This week seems to be API week. The Encyclopedia of Life API Beta Test has been out since August 12th. By comparison with the Mendeley API that I've spent rather too much time trying to get to grips with, the EOL API release seems rather understated.
However, I've spent the last couple of days playing with it in order to build a simple tree navigating widget, which you can view at http://iphylo.org/~rpage/eoltree/.
The widget resembles Aaron Thompson's Taxonomy (formerly called KPCOFGS) iPhone app in that it uses the iPhone table view to list all the taxa at a given level in a taxonomic tree. Clicking on a row in this table takes you to the descendants of the corresponding taxon, clicking "Back" takes you back up the tree. if you've reached a leave node (typically a species) the widget displays a snippet of information about that taxon. It also resembles Javier de la Torre's taxonomic browser written in Flex.
Here's a screen shot of the widget running in a desktop web browser:
Here's the same widget in the iPhone web browser:
Using the API
iPhone and iPad
I'm also keeping the iPad in mind. In portrait mode some apps display lists in a popover like this:
This popover takes up a similar amount of screen space to the entire iPhone screen, so if I was to have a web app (or native app) that had taxonomic navigation, I'd want it to be about the size of the iPhone.
Let me know what you think. Meantime I need to think about bolting this onto the map browser, and providing a combined taxonomic and geographic perspective on a set of documents,