Monday, June 08, 2009

Mashup 101

I was recently asked about this and although I had some idea what this was about I had never used it. So I did my research.

You know those remix songs you’ve been hearing – older songs with newer tunes, a few songs blended together, etc. That is Mashup. In a library setting, you can mix things together such as databases, websites, catalogs, front covers of books, etc and call it a Library Mash up. In a one-stop shopping world, library patrons seem to want and enjoy this.

It is a technology that allows communication and information exchange between different applications. It requires API (Application Programming Interface). API comes into action when one software has to communicate with another software and request it to perform some action. So for real estate data and map to work together API is needed.

Mashup can be created by inexperienced users with little or no technical college. End users can combine things in different ways. Google Maps – blends information from maps and real estate data. In a library you can have applications on your web page that shows where from most people are logging into your databases while displaying the map of your city and library locations.

Many websites are already Mashup: They have pictures, websites, text, etc all combined on one page.,

Information literacy is important here as well. You need to make sure all the information in your mashed up Website is coming from trusted sources.

For more information listen to this podcast by Darlene Fichter on Mash Ups