Python Database API interface

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Revision as of 14:37, 3 October 2013 by jw35 (talk | contribs) (Update to v2)
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There is an (experimental) Python interface to the Database API which may make working with the API from Python a little easier. The current version is available here.

Note that while the distribution is really called 'ucammap' this wiki will upper-case the initial 'U' in the name of the distributed file - adapt the installation instructions accordingly.

Here is the README.txt file from the distribution:

University Map Python API

This is a Python (>=2.6, or 3) interface to the database API to the
University of Cambridge Map. The underlying API is described at


Unpack the distribution, move into the directory created, and run You will probably need privileged (i.e. root) access to run

  tar zxf ucammap-<ver>.tar.gz
  cd ucammap-<ver>
  python3 install

Substitute <ver> as necessary.


The code contains extensive in-line documentation so you may want to
look at that - in the source, via the built in Python help() function,
or in the ucammap.pydoc file included in the distribution.

The interface is implemented by the 'ucammap' module which should be
imported in the usual way. The primary (close to only) way to use this
is to create a ucammap.API object and then to call its search()
method. All keyword arguments to search() are converted to URL
parameters and included in a call to the underlying interface - see
the API documentation for more detail of what's possible. The result
is a (possibly empty) sequence of objects representing the selected
entities. Information about institutions, sites, buildings,
etc. are represented by ucammap.Entity objects, and contact
information records and addresses by ucammap.Info and ucammap.Address

ucammap.API objects also provide an inflate() method to retrieve a
full copy of an Entity object based on a partial one. The API class
uses the standard logging module (at 'info' and 'debug') to track the
retrieval of API data.

Access to information stored in Entity objects is available via
attributes named after the coresponding keys described in the
API. These return either simple values (string, integer, float,
boolean), single instances of other ucammap objects, or
possibably-empty sequences of other objects. Entity objects provide
various convinience utility methods, such as
ucammap.Entity.sort_name() which returns the entity's name in a form
suitable for use in sorted lists.

ucammap.Info objects, representing a single row of contact
information, make information available via the attributes 'type' and
'value', sometimes suplimented by 'role' and 'attributes'. Values are
either strings or ucammap.Address objects.

ucammap.Address objects provide methods for extracting address
information in various formats.

Supported attributes that have no value in a particular object return
None for simple values or empty sequences.

The following provides a simple demonstration (also included in the
distribution as


import ucammap
import logging

database = ucammap.API()

results = = 'computing')

for result in results:
    for t in result.info_types():
        print("  " + t.capitalize() + ":")
        for i in result.filtered_info(t):
            if i.value:
                print("     ", i.value)