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Visualizing the Geography of Platform Boundary Resources: The Case of the Global API Ecosystem

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9981331-0-2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2017
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventHawaii international conference on information systems -
Duration: 1 Jan 2000 → …


ConferenceHawaii international conference on information systems
Period1/01/00 → …


Platform boundary resources play an increasingly transformative role in the global digital ecosystem. In this study, we focus on one type of platform boundary resource, namely application programming interfaces (APIs). Guided by two competing assumptions—1) that geographic boundaries are blurred and potentially less important in a digitally connected world, and 2) that geographic proximity matters for co-innovation—we investigate the global footprint of APIs. Using a data-driven visual network analysis approach to examine more than 15,000 APIs and mashups, we first map the global locations of where APIs are being created. We then examine how API mashups connect these locations globally and regionally. Our results show that while APIs are globally distributed, they are mainly concentrated in major entrepreneurial regions. We also find that there is a skewed distribution, with the U.S. and Silicon Valley in particular leading the way. We conclude with both theoretical and managerial implications.


  • API ecosystem, application programming interface, ostinato model, platform economy, visual network analytics

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Field of science, Statistics Finland

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