A Web API, or Web Application Programming Interface, is relative of the traditional computing Application Programming Interface (API). Just like an API helps different elements on a traditional computer talk to each other using common routines and tools, a Web API allows clear communication between a web-based service (and its data set) and a third party tool (like a desktop widget).
In our tutorial, Build an LED Indicator with a Raspberry Pi (for Email, Weather, or Anything), for example, we use the Web API of Weather Underground so that our weather station can poll the weather data contained on the Weather Underground servers and use that data in a meaningful way. Other Web APIs offer everything from access to Twitter data to real estate information to maps.
- By Jason Fitzpatrick on 07/28/13