Introducing the LibraryThing Web Services API.
The API will eventually do many things.
For starters it includes all of the data in LibraryThing’s Common Knowledge project, our groundbreaking “fielded wiki” for interesting book information (see original blog post). It includes fields like series, important characters, important places, author dates, author burial places, agents, edits, etc. If you’re interested in building or enhancing book-data applications, this should be very interesting.
Common Knowledge is always in progress, but the results so far have been quite impressive. Members have made over 500,000 edits, and certain data types have become exceedingly useful and comprehensive. I’m particularly proud of our Series coverage (eg., Star Wars), better—we think—than any commercial series data.
Oh, and it’s free! The data is made available under the highly permissive Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license.
Architecturally, the Web Services API is a straightforward REST XML-based API. The back-end is modular, allowing us to easily expand the available methods in the future. It’s request and response styles were modeled closely on Flickr’s API—Chris is a big fan—so it should make it easier to find similar sample code. The documentation resembles theirs too.
Kudos to Chris for his work on this and let us know what you think (here).