Drupal Interface to the World Bank Data API


4 min read

The Drupal interface to the World Bank Data API is now available on drupal.org. The WBAPI and WBquery modules are the main data pushing and display pistons in the World Bank Data website and are built in a way to make the creation of your own Drupal-based World Bank Data applications easier. Specifically, the pair of modules (the WBquery module is bundled with the WBAPI module) make it possible to build Views of World Bank Data and display them in your own website or create your own custom user interface to the data.

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Once you can work with World Bank data from within Drupal using tools like Views, you have more opportunities to capitalize on the data. For example, many of the pages on data.worldbank.org are listings of data with different display types like tables, graphs, and maps. These are all viewed on the site itself, and using Drupal’s Web Widgets module it’s possible to view this data and these views on other websites, extending the reach of the data and the data.worldbank.org website.

The diagram below shows the steps from the World Bank API to data.worldbank.org, which itself pulls from the API, and how web widgets can be used to embed these views on external sites.

`[API] -> [data.worldbank.org] -> |
                                 -> [custom data displays]
                                 -> [widgets] ->|
                                                -> [example.com]
                                                -> [yoursite.com]`

Using the web widgets module is just one example of what you can do with the data once it’s inside Drupal. The flexibility found in common Drupal building blocks offers several other ways to sort, filter, display, and share parts of the data sets according to your needs.

The WBAPI and WBquery modules also provide a general php interface to the World Bank API and implement a configurable caching layer between the API and Drupal, which helps with performance and uptime — two items mentioned in the Development Best Practices document.

You can read more about applications and libraries written using World Bank data in the Application Showcase section of the Data site. Jeff also wrote about how we built several parts of Data.WorldBank.org using the WBAPI and WBquery modules to interact with the World Bank API using Views.

The code for the WBAPI and WBquery modules are available to review for ideas, use for your own application, and to help further develop. You can share your ideas and questions in the World Bank’s Google Group community space.

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