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

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"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

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

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

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