Simple API for JISC MOSAIC Project Developer Competition data

For those of you interested in the developer competition being run by the JISC MOSAIC Project, I’ve put together a quick & dirty API for the available data sets. If it’s easier for you, you can use this API to develop your competition entry rather than working with the entire downloaded data set.

edit (31/Jul/2009): Just to clarify — the developer competition is open to anyone, not just UK residents (however, UK law applies to how the competition is being run). Fingers crossed, the Project Team is hopeful that a few more UK academic libraries will be adding their data sets to the pot in early August.

The URL to use for the API is http://library.hud.ac.uk/mosaic/api.pl and you’ll need to supply a ucas and/or isbn parameter to get a response back (in XML), e.g.:

The “ucas” value is a UCAS Course Code. You can find these codes by going to the UCAS web site and doing a “search by subject”. Not all codes will generate output using the API, but you can find a list of codes that do appear in the MOSAIC data sets here.
If you use both a “ucas” and “isbn” value, the output will be limited to just transactions for that ISBN on courses with that UCAS course code.
You can also use these extra parameters in the URL…

  • show=summary — only show the summary section in the XML output
  • show=data — only show the data in the XML output (i.e. hide the summary)
  • prog=… — only show data for the specified progression level (e.g. staff, UG1, etc, see documentation for full list)
  • year=… — only show data for the specified academic year (e.g. 2005 = academic year 2005/6)
  • rows=… — max number of rows of data to include (default is 500) n.b. the summary section shows the breakdown for all rows, not just the ones included by the rows limit

The format of the XML is pretty much the same as shown in the project documentation guide, except that I’ve added a summary section to the output.
Notes
The API was knocked together quite quickly, so please report any bugs! Also, I can’t guarentee that the API is 100% stable, so please let me know (e.g. via Twitter) if it appears to be down.

JISC Developer Happiness Days (dev8D)

For my sins, I’m going to be facilitating the OPAC Community Meeting at the JISC Developer Happiness Days event in London next week.
Although we’ve got “OPAC” in the name, I think the session should include anything to do with library catalogues, library usage data, MARC records, federated search engines, revelancy ranking, facets, etc
We’d like to kick the session of with several “Minute Madness” talks. If you’re considering coming along to the session, and you meet any of the following criteria, please add your name to wiki!

  • you’ve done something cool with your OPAC
  • you’d like to do something cool with your OPAC
  • you’d like a soapbox to rant about how much your OPAC sucks
  • you’d just like an opportunity to rant about something
  • you’re in need of a new soapbox
  • you’ve got a box of soap
  • you’re in need of a box of soap
  • you’re intending to steal all of the soap from your hotel room
  • you’d like to steal all of the soap from your hotel room, but you need to a box to put it all in

Remember — if you don’t volunteer, then we’ll need to unleash the JISC Press Gang 😉
Hopefully we’ll then be able to use the topics raised by the lightning talks to help shape the rest of the session.

Presentation to the TILE Project meeting in London

About 90 minutes ago, I had the pleasure of doing a short presentation to the JISC TILE Project’s “Sitting on a gold mine” workshop in London. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to present in person, so we had a go doing it all via a video conferencing link. As far as I can tell, it seemed to go okay!
The presentation was an opportunity to formally announce the release of the usage data.
Our Repository Manager was keen to try putting something non-standard into the repository and twisted my arm into recording the audio… and I’d forgotten how much I hate hearing my own voice!!!
Anyway, as soon as SlideShare starts playing ball, I’ll have a go uploading and sync’ing the audio track. Otherwise, here’s a copy of the PowerPoint: “Can You Dig It?: A Systems Perspective” and you can hear the audio by clicking on the Flash player below…
[audio:http://library.hud.ac.uk/ppt/CanYouDigIt.mp3]
The workshop had a copy of the PowerPoint that they were running locally, so every now and then you’ll hear me say “next slide”.
I haven’t listened to much of the audio, so I’ve got my fingers crossed I didn’t say anything too stupid!!!
[edit]
Well, here’s my first attempt at SlideCasting…

Can You Dig It

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own.

…I had no idea how much I go “erm” when presenting! :-S