Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Thing #8: Mashups

Thing #8:

M A Pewter Lowercase Letter s Pastry Cutter H U P s

Now that you've familiarized yourself with Flickr, it's time to explore some of the new twists people have created to put it to use. Mashups are applications created by third parties that work in collaboration with sites like Flickr and Google, taking elements of two different concepts and blending them together. The key thing about mashups is that these are customized services, created by the users themselves!

For example, Flickr lets people create new sites based on pictures that Flickr hosts: on one site you can type in a word and the newly created site talks to Flickr and can retrieve images of letters to create a photo-representation of that word. It's not an official Flickr service, but sites like Flickr allow others to work in conjunction with their software and actually encourage people to do so.

Some mashup sites to explore:

  • Mashup Directory: A listing of mashups on the web.
  • Retriever : Draw a basic sketch and have it display similar photos from Flickr.
  • Delivr: Search for the type of image you want and create a digital postcard to email to friends!
  • Earthquake!: A mashup that combines global seismic data and Google mapping capabilities to show you where earthquakes are happening around the world. (Caution: This causes my computer to slow down, so it might do that to yours as well!)

To finish Thing #8:

1. Explore some of the fun Flickr mashups and 3rd party tools that are out there.

2. Create a blog post about one that intrigues you.

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