Publisher Pearson Open Sources New Platform for developers to Access to its Award-Winning Content

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Pearson has announced its new Plug & Play Platform, allowing developers access to some of the company’s award-winning content. In line with the company’s strapline ‘Always Learning’, the opening of of data is part of a wider Pearson initiative to work with developers to explore new and innovative offerings.

Initially, three datasets have been made available on the platform: the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, the Dorling Kindersley (DK) Eyewitness Guide to London and the FT Press. Additional datasets will be added to the portal over time, based on developer feedback. Pearson is one of the first publishers of its size and breadth to open up access to its content for developers.

The aim of the initiative is for developers to unleash their creativity, coming up with new products and new ways of using, displaying and blendingPearson content. Showcase applications are available on the platform to show the range of possibilities the datasets offer.

Before building a production application, developers can work in a sandbox, an isolated testing environment, and explore the content. A sandbox is available for each dataset and contains a subset of the full dataset. Once developers are ready to create a production application, they can call on each API for free (quantity varies by API) with no authorisation required. After reaching a set threshold, they are charged on a pre-payment basis according to usage.

Diana Stepner, Head of Future Technologies at Pearson, says: “We are very excited about the Plug & Play Platform’s potential for innovation. By giving developers access to such rich and valuable content, we hope to see real creativity that will help take our content forward in directions we haven’t explored before.”

The FT Press provides essential insights from high calibre business books and original writings by leading business thinkers, in a bite-sized electronic format.  The content is written by authors who are experts in their field and have a track record in demonstrating success.  For example, The Truth About series sold more than 300,000 copies, Jerry Weissman’s Presentation books are international bestsellers, and The Rules series sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide.

The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English is the flagship Longman dictionary. It is a best-selling title in both print and digital formats, and was voted one of the best English dictionaries by iPhone® app users. The database is the most up-to-date dictionary of the English language aimed at non-native speakers of English.Developers working with the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English dataset will benefit from an established global brand that is associated with quality, accuracy and natural English.

DK Eyewitness Guide to London offers the tourist-eye view of the top sites and attractions in London along with restaurant, café, bar and hotel listings. As well as point-of-interest style content, the Eyewitness Travel Guide includes immersive graphics of key places in London, plus striking photographic images that distinguish DK content from other publishers’.The London guide content is entirely geocoded. In addition, points of interest are richly tagged to include details such as address, phone number, opening times, website and transport information. Cutaways and area walks are also arranged into geographical areas. This structure enables a coherent set of activities, guided walks, and area-specific listings to be identified by location.


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