DiRT offers API access, export options

The DiRT directory is pleased to open up its tool listings to analysis, incorporation into other websites, and creative reuse, via a new API and data export options.

An extensive amount of manual work goes into maintaining a tool directory. Previously, if individual digital humanities centers, libraries, or organizations wanted to maintain their own list of information about digital humanities tools, they had to duplicate the work that DiRT directory editors already undertake. Now, others can build on the information contained in DiRT, pulling in basic tool descriptions and metadata and augmenting it with information that’s relevant for their specific university or community (e.g., where to go for help with particular tools.) The Geohumanities Special Interest Group, for instance, uses data from DiRT on their website to populate a list of geospatial tools. The Geohumanities SIG site will allow members to add geospatially relevant information about those tools (which is too specific for DiRT to store), while periodically refreshing the tool listings with the latest updates from DiRT. DiRT is also working with the CLARIN European Research Infrastructure Consortium to set up procedures for two-way sharing, so that CLARIN's large and growing catalogue of tools and services in the domains of text, speech and language processing and analysis can be found in the DiRT repository, and so that DiRT records can appear on CLARIN's help and advice pages and in the Virtual Language Observatory.

There are two ways to access the data stored in DiRT. The simplest is to use the CSV export option that now appears at the bottom of every list of tools. This link provides a CSV file with all the textual information in the profile of each tool in the list. It takes into account any filters you’ve applied to the data. For example, if you go to the Collaboration tool page, and use the drop-down list to only show free tools, the CSV link at the bottom of the page will also be updated to only export free tools. On the “All tools” page, there’s also an option to download a JSON file containing all tool information on DiRT; this export, unlike the CSV export on the same page, does not respond to filters you have applied.

If your project requires direct API access to DiRT, contact us for an API key. The results from the DiRT API are less comprehensive than the CSV file, returning term IDs rather than term names for most of the metadata stored in DiRT. You can make separate API queries to retrieve the term name using the term ID. Full documentation for the DiRT API and export options are available here (as well as under the “About” tab in the main menu on DiRT.)

Note: This is the fifth in a series of announcements about new features and developments for the DiRT directory, which will continue all next week. We've previously covered our affiliation with centerNet, integration with DHCommons, Spanish translation work and tool reviews. Check back for more "dirt" on DiRT!