, has rolled out a new API that gives developers a way to access, edit and save any file in a user’s Dropbox account.

The Dropbox API works a bit like an Amazon S3 storage bucket except that you, not the application in question, have control over your uploaded files.

The Dropbox API uses familiar tools like JSON, OAuth and OpenID, so web developers can essentially offload their user’s storage needs to Dropbox. For users, the usual risks of tying your web app to a cloud storage mechanism are mitigated by the fact that Dropbox keeps a local copy on your hard drive.

While the potential for integration with web apps is very cool — imagine if all your Flickr uploads automatically synced to the Dropbox folder on your hard drive for an instant backup — the first place you’ll likely see the Dropbox API in action is on mobile devices.

Storage limitations and, in the case of the iPhone/iPad, Apple’s imposed restrictions, mean that it’s difficult to build mobile apps that can access local files, let alone read, write and sync.

That’s the basic problem the Dropbox API seeks to overcome — using the Dropbox API means there’s no need for local files on your mobile device and everything is automatically synced back to your PC. The only catch is that you need an internet connection for the syncing to work.

Dropbox has already worked with a number of developers to integrate the new API prior to the launch. For example, Air Sharing, GoodReader and QuickOffice can now tap into your Dropbox account to edit and sync your Dropbox files. The new API ships with client libraries in Objective-C (pretty much required for the iPhone/iPad), Python, Ruby and Java. To create an application you’ll need to register with Dropbox and then, once you have access, you can grab the client library of your choice and check out the online documentation.

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File Under: Glossary

Platform


Software developers need to know which platform their software will be running on. A platform can be an Intel processor running Windows, a Macintosh running System 8, or any combination of hardware and software that works together. Platforms are important for web designers to understand, because they need to make sure their pages will work on more than one platform. Different browsers display web pages differently on various platforms. Since the internet itself is a cross-platform system, designers need to test web pages on different combinations of machines and browsers to ensure the widest possible audience will be able to view their sites.

File Under: APIs, Location

Yahoo Maps API

This is the basic structure of a data call to Yahoo Maps’ API. This will draw a 500px by 300px map centered on Wired’s San Francisco offices, complete with zoom and pan controls. When the user clicks on the location marker, a pop-up box will appear with some text inside.

All of these attributes can be changed by modifying the code below. You’ll need to use your own API key.


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File Under: APIs, Location

Using the Yahoo Maps API

Yahoo’s Maps API may not be as popular as Google’s mashup mainstay, but it has many of the same features. In some ways, it’s even easier to use than Google’s Maps API, so beginners getting started with API interaction might prefer Yahoo’s implementation.

To get started working with Yahoo maps, we’ll simply create a map we can display on a web page, and then add a marker to denote a particular location.


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File Under: APIs, Location

Get Started With Google Geocoding via HTTP

Google’s mapping API is one of the most-used application interfaces on the web. It’s largely responsible for the recent explosion of map-based mashups. The massive popularity of Google Maps has also given rise to a new word in the web developer’s lexicon — geocodes.

Maps require a latitude and longitude point to plot specific locations. Whenever you’re programming a custom map using Google’s API, you will nee to convert the relevant city name, ZIP code, or address to latitude and longitude points. This process is called geocoding.

Google currently makes the process available via the GClientGeocoder Javascript class. That JavaScript class makes the geocode available immediately to the browser. But sometimes, such on the fly access isn’t enough. We want to store location information for later use. In that case, we need another service to grab the geocodes permanently.

That’s where geocoding via HTTP comes in handy.

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