Following with the thread of our last post, today I would like to make a general approach to an almost unknown concept: the mashups, which is closely related with the idea of folksonomy.
At the beginnig, this term was used referred to musical area (the combination of two songs existing to create a new one).
According to Wikipedia, a mashup is “a web application that combines data from more than one source into a single integrated tool”. The contents used by this “hybrid application” are sourced from others websites via a public interface or API.
Mashups have become a revolution in the web development because they make easy for everybody (using simples tools as APIs, for example) to build and grow new websites with innovative format by mixing existing contents and topics (most of them availables by the public in general).
For example, we can take some photographs from Flickr and combine them with some maps from Google. We use GPS coordinates too. And finally, we have a new website to look for places and show them with their exact position.(API contacts with the site which is the source of the contents and requires the sending of the information needed by the user at this moment).
At the moment, the main contents sources for mashups are services like: Flickr, eBay, Youtube, Amazon, Yahoo!, Microsoft or Google. (Most of the spanish ones are based in Google Maps to locate the universities or schools, restaurants, hotels… ).
Currently, there are three important types: consumer mashups, data mashups, and business mashups; although the most well-known are the first ones which combine a lot of data from different sources using a very simple graphical interface.Some people say that they are almost ecosystem which are growing very fast and by 2007 and 2008, there will appear 10 new mashups per day. At the moment the certain only thing is that the popularity of those websites is increasing among the internauts.