welcome to day five of Launch Week 2024!
Many of the users of our geocoding API are relatively new to the world of APIs, they come to us because they just want to geocode some data. They might be unaware of all the innovation happening in the API space over the last few years. Just as with all other corners of tech, there is a lot happening.
One of the key developments has been the continual refinement of the OpenAPI standard and the growth of an ecosystem of tools around that standard. If you are not yet familiar with OpenAPI, I can highly recommend Phil Sturgeon’s excellent Brief Introduction to OpenAPI.
OpenAPI has been around for a while, and we have had a basic OpenAPI specification for our geocoding API for many years. But it feels like the project is reaching a more mature stage. As such, I am pleased to announce we have revisited our OpenAPI specification, cleaned it up and upgraded it to the newest standard (v3.1.2).
Beyond just a general desire to stay abrest of technical change, one key motive behind this update is the rise of AI. We believe the future will hold more and more machines “talking” with each other. That conversation will happen via APIs, and necessitates tools that make it easy for computers to discover and understand APIs.
Frankly, it is a challenge. While some APIs have a finite list (usually very short) of possible responses, we are geocosing the entire world in all its diversity. And we do this with open data, much of it crowdsourced. This has many benefits, but it also means we work with a very diverse, continually-changing dataset. It is not always possible to anticipate what the API will return.
For those wondering, yes! the new OpenAPI spec of course includes reference to the distance_from_q field announced on Day 1 of Launch Week, and the _normalized_city field in components announced on Day 3.
We hope you find the new OpenAPI specification useful and welcome all feedback for improving it.
And with that we wrap up Launch Week. We hope you’ve enjoyed the new features and improvements. People love “big bang” launches, but incremental improvements like these - improving the product 1% every day - are a very powerful lever that really compounds over time. Please let us know what you think.