Could I be psychic? A few days ago, I twittered: “@EuropeanaEU Suggestion: Make your beautiful content also available on the ipad”. As an online strategy consultant with a working history at Europeana and since recently a proud owner of an Ipad, I guess you do this kind of things. You can imagine how surprised I was to found an article – very much similar to a press release [correction 12/01] – dated the following day, with the headline “Europeana, the EU’s portal to cultural heritage, is getting ready for the release of an API in February”.
A matter of coincidence of course but what can I say – it did increase my interest in this development. Let’s have a look at the article:
“Europeana is now getting ready to release an API which allows search through Europeana’s metadata on cultural heritage objects. The API for now will be for non-commercial use only, but it is hoped that in time that restriction may be lifted as well.
The Europeana API allows for a higher level of service personalization. You can decide on the key elements of the Europeana results display (how much information to be shown, in what format, colors, etc.). You can also build up on the API usage and develop your own end user applications based on the API service (for instance, an iPhone application).
Currently a closed beta testing of the API has been underway with 5 partnering institutions (out of the 1500 or so partners in the Europeana network, who contribute data on their collections to Europeana). One example of these closed beta projects is the use of the Europeana API in Sweden’s cultural heritage portal which in this example for a search on Linnaeus finds some 2500 Swedish items and over 500 results in collections elsewhere in Europe through the API.
The launch of the API in February 2011 may be accompanied by a small series of ‘hack day’ type of events to explore the new possibilities the API brings.”
From my end I hope they will not forget the Ipad, and its attraction as an image-based browsing tool. Who else wants to share their expectations?