Many developers are used to using APIs and many sites, e.g. Twitter and Facebook support an API to extend their functionality. I don’t think Linked Data is necessarily better than an API, but it might offer a better solution in some circumstances. The data you can return is very flexible, you don’t need to look up the syntax of a new API call every time you want new information. Also if two sites support a Linked Data endpoint the way you work with them will be broadly the same, you don’t have to worry about things like downloading any extra software libraries to be able to access the API.
It would be wrong to ignore the issues around the usage of Linked Data, the learning curve involved and the difficulties in making those first steps. But anyway it’s better than learning new API for every new service.
It is still early days for the Linked Data movement so it is a great time for developers to get involved and help this idea grow and work with others to sort out difficulties along the way. The prize is ready access to lots of information about the world around us.
- Putting Linked Data to work: A developer’s perspective
- Where Linked Data Would Be Useful – Guardian Politics API
- Getting Started With Linked Data – OpenUp Laboratories Example SPARQL Queries
- Guardian Makes Music and Literary Apps Easier With Linked Data