Blog

- July 24, 2015

Last month, Restlet and API Evangelist launched a virtual hackathon: Summer of API, focused on implementing Web APIs exposing an Open Data set. The hackathon lasts all summer, so it gives you plenty of time to think about a real project, design it, implement it, and finally participate in the program!

Various data sets were suggested which contain some really cool data to display, for example from NASA!

Ideas and features

Some times ago, I played a lot with the D3 library and its support of TopoJSON. The combination of both can be used to build and display awesome maps and to overlay datasets on them.

I think that you see me coming. My idea, in the context of the hackathon, is to provide a generic online tool to mix maps and data without having to write a single line of code. As a matter of fact, when creating such maps using JavaScript and D3, there are some roundtrips to finalize the display. Such tool would allow (and help) the end user to make this online.

Under the hood, the application will leverage layers of data. So you can pick data up from different sources and aggregate them to display something like in the following picture:

us-open-data-map

This can be done using a set of layers described below:

open-data-map-layers-selection

Layers can be pure map data, shapes (like polygons, circles, and so on) or processing to fill areas. For the last two ones, properties can be dependent on values of a particular dataset.

This application is going to be a Single Page Application (SPA) implemented using the JavaScript framework Angular and would interact with a Web API defined and hosted by APISpark. This platform will also host the Web application assets, like in Guillaume’s fireworks API and website.

The project

The project is open-source and hosted on Github.

In addition to the application itself, some stuff will be provided to install the application effortlessly and manage the dataset.

Finally, I will try to give some details about the way to design and implement the application with APISpark!

If you haven’t already, enroll in the Summer of APIs hackathon and start coding your Open Data Web API!

Note: article initially published on Thierry’s blog.