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
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
- 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.
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.
A number of companies use WebHose to see where they are being mentioned online and monitor trends.
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.
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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
If you think I forget any APIs let me know. Also I'd love to see people brainstorming cool ideas in the comments below.