Mashup literature: Wilde and Dickens unlocked through new APIs released by publisher Pearson

Mashup literature: Wilde and Dickens unlocked through new APIs released by publisher Pearson

Publishing power house Pearson is marking the first birthday of its API program ‘Plug & Play‘ with the addition of the dkimages and Penguin Classics datasets.

The dkimages API provides a library of 90,000 images including the iconic ‘on white’ imagery that the Dorling Kindersley books are known for. Also available through dkiamges is a truckload of stock photography across 11 different categories including science and nature, human body and health, and travel and lifestyle.

The Penguin Classics API includes 48 well-known titles including works by Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde,  Anne and Charlotte Brontë and Thomas Hardy.

Pearson says that the new resources have been released to help developers illustrate cool new literary apps and the whole lot is available through the company’s API platform.

Reviving historical literature

E-books are one thing, but a world of apps relating to the deeper exploration of literature is an area still ripe for innovation. Connecting the data sets provided by Pearson with apps that utilise GPS and search could create entirely new ways of enjoying the classics.

Diana Stepner, Head of Future Technologies at Pearson is delighted with the new release and excited about the possible applications. She says that both data sets have been requested by developers frequently, so it will be interesting to see what they come up with.

The new APIs join six other datasets which have been released since Plug & Play was launched in September 2011.

To coincide with the year anniversary, the Plug & Play site has been updated. The revised homepage layout is designed to make it easier for developers to start using APIs. The new design also more prominently promotes the work of developers and shares the latest news from the Plug & Play team and events.

What sorts of apps would you like to see associated with your favourite literary works?

Image Credit: Matt From London

Read next: Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others join forces to launch new Web standards resource