A Smarter Way to Move Information: APIs Explained With Shipping Containers

"Information is still being shipped around break bulk. I mean, it's a mess!" Peter Lucas, founder of Pittsburgh design firm MAYA, says; "There are like 53 different protocols and there's one that we use for email, and there's another one we use for web pages, and there's another one we use for email when it's coming in the other direction. It just goes on and on!" In the short video below, Lucas makes the case for standardizing the transfer of information using a clever analogy: containerization.

The relationship between shippers and carriers is like an API, the "public part of a reusable piece of code" that allows different systems to interact, he explains. Ideally, the "containerization" of information would allow complex systems of information to scale better -- the way worldwide shipping exploded with the advent of standardized shipping containers. MAYA produced this video to promote Trillions, a book about the future of information by Lucas, co-founder Joe Ballay, and CEO Mickey McManus.

For more videos related to MAYA's Trillions, visit their website

Via Explore

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Video

Just In