Tag Archives: api

HP Gloe: Connecting Web Pages with Locations

The geniuses at the HP Social Computing Lab have built a proof-of-concept web application, Android app and an API that is nothing short of awesomesauce. Gloe is augmented reality at its best… combining web pages with locations to create what could end up being one of the best location-based services yet.

Gloe is a geo-tagging experiment that will attach Web content to specific locations. This content could be pulled from a Wikipedia entry, public records or even news stories. You will be able to find out anything – and everything – you ever wanted to know about a particular location. You’ll also have the ability to vote your favorite content up and add new web pages to the location for others to see in the future.

While the entire service is still VERY much in the concept stages, it is already extremely promising. Some of the features already available include:

  • Pre-populated content from Wikipedia, review and photo sharing sites. The index of locations and content is already large and smart.
  • Automatic tag-clouds to see content type by category.
  • A bookmarklet lets you add any content from around the web to the database, tied to a specific location on the map. This part doesn’t work well yet, but is a fantastic idea.
  • Google Gears support to add geolocation to your laptop browser.
  • Facebook Connect integration to provide either universal or friend-network views of what’s most important in a location.
  • Vote budgeting, allowing you to put multiple votes in favor of an item in case it’s extra important to you that it gets voted up.

The API means that other applications can be built on top of Gloe, using it as a database. There are already a few Android apps available that were built using the GLOE API: Geo Poll, Geo Sound and Geo Fan. Any developer can build a geotagging service without having to worry about the backend storage, indexing and search infrastructure. The uses for Gloe are nearly limitless, especially considering the potential to “mash up” the Gloe API with other web services.

What is an API?

http://live.pirillo.com/ – API stands for Application Programming Interface. It allows developers share information between their programs. It’s a standard method where developers can access a program (or website) and build a program around it.

Wikipedia has this to say:

An application programming interface (API) is a source code interface that a computer system or program library provides to support requests for services to be made of it by a computer program. An API differs from an application binary interface in that it is specified in terms of a programming language that can be compiled when an application is built, rather than an explicit low level description of how data are laid out in memory.

Recently there has been a debate over MySpace shutting down widgets that are not officially sanctioned by MySpace. Facebook, a competitor to MySpce, has opened its API which allows programmers to develop programs and widgets around the Facebook service.

What do you think about the Facebook/MySpace debate?

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The World's Funniest API

Sean Hickey has created an amazing workflow for both Brad and myself in bLaugh comic publishing. In doing so, he’s also created a WordPress plugin for the comic (found on his own amazing WP Plugins directory). It’s Sidebar Widget compatible, BTW. I thought it would have been nicer to see bLaugh show up on my Admin Dashboard page – but this’ll do for those who don’t wanna dink with the JavaScript stuff. No matter, I’ve updated our comic syndication page (which now includes MySpace options).

In other (semi-related) news, bLaugh is the world’s first comic to have an API. Yes, you can download the bLaugh API documentation (PDF) immediately. Sean conceived of and crafted it himself, telling me that REST functionality is coming. I couldn’t do that, largely because there’s no REST for the wicked (and I’m a wicked, wicked little man). Plus, I’m not a developer.

Mechanical Turd

I don’t really wanna poop on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) program, but I have a huge problem with it: you can’t sign up to deploy the service unless you give them your bank account information first! Are we living in 1990 or something? Have they ever heard of PayPal – or a credit card, at least? Undoubtedly, Amazon is trying to verify that I have the proper funds. I do have adequate funds, but I’m not going to give them access to my bank account to prove it! If Amazon doesn’t want to use PayPal because it’s eBay’s brand, they’re cutting off their nose to spite their face. FWIW, PayPal has a Web service, too! I really want to test some ideas with MTurk, but not if I have to jump through a flaming hoop to do so. Jeff, can you please smack some sense into your employer?

Over 300 Tag Searches in One Spot

Don’t expect every one of these searches to yeild results, though. The output was generated by a single OPML file and the Optimal OPML WordPress Plugin. Looking for other easy ways to display the OPML from Gada.be right now. Hell, entirely new sites could be built on top of the OPML we produce – much like RSS, it’s a poor man’s API.

Flickr Fun

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, but I’d like to put my latest Flickr photo thumbnails in the Lockergnome HTML newsletters. Since I use CaRP, I have virtually no configuration options (other than manual hacking or asking Antone). In searching for an easy way to get ‘er done, I found this solution from Fuddland (but it relies on MagpieRSS, which I’d rather not use). The information is already in the feed – it’s getting it out of the feed that’s a bit tricky for people like myself. Why doesn’t Flickr just have a separate feed for thumbnails – letting the user designate the size of the desired output? Yeah, there’s an API for that – but have I not beaten it into the world’s skull that I’m not a developer? In my Flickr travels, I found quite a few useful tools – including one I used this morning for my previous Dell post.

What other amazing Flickr tools am I not aware of?