A Designer Writes an App Using Our Geo API

Jim England is Infochimp’s new Director of User Experience. He’s well-versed in CSS, HTML and great design, but without a hardcore programming background, he was the perfect candidate to put our Geo API to the test. Did we create a product that was versatile, powerful and so easy-to-use that a UX guy could create a useful app in just a few days?

gibbonguide A Designer Writes an App Using Our Geo API

The release of the Infochimps Geo API was an excellent opportunity to sharpen up my programming skills by developing a fun sample application. In only a few days, I was able to build the Gibbon Travel Guide, which calls the Foursquare Places and Wikipedia Articles APIs to show interesting places to visit in a city. It defaults to Austin, Texas but be sure to try out other cities!

As I developed the app, the Infochimps documentation was there to steer me in the right direction. The Getting Started with Geo guide described the available APIs, taught me the basic structure of the API calls, and showed how to limit the search results. With this knowledge, I added “f.q=museum” and “f.q=park” filters on the Wikipedia API to limit the results to those categories.

Once my query was constructed, I used the code examples in the Infochimps Ruby library to have my app access the Infochimps API.  If you want to see the source code, check out my git repo.

The project was a fun experience and really showed just how easy it was to create something cool in a very short period of time with our new Geo API.  If you’re building an app on top of the Geo API, feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions!

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