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Renaissance Engineer
Renaissance Engineer

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7 Unique APIs for your next project

Need some inspiration for a new project? In this article I'll go over what I think are 7 of the coolest APIs around that make it quick and easy to build impressive projects. Whether you just want something to help you get a job or create a side project that earns you some money, all of these APIs are valuable.

I'll be putting out a video soon with more in-depth project ideas so be sure to subscribe if you're interested in seeing that

1. Shodan API

Shodan API

You can think of Shodan as Google for every device connected to the internet. They crawl the web and catalog devices. You can sign up for a developer account and programmatically access their data and filter based on numerous factors. Some things people have found exposed and unsecured on Shodan:

  • A French hydroelectric plant control system
  • entire cities transportation grids
  • databases
  • industrial freezers with 10's of thousands of dollars in goods
  • car washes that can be remotely shut down

With Shodan you are really only limited by your imagination, just make sure you don't get yourself arrested.

2. Radar.io API

Radar provides an API that makes it easy to implement various features related to maps and location. With just a few lines of code you can add real-time location tracking, geofencing, and Google Maps like direction and places features.
Radar API

3. WebHose API

WebHose basically scrapes the entire internet and then organizes the content to make it easily accessible via API. You can query their data using a huge amount of filters. For example, if you want to find the most popular blog post written in the last month about Javascript, you can request that via API and then sort by the number of times it was shared on Facebook or LinkedIn.

WebHose API

A number of companies use WebHose to see where they are being mentioned online and monitor trends.

4. People Data Labs

This API is kind of creepy, but also interesting. I'm not exactly sure how they acquire their data but People Data labs allows you to "enrich" profiles of users on your app.

people data labs

For example if somebody signs up to your app with just an email, you could send that email to PDL's API and it would return a bunch of additional information like:

  • job title
  • social media profiles
  • skills
  • employer
  • much more

This could be used to help score leads for your sales team, if a Vice President at Google signs up for your app, you probably want to prioritize talking to them and see if you can make some money.

5. Crawlera

Crawlera
Lots of beginner tutorials show how to make bots and web scrapers but most sites will block you very quickly. Crawlera is a service created by the people who made the popular python scraping library Scrapy.

Crawlera automatically rotates IP addresses and makes it look like your scraper is coming from real people rather than an automated program. This allows you to scrape sites like Google and Amazon.

Project Idea - Make a Amazon product price tracker, with Crawlera you can schedule your bot to check the listing page every few minutes and update users.

6. SpaceX API

A pretty simple API compared to the other ones, but still interesting I think. Just hit the endpoint from your app and retrieve all sorts of data related to SpaceX launches and rockets.

Project Idea - Make a dashboard with ReactJS that lets users explore the data provided by the API
SpaceX API

7. Segment

Segment is used to connect data sources from various apps and technologies. Instead of having to build and maintain all these connections between data sources yourself, you just need to work with Segment's API.
Segment API

Conclusion

If you think I forget any APIs let me know. Also I'd love to see people brainstorming cool ideas in the comments below.

Discussion (45)

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marcelcruz profile image
Marcel Cruz

Awesome list, thanks for sharing!

In case you're interested, I've put up a list of APIs on devresourc.es/tools-and-utilities/..., so feel free to check them out too! :)

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renaissanceengineer profile image
Renaissance Engineer Author

cool resource, I like the design as well

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marcelcruz profile image
Marcel Cruz

Thanks!! πŸ™

Thread Thread
z2lai profile image
z2lai • Edited

Holy cow, that's an insanely large and well-categorized collection if I've ever seen one! Did you develop that site?

Thread Thread
marcelcruz profile image
Marcel Cruz

Thanks for the compliment!

Yeah, I had A LOT of bookmarks, so I figured I'd put them all in one place, where everyone else could also use it.

I'm working on making the resources list open-source and available through a public API, so everyone can contribute and use it.

:)

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brunogonzales profile image
Bruno Gonzales
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aidap1 profile image
Aidan

"This Shodan thing sounds inter...WHAT THE F**k!"

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renaissanceengineer profile image
Renaissance Engineer Author

lol, it's definitely a little scary to use sometimes. Pretty crazy how badly secured so many crucial systems are

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liyasthomas profile image
Liyas Thomas

Awesome list!
Feel free to use hooppscotch.io to spin up these APIs directly from your browser window itself.

GitHub

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burcimadalina profile image
Madalina Burci

Have you seen the TypingDNA Authentication API?
It's used for recognizing people by the way they type: typingdna.com/authentication-api.html

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thesanjeevsharma profile image
Sanjeev Sharma

This is awesome!

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allwafe_10 profile image
Alwafe

☺️🌹🌹

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trick94 profile image
trick94

Thank you!!!

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renaissanceengineer profile image
Renaissance Engineer Author

glad you liked it!

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pratikanthi profile image
Pratik Kanthi

Point me to an API that brings me inner peace.

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renaissanceengineer profile image
Renaissance Engineer Author

unfortunately I hear it's still in development hell, people have been working on it for a few thousand years 😟

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kamo profile image
KAIDI

Thanks for sharing these gems πŸ’Ž

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renaissanceengineer profile image
Renaissance Engineer Author

hope you make something cool with it, post a link if you do so others can see what you make!

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dulemart profile image
Dule Martins

Point me to an API that provides birthday and goodwill message for friends and love ones.

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renaissanceengineer profile image
Renaissance Engineer Author

Lob API would let you schedule and send them custom post cards or letters
lob.com/

otherwise you could just make your own pretty easily, google a list of messages and put them into a CSV file and then randomly choose a row

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fikradev profile image
Fikra_Dev

simply awesome

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adrinamin profile image
Adrin Amin Salehi

Great list! Thank you for sharing!

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renaissanceengineer profile image
Renaissance Engineer Author

thanks

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kevinleebuchan profile image
KevinLeeBuchan • Edited

Nice list. Links would have been helpful.

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renaissanceengineer profile image
Renaissance Engineer Author

good point, I'll add them in

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makar190 profile image
MakLut {{β˜•}}

Wow, I didn't know about SpaceX's API) And Shodan API also not bad πŸ‘

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renaissanceengineer profile image
Renaissance Engineer Author

shodan is fun to play around with for sure

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mwangikibui profile image
mwangiKibui

Thanks for the resources.

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renaissanceengineer profile image
Renaissance Engineer Author

you're welcome, hope you find them helpful

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xngwng profile image
Xing Wang

Love the list!!

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renaissanceengineer profile image
Renaissance Engineer Author

thanks, glad you liked it

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admoraguilar profile image
Admor Aloysious Aguilar

Shodan and PeopleLabs are giving me that big brother vibes ngl but it is very cool.

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renaissanceengineer profile image
Renaissance Engineer Author

for sure, I'm guessing data collection companies will be regulated soon. Most people don't know they exist so they've flown under the radar

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z2lai profile image
z2lai

Some of these are unique alright! And some of these look really valuable, I can't imagine them being free to use for a personal project. The Segment API sounds like an enterprise solution.

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renaissanceengineer profile image
Renaissance Engineer Author

true, although Segment's main customers are startups and their free tier is catered for that. So if you have a small side project it could be useful. Plus I see some companies even say experience with Segment is a "bonus" skill they would like to see

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adrianartiles profile image
Adrian Artiles

Thisa.com is a good alternative to PeopleDataLabs that's 1/10 the cost (also has a web UI).
Awesome list! Definitely going to find an excuse to play with WebHose sometime soon.

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renaissanceengineer profile image
Renaissance Engineer Author

thanks for suggesting Thisa, their pricing is way more transparent. Always surprising how so many companies fly under the radar, pretty much the reason I make posts like these

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bingegeglobal profile image
bingege-global

thx, but why first term 'cheat'?

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j33mk profile image
Jamal Hussain

Thanks for sharing. Amazing stuff. πŸ‘

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alejandrob profile image
Alejandro Brega

Awesome API list, thanks!
You should add:
-Woord: Free Text to Speech API in 50 languages. getwoord.com
-Klazify: Free Domain Categorization & Logo API. klazify.com

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christef profile image
ChriStef

Thank you for the list. It would be nice if you had and the urls to jump into...

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telgirent24 profile image
Telgirent24
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halbano profile image
halbano

If we are speaking of APIs, this link needs to be here: github.com/public-apis/public-apis

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olvinas profile image
olvinas

Thanks for Sharing this ..Those were some good general guidelines.
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