Some thoughts on API Strategy shared at the Open Culture Data Masterclass

Last Monday I had been invited to make a short presentation on API Strategy at the Open Culture Data Master class (link leads to a site in Dutch BTW). As you can imagine from the name of the Master class focus is on data, content and the licensing there-of. The students all come from Dutch GLAMs and I guess the reason I’ve been invited as a speaker and mentor was to share some experiences we’ve had at Europeana with our API and what conclusions on strategy that can be drawn from those. Time was short so this presentation was hardly in-depth.

As you can tell from the presentation we were very much tentatively finding our way at Europeana on how to best fit an API into our product portfolio. In some ways we’re still finding our way and I’m really looking forward to when we can declare our API as Open and all the metadata it makes available as CC0-licensed! From my own point of view that’s when the API takes its place along side our portal as one of our main products.

To the participants in the class who wish to learn more about API strategy (and tactics!) I recommend reading APIs: A Strategy Guide by Daniel Jacobson, Greg Brail, and Dan Woods. Two good blogs to follow are API-evangelist and the Apigee blog. The best overview, and discussions, of GLAM APIs and other technologies for re-use I know of is Museums and Machine-processable Web. These resources offer a lot more in-depth knowledge and experience and is very recommended reading for any GLAM considering to add an API to its products.

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