API Workshop Outcomes and Future Directions

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Event Date: Oct 16 2009 – Oct 17 2009
Event Website: Event Webpage
City: Toronto, Ontario
Country: Canada
Primary Contact Name: William J. Turkel
Contact Email: william.j.turkel@gmail.com


  • Plan
  • Participants
  • Partnerships
  • Progress


The goal of this project is to apply the principles discussed at the API Workshop (Oct, 2009) and reconvene in one year to discuss progress. This will involve applying for additional funding and hosting a second workshop, as well as working together in small partnerships on projects that make use of APIs that result in something new.


  • NYPL will put in an NEH grant for a follow up meeting.
  • Small teams try to develop demonstrations of using APIs between two or more projects (see below for possible matches)
  • Spend one year developing these demonstrations and documenting them on the NiCHE page.
  • Gather in late 2010 (funded by the first step) to show the demos and discuss the lessons learned.

General rules for the engagement:

  • i. We are not trying to build robust scalable working applications.
  • ii. Keep it simple – try to make something work that tests the idea.
  • iii. Don’t feel you have to spend too much time or partner with more projects than you can support for the purposes of exploring the use of APIs.
  • iv. We are testing the use of APIs across different projects and focusing loosely on historical applications.


  • Richard Deswarte richardd@essex.ac.uk UK Data Archive – Interested in census materials
  • Shekar Krishnan shekhar@mit.edu maps.nypl.org MIT – interested in mapping, collaborating with NiCHE
  • Kevin Kee kkee@brocku.ca nGen/THEN – interested in agent based simulations from data and incubating projects
  • Doug Reside dougreside@gmail.com MITH – TILE – interested in image annotation – working on an archive of historic menus
  • Tom Scheinfeldt tom@foundhistory.org ZoteroOmeka – interested in spinoffs for Zotero/Omeka to handle requests for customization
  • Jeremy Boggs jeremy@clioweb.org Omeka – interested in plugins for Omeka, interested in empowering researchers using WordPress
  • John Lutz jlutz@uvic.ca U of Victoria Despatches project – census data and maps
  • Adam Crymble acrymbl@uwo.ca NiCHE
  • Alan MacEarchern amaceach@uwo.ca NiCHE – project with NYPL around the Klondike
  • Juan-Luis Suarez jsuarez@uwo.ca Hispanic Baroque – has images
  • Geoffrey Rockwell geoffrey.rockwell@ualberta.ca – interested in connecting Voyeur with other content collections (along with Stéfan Sinclair sgs@mcmaster.ca)
  • William Turkel william.j.turkel@gmail.com – our host


These are merely suggestions which came out of the initial discussion. Please feel free to pursue any partnerships as you see fit.

  • Census Data Mashups: possibly connecting the UK Data Archive (Richard D.) and Canadian census data (John L.)
  • Image Annotation Mashups: possibly connecting Jean-Luis (Hispanic Baroque) and TILE at MITH (Doug R.)
  • Plug-ins for Omeka: possibly connecting Voyeur (Stéfan S.) and Omeka (Jeremy B.)
  • Map Mashups: building on connection between NYPL (Shekar K.) and NiCHE (Adam C.)
  • A Generator for Customizing Zotero/Omeka: possibly connecting nGen (Kevin K.) and Omeka/Zotero (Tom S.)
  • Extensions for Zotero: possibly connecting TILE (Doug R.) and Zotero (Tom S.) and Voyeur (Stéfan S.)
  • Images of Text: possibly connecting NYPL (Shekar K.) and TILE/Axe (Doug R.)
  • What can be done with the 9/11 archive (or Hurricane): involving the CHNM (Tom S. and Jeremy B.) – looking for partners.
  • What can be done with the NiCHE database of people: involving NiCHE (Alan M. and Adam C. and Bill T.) – looking for ideas for using the database.
  • What could be done with agent based simulations: Kevin K. is interested in some sort of mashup using data.

I’m sure I’ve missed some of the good ideas. Also, you may want to join some of these matches and I left your name off, or put it in the wrong place. Write me and I’ll correct things.


7.1 Individual pairs/clusters talk together to hack an experiment.
Talk sooner while the idea is still current!

7.2 We support NYPL to help them put in a proposal.

7.4 We document what we have/are doing on the NiCHE site and continue
the discussion.

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