Andrew Lister from Reuters Labs shared with me their brand new API product called Spotlight. The APIs lets you pull Reuters stories, videos, photos and full article content as RSS feeds or XML/JSON or even as RDF.
Getting started is easy – signup on spotlight.reuters.com, activate your account and you have an accesskey to call the APIs.
The API call is a simple HTTP request with parameters and their values mentioned in the query string. There is no API authentication but the apikey is required for tracking usage. A sample request looks like:
With every piece of content returned, you do get some interesting metadata, such as related categories e.g. for this article about “Wedding bells for Bush’s daughter Jenna draw near“
<category term=”Washington / US Government News” />
<category term=”Living and lifestyle” />
<category term=”Domestic Politics” />
<category term=”Online Report text item” />
<category term=”United States of America” />
<category term=”Canada” />
Another useful feature is that Spotlight does integrate with Reuter’s Open Calais and can return you more entity data from the Calais analysis. E.g.
Facility: Rose Garden, Texas ranch
Organization: Virginia Republican Party, University of Virginia, White House, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
IndustryTerm: media reports, media glare, refused media
Company: Constellation Energy, CNN
Country: United States, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq
Person: David Alexander, George W. Bush, Richard Nixon, Gordon Johndroe, Tricia, Jenna Bush, Henry Hager, Virginia Lt. Gov, Larry King, Oscar de la Renta, Laura Bush, Live, Edward Cox, John Hager, Chris Wilson
ProvinceOrState: Virginia, Texas, Maryland, Maine
Some more examples feeds:
Videos for US top news:
Photos for US Sports news:
Another notable feature are the editorial/admin APIs (they call them Information Feeds) which a publisher to build editorial controls around what data is being pulled from these APIs. E.g., if I had a CMS I could use these APIs to build an editorial page showing what kind of channels or content is available through the Spotlight Feed and help an editor configure it for the system.
Questions that I have for the Reuters folks:
1. How often is the data refreshed in these feeds?
2. How are updates for articles published? Are there identifiers that can help an app refresh the data on its side.
3. Is there any caching that Reuters is doing?
4. What are Reuter’s policies about getting the full article body from Reuters and then re-publishing on another site?
Before you get all excited to build apps that make you money, an important point to notice – the APIs are for non-commercial use only. So do make cool things that helps the world in free non commercial ways.