Internet Librarian – Day 3: Mashups + APIs

Mashup Apps: Community Dev
Chris Deweese, Lewis and Clark Libary System
John Blyberg, Ann Arbor District Library

I’ve been thinking about how we might open up some of our library data to an API. Chris Deweese and John Blyberg have taken some different approaches.

1. Use someone else’s – e.g., Google Maps API
2. Build it yourself – PatRest add on to Innovative OPAC (XML REST web service)

It was interesting to hear their thoughts on encouraging users to “re-purpose” library data. I was wondering about using XML-RPC as quick and easy alternative to full-on SOAP and REST web services.
Notes from the presentation:


New buzzwords – Mashups = consuming and recombining two separate systems
Preparing for what’s next – many parts, loosely joined

What’s so great about them?
– don’t require wicked coding skillz
– results are instant
– results can be striking
– Masups = the evolving web

Two categories of mashups
1. simple mashup
2. statement mashup – web as an authoring language – profound statement

“Net as a global operating system.”

Call for “an open standards based API”
A first part of the semantic web – web services

Can libraries mash?
We already have a goldmine of data

It’s all about markup
– xml + rdf (applying schema to loggically group data)
– OWL ontology definitions
– help machines read the data

REST? Sounds lazy
– representational state transfer
– accessed through URI
– simple for developers

PatREST (Patron REST)
– schema that was simple to use, easy to understand

Stuff you can do – electronic signage
Ed Vielmetti’s (SuperPatron) Wall of Books
Library Gadgets

Why let the public do it?
– creates a sense of stewardship
– unlocks a potential brain trust
– encourages innovation
– benefits other libraries
– solicits high-quality feedback
– puts library data into new contexts


Google maps mashup: Mash-it-up Google Style

Google Maps API

1. Get Google Maps API key
2. Get Hello World example
3. Add markers to the map – lat AND long

Google maps API allows you to plot a series of points using a custom xml file
Lewis and Clark Library System – delivery routes


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