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Monday, July 18, 2005

Web 2.0 Mashups Transcend New Frontiers

We had been regularly covering developments around Web 2.0, one of the hottest topics today. We covered several emerging developments around Web 2.0 here, here, here, here. IHT shows that Google and Yahoo recently published documentation making it significantly easier for programmers to link virtually any kind of Internet data to Web-based maps and, in Google's case, satellite imagery. Their uses have been demonstrated in dozens of ways by hobbyists and companies,that includes display of instant maps showing the locations of the recent bombing attacks in London. Microsoft plans to introduce a competing service, Virtual Earth, with software that will enable programmers to use it in similarly creative ways. Yahoo, Google and Microsoft are creating the services in the expectation that they will become a focal point in one of the next significant growth areas in Internet advertising: contextual advertisements tied to specific locations. Such ads would be embedded into maps generated by a search query or run alongside them. One likely model to profit could be that the programming tools would be licensed on the basis of a revenue split from the advertising generated by use of the maps. The new services represent a shift to what is being described as "Web 2.0," a generation of Internet software technologies that will seamlessly plug together in new and unexpected ways, much like Lego blocks.

These are small pieces loosely joined - creating new functionality by combining these different services. While location-based advertising revenue is only beginning to emerge from the new mapping services, the tools being made available, known as application programming interfaces, have already led to an outburst of innovative applications. Earlier programs were developed that made it possible to display real estate listings from the bulletin-board site Craigslist overlaid on Google Maps. The resulting ''mash-ups,'' as the hybrid Web services are called, can be viewed at housingmaps.com. The site has already attracted more than half a million viewers and now receives more than 10,000 visits a day. The new wave of consumer-oriented mapping services is shaking up the relatively staid market for what are known as geographic information systems, which for more than a decade have been tailored largely for business customers.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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