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World Bank Data API: Converting links to data?

Posted on 2015-01-01
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Last Modified: 2015-01-19
Hello,

The World Bank website currently allows anyone to use it's worldwide data

In the above page, the World bank provides a basic call structure format. Following this protocol, I have generated links such as:
Surface area (sq. km) of Ethiopia: http://api.worldbank.org/countries/ETH/indicators/AG.SRF.TOTL.K2?MRV=1&Gapfill=Y

Entering the above link into a url, returns the following data:

<wb:data xmlns:wb="http://www.worldbank.org" page="1" pages="1" per_page="50" total="1">
<wb:data>
<wb:indicator id="AG.SRF.TOTL.K2">Surface area (sq. km)</wb:indicator>
<wb:country id="ET">Ethiopia</wb:country>
<wb:date>2014</wb:date>
<wb:value>1104300</wb:value>
<wb:decimal>0</wb:decimal>
</wb:data>
</wb:data>

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I'm not a programmer, but all I want to be able to do is grab the <wb:value> of 1104300 above and add it to a webpage, for multiple url links.

E.g my website would have 10 separate pages (one for each country) and on each of these pages would be the label: Surface area (sq. km): alongside the pulled World Bank data from the above url.

How would I approach this?
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Question by:dabug80
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4 Comments
 
LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:shalomc
ID: 40529297
I didn't know that about the world bank :)

You need some code and programming to extract the value from the XML. Which language do your programmers use, or which language is used on you web site?

There are 2 general approaches:
* Do it on the server. If your web site uses ruby code, then the logic of retrieving the links, parsing the XML and displaying it in context, will be written in ruby.

* Do it on the client. You will write Javascript code that runs in the browser to retrieve the links, parse the XML and display it in context.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:shalomc
ID: 40529356
Just checked - you can't do it client-side in Javascript, because the CORS headers are missing on the World Bank API :(
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LVL 33

Accepted Solution

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shalomc earned 2000 total points
ID: 40529385
Here is a php snippet that does the job

 
<?php 
function httpGet($url)
{
    $ch = curl_init();  
 
    curl_setopt($ch,CURLOPT_URL,$url);
    curl_setopt($ch,CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER,true);
//  curl_setopt($ch,CURLOPT_HEADER, false); 
    curl_setopt($ch,CURLOPT_ENCODING , "gzip");

    $output=curl_exec($ch);
 
    curl_close($ch);
    return $output;
}
 
 

$xmlString=httpGet("http://api.worldbank.org/countries/ETH/indicators/AG.SRF.TOTL.K2?MRV=1&Gapfill=Y"); 

$xml=simplexml_load_string( $xmlString ) or die("Error: Cannot create object");
// This gets all nodes in namespace wb that is used inside the XML file
$wb = $xml->children("wb",true);
// print_r($wb); 

echo "<p>"; 
echo "country: " . $wb->data[0]->country . "<br>";
echo "Area: " . $wb->data[0]->value; 


?>

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LVL 1

Author Closing Comment

by:dabug80
ID: 40557419
Excellent. Thanks for taking the time to code and explain. Really appreciate it.
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