The Internet and the World-Wide Web have been an integral part of our lives for
many years now. Increasingly, however, it is also being used to expose systems
that you can interact with programmatically, via web-based Application
Programming Interfaces (APIs). Many such APIs offer data that can form the basis
of useful data science.
In this lesson, we will introduce enough about how the Web works to be able to
take advantage of these APIs, and then we will learn how to interact with
In this lesson we will make a little use of the Unix shell, and will work more heavily with the Python programming language. If you are unfamiliar with either of these, we would recommend you review the Software Carpentry lessons on the Unix Shell (episodes 1–3 will provide sufficient background) and programming in Python.