Cal and I teamed up on IamCaltrain, the easiest way to plot your daily Caltrain trip and figure out when the next train is coming. I’m really pysched about this little app and hope to continue to improve it over the next couple weeks (and at the upcoming SHDH).
Mashing up the APIs
Of course this is only yet another example of what is becoming the de facto standard behavior towards remixable web apps. Just check out Yahoo’s Maps API Application Gallery. Even the New York Times are picking up on this trend, writing about a recent Pew study that claims that
57 percent of all teenagers between 12 and 17 who are active online – about 12 million – create digital content, from building Web pages to sharing original artwork, photos and stories to remixing content found elsewhere on the Web. (emphasis mine)
In discussing Yahooâ€™s new pretty maps, Robert Scoble brings up another idea that I think is worth mentioning… mashing up the design of other APIs. While he cites a number of reasons Google’s maps are going to win the coming advertising war (think Minority Report on the web), there’s a far more interesting aspect to this story that I also hope to explore at this Saturday’s SHDH: that of reusing the design of popular APIs to push the adoption and use of open source tools.
While some might argue that this is commonplace in open source already (for a pertinent example, AGPL’d CiviCRM has both an API for Drupal and Mambo/Joomla and makes use of the Google Maps API), I’m suggesting that there are new opportunities to build publishing apps that use existing, working APIs to publish to open source content management backends. The primary example I have in mind would use the Flickr API to publish media (primarily photos) to Drupal or WordPress using existing tools.
While the goal is not to necessarily achieve the same socially rich experience that Flickr offers, it would be quite useful to jumpstart the wider behavior of publishing photos to open systems — bypassing Flickr when you have more mundane or private image hosting needs.
So what I want is Gallery, the Drupal Image module (walkah, you listening?), or a WordPress plugin to reimplement the Flickr API and allow me to use 1001 to upload my photos to any of the sites that I participate in. This would be a boon for sites like DeviantArt or even print shops Zazzle, but also my humble little blog. Rasmus went and wrapped the API in PHP, but what I want is something that actually allows me to publish to any site — not just Flickr’s. Any takers?