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Are you looking for some free and open public APIs that you can use for testing, learning, or building your own apps? If so, you’re in luck. There are many APIs out there that offer a variety of data and services without requiring any authentication or key. In this article, we’ll introduce you to some of the best ones and show you how to access them.

What is an API?​

An API (Application Programming Interface) is a way for different software applications to communicate with each other. An API defines how a client (such as a web browser, a mobile app, or a spreadsheet) can request data or services from a server (such as a website, a database, or a cloud service).

For example, when you use a weather app on your phone, the app sends an API request to a weather service provider (such as Weather.com) and receives an API response with the current weather data. The app then displays the data in a user-friendly format on your screen.

APIs are useful because they allow developers to access and use data and services from other sources without having to create them from scratch. They also enable interoperability and integration between different applications and platforms.

What is a free and open public API?​

A free and open public API is an API that anyone can access and use without any restrictions or requirements. You don’t need to register, sign up, or obtain an API key to use these APIs. You just need to know the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) of the API endpoint and the parameters (if any) that you need to specify in your request.

Free and open public APIs are great for beginners who want to learn how APIs work and practice their skills. They are also helpful for web developers who want to test their code or prototype their ideas with real data. And they are fun for anyone who wants to explore different types of data and services available on the web.

How to use free and open public APIs?​

There are many ways to use free and open public APIs depending on your needs and preferences. Here are some common methods:

  • Web browser: You can simply type or paste the URL of the API endpoint in your web browser’s address bar and hit enter. You will see the API response in JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format, which is a standard way of representing data in APIs. JSON is easy to read and parse by humans and machines.
  • Coding language: You can use any modern coding language (such as Python, JavaScript, Ruby, etc.) that supports HTTP requests to send an API request and receive an API response. You will need to write some code to handle the request parameters, headers, errors, etc., as well as parse and process the JSON response.
  • cURL: You can use cURL, which is a command-line tool for transferring data using various protocols (such as HTTP), to send an API request and receive an API response. You will need to type some commands in your terminal or console window with the appropriate options and flags.
  • No-code API clients: You can use no-code API clients, which are graphical user interface (GUI) tools that allow you to interact with APIs without writing any code. Some examples are Swagger UI, Postman, Insomnia, etc. These tools let you enter the URL of the API endpoint and the parameters (if any) in a form-like interface and display the JSON response in a formatted way. They also provide features such as documentation, testing, debugging, etc.
  • Google Sheets: You can use Google Sheets, which is a cloud-based spreadsheet application that supports custom functions written in JavaScript using Google Apps Script. One of these custom functions is IMPORTJSON(), which allows you to import JSON data from any URL into your spreadsheet cells. You can also use Apipheny, which is an add-on for Google Sheets that lets you connect any API to Google Sheets without coding.

Best Big List of Free Open Public APIs​

To help you get started with using free open public APIs, we have compiled a list of some of the most useful, fun, and interesting ones that you can try out right now. We have categorized them by topic and provided sample URLs for each one. You can click on these URLs to see the JSON responses or copy them to use them with your preferred method.


May 2024

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