MashupCamp Day 2: The mashups

Day 2 of MashupCamp included geek dating—each presenter had five minutes to show their mashup to a rotating group of campers. David Schorr’s Weather Bonk and Ski Bonk mashups were among the more sophisticated mashups.
Written by Dan Farber, Inactive

Day 2 of MashupCamp included geek dating—each presenter had five minutes to show their mashup to a rotating group of campers.

David Schorr’s Weather Bonk and Ski Bonk mashups were among the more sophisticated mashups. Weatherbonk, for example, integrates 21 data feeds and overlays some of them on Google maps. For example, with the real-time weather radar feed overlaid on the map, you can see the fog rolling into San Francisco. You can also click a set of points along the map and see the weather patterns of the route plotted. Users can also add Web cams to the maps, and there is a mobile version of the both mashups.


As is the case for many of the mashups here, Weather Bonk started out as a hobby six months ago, said Schorr, who earns a living as a contract developer, but now his creation is taking on a life of its own. While I was getting a demo, evangelists from JotSot and Salesforce.com were practically drooling over his mashup and were ready to offer him a job.


David Schorr, Weather Bonk and Ski Bonk mashups

Schorr’s mashups are compelling but the Java framework he built for building and managing mashups--dealing with numerous feeds, reconciling information, synchronization, data visualization and GUI elements—attracted a lot of interest. The framework makes it easy to modify mashups (such as adding local lodging and restaurant data) or create new ones.

IBM also showed a prototype mashup building framework in the form of a wiki, called QED (Quickly and Easily Done) Wiki, that has a nice drag and drop interface for wiring up data sources and creating mashups, such as a weather map overlaid with various kinds of information. Who knows if it will ever become a product, but it was a good demo. If it does get out of IBM’s labs, it will likely become part of some corporate developer product.

Flyspy’s mashup demystifies one of the most well kept secrets—when is it the optimal time to purchase a airline ticket. Flyspy search results graph the flight pricing for 30 days going forward, so you can find the lowest prices during the period. You can overlay destinations for further analysis. For mashers, Flyspy has an API that lets other developers mashup with the service. Nik Cubrilovic posted a preview on TechCrunch.


"Flyspy collects the same real-time feeds as Expedia, Orbitz and other travel sites," said company founder Robert Metcalf. "The goal is to show more transparency in the marketplace. You can take a point in time and see what are the most cost efficient days to travel to a particular destination." Flyspy is still not public, and Metcalf said his business model was "in process."

ChicagoCrime.org  mashes up Google Maps and a database of crime information for Chicago. You can search by route, ward, street, police beat and other parameters, and even show wanted poster connected to crimes in the database. This kind of e-government mashup will become pervasive in metropolitan areas, giving citizens, not just the civilian and government authorities, access to data.


Two Web engineers for the Washington Post, Frank Harris and Bart Solowiej, created a mashup—TrainCheck-- that provides real time train schedules for Washington D.C. and San Francisco.


TrainCheck's Frank Harris and Bart Solowiej

The mashup tracks the real-time schedules of trains--you type in a code (such as embr for Embarcadero on the San Francisco BART system), and TrainCheck sends an SMS or email message to your cell phone. It's free for the cost your carrier charges for messages. It’s just a side job and not affiliated with the newspaper, the two founders said, and they don’t plan to monetize it. "We are trying to expand it and raise awareness among public transit authorities across the country," said Solowiej. "It's a new way to make their information accessible to the general public."

Podbob combines concert events from eventful and mashes it with band sites that have downloadable music. You can search by city to see what live music is coming to the area and then download MP3 files from the band sites.

For more mashup info:::

David Berlind explains MashupCamp [video]

Dion Hinchcliffe has a classic post on has Enterprise 2.0 blog, giving his predictions on where mashups are headed. 

Daniel Terdiman of news.com writes about his MashupCamp experience.

Redmonk's Stephen O'Grady blogs about the first day of camp, as well as Adam Green, Ted Shelton, Emily Chang,

My photos from MashupCamp...more on Flickr and from Scott Beale and Doc Searls.

John Musser's Programmable Web has a list of over 400 mashups and a database of APIs.

Podtech.net is podcasting from MashupCamp, interviewing several attendees. 

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