Demystifying APIs: Accessing Public Data for Your Research

Jan 25, 2024, 3:30 pm5:00 pm
Lewis Library 138, Princeton, NJ 08544, ,
Princeton students, graduate students, researchers, faculty, and staff


Event Description
Data is everywhere, and many organizations such as the U.S. Census Bureau, Spotify, Google Maps (to name only a few) allow individuals to request certain types of data. This data can be a powerful source of information for answering critical research questions. However, data is often too large and/or too complicated to put it all in something easily-downloadable like an Excel spreadsheet or .csv. Instead, it is often available through Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs.

Accessing data through APIs can be intimidating. In this workshop, we will use Python to walk through several concrete examples of working with data from APIs to answer real-world research questions. By the end, I hope to demystify the process and provide participants the tools to feel comfortable leveraging data from APIs in their own research.

Participants who have at least beginner-level experience with Python will benefit the most from these materials. However many of the concepts are transferrable to other programming languages (though of course the specific syntax will vary). If you have never used an API before, then this workshop is for you!

Note that this workshop does NOT cover web scraping, which is a method for automatically extracting data from HTML web pages.

Meet the Facilitator:
Amy Defnet is a Research Software Engineering working in Research Computing and HMEI.

What to Expect: Workshop

To request accommodations for this event, please contact the workshop or event facilitator at least 3 working days prior to the event.