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.

What LBJ Really Said About Selma

"It's outrageous what's on TV. It looks like that man is in charge of the country."

Join the Discussion

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

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What LBJ Really Said About Selma

"It's going to go from bad to worse."

Video

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Inside a family's fight to use marijuana oils to treat epilepsy

Video

A Miniature 1950s Utopia

A reclusive artist built this idealized suburb to grapple with his painful childhood memories.

Video

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her school. Then the Internet heard her story.

More in Video

Just In