As part of our work on the API Gallery, we are always looking for interesting new sources of alternative data, adding to some of the more common sources like Twitter and Facebook. It takes a lot of work to discover and profile the growing number of APIs available across the landscape. It takes even more work to get to know what each of the APIs offer, and where the data fits into the bigger picture when it comes to making investments, or operating your company. One interesting API provider we’ve come across lately is Coord, who offers a number of transportation related APIs, but we found their Shared Vehicle (Bike+Scooter) API to be of particular interest. The Coord Shared Vehicle API “provides information about bike and scooter share systems, including available vehicles and prices.” Providing an opportunity for alternative data that has the potential to paint an interesting picture of a rapid growing area of the investment landscape. By aggregating available data across the manual bicycle, pedal-assist electric bicycle, and often volatile two-wheeled electric scooter market.
A basic cURL API call to the Coord Shared Vehicle (Bike+Scooter) API looks something like this:
curl -G "https://api.coord.co/v1/sv/location?latitude=40.73935542&longitude=-73.99931783&radius_km=0.1&access_key=<your_api_key"
Which makes for a pretty compelling use case for proxying the Coord API, and streaming real-time data about the location and availability of bikes and scooters using a Streamdata.io connection, with the following command cURL command:
curl -v "https://streamdata.motwin.net/http://api.coord.co/v1/sv/location?latitude=40.73935542&longitude=-73.99931783&radius_km=0.1&access_key=[coord api key]&X-Sd-Token=[streamdata api key]"
Turning the request and response Coord API, into a streaming Server-Sent Event (SSE) API, only sending updates when availability has changed. Opening up the potential for an event-driven layer to be added to the landscape in which Coord is working to map out. Some API consumers will be looking for real-time streams of data, but it also demonstrates the potential for more meaningful events to be identified, and pushed out to consumers as they occur.
The Coord Shared Vehicle API is just one of several transportation APIs the company is offering. Providing a compelling look at the expanding world of alternative data, and how APIs are being used to provide access to not just active virtual spaces like Facebook and Twitter, but also to our physical world. We have more stories planned about Coord and the other APIs they offer, showcasing the opportunities for delivering event-driven API infrastructure as part of the constantly evolving world of personal transportation in cities around the globe.