The API (Application Programming Interface) access token is the mechanism the computer uses to give or reject access to the Global Fishing Watch (GFW) data. For example, Developers from organisation “A” has an API Access Token composed by number and letters, it looks something like this: “lrN4w3r5t6y7u8imeqwcH9ATN2US8IxxWhwKj87C7jYfJh2p9YU_D8JhVwtK4UAPS9LWFfnrXLCVIwo_QqZdKiwxoFwfJn2YEiO10JI4MRkDDuae0I38r1olbWofz6nEYLW-tOBNG1suOPhqe3IzNFf4CmjnSIvJVoB4HrVRFgpuVrt0xNSB6XYz46hMLyuFErVtiX96gwMDaRIveNC4dE”
There are also other Developers from organisation B who don’t have an API Access Token.
When developers from organisation “A” want to get fishing activity from Global Fishing Watch API, they need to send that API Access Token (the text composed by numbers and letters) to GFW API and the computer will verify if they have access to the fishing effort.
- If they do, the computer will return the fishing effort details
- If they don’t have access, the computer will return an error “Not authorized”
If developers from organisation “B” want to get fishing activity from Global Fishing Watch API and they make a request to GFW API without an API Access Token, then same as before, the computer will verify if they have access to the fishing effort.
- Since they didn’t send the API Access Token, the computer can’t verify who they are and, in consequence, it will return an error “Not authorized”