The Expanding API Layers That Overlap Our Physical And Virtual Worlds
23 Aug 2016
I wrote the other day about the interesting opportunity opening up within the satellite imagery API layer, and earlier about the similar opportunity that is being expanded within the fast growing dimension of our world being opened up with drones. Layers within maps are nothing new, and is something that Google has pushed forward early on in the history of APIs with Google Maps, but I feel is further being expanding on as APIs open new dimensions like satellites and drones. Then being further expanded on by adding API access to each layer for augmenting, and injecting other valuable API resources into these newly created API dimensions.
Let's see if I can successful describe the multiple API dimensions being opened up here. APIs are providing access to maps of our physical world, whether it is on the ground, from the air with drones, or from space with satellites, and these API-driven maps have layers, which are also made available via APIs, allowing other API driven resources like weather, forest fires, restricted spaces, and temporary or permanent elements are being injected. Once injected, these API-driven mapping resources with API injected resources are also being made available via APIs, providing entirely new, and specialized resources--that is a lot of APIs!
I am not even touching on the physical devices who put these maps to work also possessing APIs, like the drones, GPS units, cars, etc. This is just the expanding layer that is opening up via the multitude of API driven mapping resources and is further expanded when you look at the video layer which drones, mobile phones, automobiles, security cameras, and other Internet-connected devices are opening up. Drones, automobiles, and others will share layers with the mapping resources, but other video resources also will possess their own layers for augmenting the experience on the web, mobile, and television.
The part of this that is really striking to me isn't just the overlapping layers between mapping, video, and other channels, it is the overlap between our physical and virtual worlds. Think what Pokemon Go has done for gaming, but now consider drones, consumer automobiles, as well as commercial fleets. It can be very difficult to wrap your mind around the different dimensions of opportunities opening up, but it doesn't take much imagination to understand that there is a growing opportunity for APIs to thrive in this expanding universe.