Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Kiva launches API for developers

Kiva just launched an API for "builders, mashers, and other creative types looking to make a difference in the world through loans to the working poor." From their announcement:

We’re brimming over with excitement here at Kiva Headquarters because today we get to introduce you to the Kiva API. We’ve been working hard over the past 4 months, crafting this interface so that anyone with a bit of software savvy can help us create new applications, tools, and features for the Kiva lending community. All you need to get started is a bit of instruction – the Kiva API is completely open and no developer registration is required to use it.

The Kiva API begins as a set of RESTful web services, focused primarily on the tasks of fetching public data from Kiva. For example, here’s are some of the things you can request through the API:

  • all of the loans at Kiva currently raising funds
  • all of the entrepreneurs from Uganda and Peru which have fully repaid their loans
  • the latest lending activity on Kiva
  • financial nitty-gritty for any of our loans
  • the list of loans made by any one of Kiva’s lenders with a public lender page

All of this data is delivered with well-formed computer-friendly markup (e.g. JSON or XML) making it easy to integrate into applications. And, this list is just a start. Keep up with us here at build.kiva.org as we post news about new API methods and tools for development. Eventually, we intend to make it possible to recreate the entire lending experience on top of the API!

So what will you build? If you’re at a loss for ideas we’ve started a running list of many of the great ideas we’ve heard about so far. Here are a few:

  • an application for iPhone or Blackberry that let’s you keep up with Kiva on the go
  • a service where lenders can register for alerts on new entrepreneurs they want to fund
  • integration into a social network where friends can engage around each others’ activity and loan updates on Kiva
  • a map that simulates the realtime transfer of funds across the globe
Read the rest of the post here.

Prosper has an API that developers have used to create a variety of applications.

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