Posted at 01:50 PM ET, 05/23/2006

Another news map: International news on Google Maps

Here's another news map mashup. The appropriately named News Map focuses on international news, letting you click a country to see recent news stories from that country, taken from Yahoo News. The integration with Wikipedia is a nice touch.

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Posted at 02:27 PM ET, 05/ 9/2006

Google News Cloud: Automatic tagging of news stories

Fernando Serboncini has created Google News Cloud, which "fetches news from Google News, tries to find tags related to each news and presents a tag cloud of the daily news."

This is somewhat similar to NewsCloud, which does the same for Washington Post stories.

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Posted at 05:37 PM ET, 02/22/2006

Mashup Camp

I just returned from , a Silicon Valley "unconference" that brought together mashup developers and API providers. I was happy for the chance to get the word out about Post Remix and some of the mashup-friendly data we have here at washingtonpost.com such as RSS feeds for every member of Congress.

There were plenty of interesting ideas, tips and demos. Here are some highlights:

  • Tantek Çelik led a discussion on microformats, simple ways to add metadata to HTML documents. For instance, calendar information can be expressed in a format called hCalendar, which just requires a couple of easy-to-add tags and attributes in your HTML. That's something we ought to do at washingtonpost.com.

    Another microformat, which is particularly relevant in a news context, is hAtom. It's still being solidified as a proposal but, once it firms up, it'll be a way of coding normal Web pages so that Atom feed readers can interpret the page contents -- headline, content, summary, date, etc.

  • In a discussion of whether API providers (such as map API providers Google, Yahoo and Microsoft) should settle on a consistent documentation format, somebody asked a smart question: Shouldn't the providers instead focus on making the APIs consistent, so only a single set of documentation would be needed for all APIs? Already some developers have created higher-level APIs that "wrap" the various map APIs to provide a consistent interface and make it easy to switch between providers.

    Although I doubt this consistency will happen, it's worth thinking about this problem in advance for any sort of new APIs. For example, if/when we release some sort of news API here at washingtonpost.com, we should try to mimic existing APIs as closely as possible, rather than reinventing the wheel.

  • TWOCrowds, one of the dozens of mashups demoed at the event, is a "social predicting website." You register for an account, enter a bunch of predictions or mark your agreement with other users' predictions, such as "Apple will release a phone." There's a page that displays the most popular predictions, along with related news stories, which are automatically grabbed from Yahoo's news API.

  • Google Maps + Fast Food displays fast-food restaurants on a U.S. map. Here are the Washington-area fast-food joints.

  • Mashfu lets you click anywhere on a U.S. map and shows you stuff nearby, via searches of Yahoo Local (restaurants/bars/etc.), EVDB (events) and Yelp (reviews).

  • Edgeio lets people post classifieds simply by posting them to a personal weblog with an RSS feed and including a "listing" tag. Edgeio looks for RSS entries including that tag and aggregates them.

  • Weather Bonk publishes weather forecasts on a hyperlocal level. It takes weather data from a variety of sources and plots each point on a map. For instance, here's Washington-area weather.

  • Check out the (incomplete) list of mashups presented at the event for all sorts of interesting ideas.

Posted by Adrian Holovaty | Permalink | Comments (2)
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Posted at 10:28 AM ET, 02/15/2006

"What's up": Global news map

Jeroen Wijering has created What's up?, "an indispensable tool for the global newsjunkie." It's a Flash application that displays news stories, including those from The Washington Post, on a world map.

The automatically-updated world time zones are a particularly useful -- and stylish -- touch.

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Posted at 04:17 PM ET, 12/15/2005

Idea: Make a Post widget for the Google homepage

The other day, Google announced an API for its homepage widgets. This lets you create and distribute mini applications that sit on Google's homepage.

washingtonpost.com has all sorts of content that's ripe for inclusion in a Google homepage widget (or two). A news feed, perhaps? Congressional vote data, perhaps?

Got any ideas? Made any mashups? Let us know.

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Posted at 05:47 PM ET, 12/ 7/2005

New for mashing: Congress RSS feeds

We've launched the U.S. Congress Votes Database, which lets you browse every vote in the U.S. Congress since 1991. One of the site's features is an RSS feed for every active member of Congress, updated each time he or she votes. There's also a feed of the latest votes.

See the RSS page for full information about the feeds.

Of course, this data is open to remixing, so, if you're a developer/tinkerer, feel free to download feeds and come up with something interesting. In fact, a couple of people have already done so:

Please let us know if you create a mashup, so we can spotlight it here. Also get in touch if you think of any other related RSS feeds we can offer. E-mail me at adrian.holovaty (at) wpni (dot) com.

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Posted at 09:09 PM ET, 12/ 1/2005

Post stories + Amazon.com books

Alan Taylor, creator of Amazon Light, has integrated Amazon book selections with Washington Post news feeds to produce these pages:

In Alan's words, it's "a listing of book titles found on Amazon.com, which are relevant to the content in the current edition of the Washington Post."

It works by grabbing the appropriate washingtonpost.com RSS feeds, sending the text to Yahoo's Term Extraction service to get keywords, then searching Amazon.com for the keywords.

This is more than a mashup -- it's a multimashup.

See the About page for the full details.

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Posted at 11:01 AM ET, 11/28/2005

Thanks for positive feedback

We've had a lot of great feedback and blog coverage since our launch last week, despite the holiday weekend here in the U.S. Check out the coverage:

Keep the feedback coming!

It was especially nice to get a welcome to the party from the BBC, which has been encouraging mashups for a while now through its BBC Backstage program. Thanks, BBC; it's good to be here.

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Posted at 11:32 PM ET, 11/27/2005

Rebotcast: washingtonpost.com via audio

Now, this is cool. Ted Gilchrist of Botcast Network (slogan: "We do the reading so you don't have to") has hooked up a few washingtonpost.com article feeds into text-to-speech software to produce a couple of "Rebotcasts" -- automated audio recordings of Post stories. Here are the pages he's set up so far:

Each of these "rebotcasts" is available as plain MP3 and as a podcast feed.

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Posted at 11:22 PM ET, 11/27/2005

NewsCloud

Frank Wiles' News Cloud is a tag cloud interface to washingtonpost.com news stories. It automatically pulls keywords out of stories and presents a way of navigating the news by keyword. Frank made it for fun, as an experiment.

Here's how it works, direct from the about page:

NewsCloud is an application that takes all of the RSS feeds from the Washington Post website and builds a blog like tag cloud from the keywords. Each story's full text is pulled from the website and indexed by [these] keywords. There are typically around 11,000 news stories and 60,000 keywords being indexed at any given time.

Not only is it an interesting way of browsing news; it also comes in handy for finding other stories on a similar topic. Nice work, Frank!

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Posted at 06:39 PM ET, 11/22/2005

Terms of Use

We are pleased to announce washingtonpost.com's Post Remix. With Post Remix, you may use washingtonpost.com RSS feeds to experiment with different applications using washingtonpost.com content.Here are the conditions for participating in Post Remix:

  • Your efforts must be for personal, and not for commercial, use. You may not sell applications that use or incorporate washingtonpost.com content.
  • You recognize that Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive retains all intellectual property rights in all washingtonpost.com content and you that acquire no such rights by participating in Post Remix.
  • Washingtonpost.com may incorporate your ideas into future projects it develops.

With that, we invite you to work with us on this exciting project. We look forward to hearing from you.

Jim Brady
Executive Editor
washingtonpost.com

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