InfoChimps.com is mainly known as a clearinghouse for finding large data sets, for free or for sale. But they have also released (in beta, at least) an API that lets you find some pretty useful information on-demand. Normally, you'd have you use RESTful calls to access the API, but now Drew Conway has created an R package (and released gist sources) that lets you query the API using simple R commands. With the infochimps package, you can:
- Find information about a Twitter user, such as their "Word Bag" and strong links
- Create a data frame of conversations between two Twitter users
- Find the geographical location of an IP address and demographic data from the US census
- ...and more.
To use the infochimps package in R, you'll need to sign up for an API key. (The free subscription is limited in the number of API calls allowed, and requires attribution.)
inside-R Package Reference: infochimps