Relocation is a bear. My lastest mashup desire comes in the way of a simple consumer interest to buy a nice house in a good school district. So, the mashup becomes “Available real estate” + “Good schools.”
What do these two images below have in common?
Yep, Google Maps. Now, I’m no programmer and API means “Associated Press International” to me, so the likelihood of me figuring out how to get at the data and display it easily approaches zero. Nonetheless, it can be done, yes?
My simple mashup fantasy is similar to what Dion Hinchcliffe is writing about lately. Clearly, I am living proof of his call for ease of use as a “key issue for successful mashup creation tools.”
Ease of use: Being usable by virtually anyone with any skill level using any browser in any language without any training will be essential for mashup tools to succeed with the general public.
So what’s a simple-minded home-buyer to do? Call a local realtor?
Maybe, but not yet. I emailed contacts at IBM (QEDwiki) and Teqlo over the weekend and asked if they could figure it out. The good news is they both said yes, but not just yet. It occurred to me what a tremendous market opportunity these mashups would be for the data sources of this information. Take GreatSchools.net, for instance, a site I refer to often. There is an enormous amount of public and user-generated information on that site for anyone interested in researching schools and school districts. This simple mashup would drive a tremendous amount of traffic to their site. You can see how the network effects from this simple application would create value for the site’s users; thereby increasing its value in the market.
In addition to the market expansion benefits for the content sources, the benefits to users are limitless. It’s a simple matter of knowing what you want.
It’s like Dion is saying here:
But what is clear is the vision, ingenuity, and widespread interest and potential benefit that really good DIY Web tools could bring to literally hundreds of millions of users around the world.