Thursday, December 13, 2007

Things mashed up

I'm nearing the finish line with my Learning 2.0 posts!

Mashups are web applications that take data from two or more sources and mix them together (mash them up) to make a new application. For an example, see 1001 Secret Fishing Holes (though one wonders how 'secret' these locations are if they are posted on the web). I've noticed that a lot of people use Google maps in their mashups to do things like show the birthplaces of Forbes' 100 Most Powerful Celebrities, or America's Most Unsafe Cities.

As is the case with any web 2.0 application, there are cool mashups mixed in with a lot of pretty useless ones. Just from browsing the Mashup Directory, I haven't found any mashups that I will use in the future, though this Census Dashboard one is pretty cool. Many of the mashups I looked at either did not work properly, or made no sense. Any "about" pages they may have had tended to be on the rather sparse side--a rather frustrating recurrence.

Part of the reason for this uneven quality of mashups is due to the fact that most of these creators are amateurs, like you and me. Some of them have hit the nail on the head and created rather interesting mashups, while others have some work ahead of them. For now, I'll stick with playing around with Flickr mashups .

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