7 Replies - 5459 Views - Last Post: 16 April 2007 - 01:48 PM

#1 BacteriaEP  Icon User is offline

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API(Application Programming Interface) for Colleges/Universities

Posted 10 April 2007 - 12:46 PM

Forgive me intrusion I feel a bit out of place here as I really know very little about programming, but that is why I am here in the first place...

Anyways to the point. I am currently looking for an API that has aggregated information on Universities and Colleges in the United States. Names, addresses, class schedules, majors offered, tags, etc. Anything like that. I have been searching for weeks but really have no idea where to search at all. Finally I decided to look for a programming forum and ask its members. And so here I am.

Can anybody help me with anything? Point me in a direction? Or know a specific API that I could use?

Any help would be GREAT! Thank you.

-Geoff

P.S. To be honest I really don't know if this is the right forum or not, but its for a website my company is developing so it seemed like the right place. I apologize for any fault of my own.

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Replies To: API(Application Programming Interface) for Colleges/Universities

#2 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Re: API(Application Programming Interface) for Colleges/Universities

Posted 10 April 2007 - 01:20 PM

I'm gonna move this to software development as it's a more general question.
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#3 spullen  Icon User is offline

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Re: API(Application Programming Interface) for Colleges/Universities

Posted 10 April 2007 - 09:03 PM

r u trying to build a site with college information, or just find information on colleges? Cause I have no idea what you mean by API in this sense, and it seems like you would need to do the implementations yourself.

Well if it is the the site one, you could use php, and xml to manage and display all of the colleges.
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#4 skyhawk133  Icon User is offline

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Re: API(Application Programming Interface) for Colleges/Universities

Posted 10 April 2007 - 09:05 PM

I think he's asking more for where he would find the actual data. Like a company that sells lists of universities.
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#5 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: API(Application Programming Interface) for Colleges/Universities

Posted 11 April 2007 - 01:58 AM

First of all you are not looking for an API - you are looking for a dataset. If you ARE looking for an API I don't think you will find one.

A dataset is basicly a database table listing information (it is more of a datamining term).

I do not belive that such a dataset will be as easy to obtain as a search of the web. You can get parts, but not the whole thing. You could write a Web crawler to generate the dataset. Such program tend to take a few days to run, but you would be amazed at how well they work.

other than that I think you will have to ask someone else for thier data (in my datamining class we found it rather easy to get datasets for our class, most places didn't even charge us any type of fee).

http://www.globalcom...m/universy.html this might be someone to contact.

USNews has a university dataset they use for thier "top 10 ranked schools" which has to include some of the information you require.

The US department of statistics is another good place to start. Though I didn't see much on university education here.
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#6 BacteriaEP  Icon User is offline

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Re: API(Application Programming Interface) for Colleges/Universities

Posted 11 April 2007 - 02:02 PM

Skyhawk133 has it basically correct in what I am looking for.

As for whether I am looking for an API or not? To be honest I don't know. I am just using my web developers words. I really wish I could sit you, Nick, in front of my web developer and you guys could talk but thats not possible. I'll try and relay the information that you offered because I am pretty sure you are onto what I actually need.

Thank you much for the replies and the information. I'll be back to try and hammer some more information out of you guys soon enough. :)
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#7 NickDMax  Icon User is offline

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Re: API(Application Programming Interface) for Colleges/Universities

Posted 13 April 2007 - 07:40 AM

Well after a good search of the internet I was comming up dry. So I emailed the people who looked like the best and asked where to go from there. I was given two suggestions:

The first was to go to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), spacificly to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) where I was able to use the Dataset cutting tool to generate a list of US univerities and colleges with addresses and homepages.

The problem with this information is that it is a little out of date (2005). So the second suggestion was to go to Higher Education Publications, Inc which allows you to purchase a digital copy of the data used to publish thier book for about 125$.

The problem I see with both solutions (and I did not go in to great depth in IPEDS) is that they don't let you see a list of courses offered. Degree programs yes. I think this is becuase this is such an ephemeral thing. My university irritated the crap out of me because the web site listed all of these math courses I wanted to take, that they never offered. What is being offered changes from year to year to support the needs of thier graduates and thier accreditation.

Anyway the IPEDS should be able to generate a good dataset to get you started while you look for a more recent/complete version. -- then all you need is for your webdevloper to know how to get AT the data... for that he/she will need an API.
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#8 BacteriaEP  Icon User is offline

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Re: API(Application Programming Interface) for Colleges/Universities

Posted 16 April 2007 - 01:48 PM

Nick you just made my day.

I don't even know how to thank you for your efforts as I really wasn't expecting this much. Thank you though. Very much.

I'll let my web developer know about these websites. I think it will definitely come in handy, even if we can't use these exactly it will at least point in the right direction.
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