Postman lends its API power to the COVID-19 fight

The API development platform provider has launched an API resource center for tapping COVID-19 data including testing location information throughout the U.S.

Postman, the company behind the collaborative API development platform, is offering a resource of its own in the fight against COVID-19: a collection of API endpoints for tapping information about the outbreak. The most recent addition to the resource list is a crowdsourced directory of COVID-19 testing locations throughout the United States.

The list of APIs curated by Postman and its contributors ranges wide. Aside from official sources like the World Health Organization and the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, the Postman COVID-19 collection also includes APIs for state-level information, research datasets, information and statistics on COVID-19 from other countries (e.g., India), and connections to other useful resources such as official Twitter accounts for state and federal government bureaus.

Each of the APIs can be accessed through a conventional REST interface, but also through the in-browser front end that Postman exposes for an API. Sample code for polling the API is available for many languages and tools (e.g., curl).

Postman also provides tools for converting existing datasets not already exposed as APIs into API endpoints. For instance, many ad hoc data collection efforts use Google Sheets as a place to dump raw data, but it’s difficult to make use of that data through an API without hacking together a script or some other mechanism to do it. Postman provides a collection to pull data from a Google Sheet into a queryable API.

Other Postman projects provide API front ends for generic websites and databases hosted on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and Heroku.

Many of the projects covered by Postman, including its own COVID-19 testing location dataset, are contributor-driven efforts. The COVID-19 API project is open source, with code on GitHub, and welcomes contributions.

[An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Postman had information about testing locations in all 50 states in the United States.]

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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