Posts tagged "api"

Weather maps

Module which displays a weather forcast on the map, fully customisable by the backend.

-Based on Google maps V3
-No API key needed
-Map select(Roadmap,Tarrain,Satellite,Hybrid)
-Position based on address
-Position based Latitude and Longitude
-Google Street View
-Red Marker, Bubble with Text or don`t show Marker
-Supports image in Bubble
-Show weather
-Search on Map
-Get Directions
-Set Address/Directions field size
-Auto-completion for Directions/Address field
-Support

Open Graph API Extends Facebook's Tentacles

facebook-leader.jpg

It's hard to absorb the rest of the web experience if all you have to offer is a walled garden. Facebook's (site) solution? Spread itself out onto the web like vines (or is it weeds?) over the wall through a new API.

The Open Graph API

Part of Facebook's proposed mechanism for integrating itself into the rest of the Web is the Open Graph API. Through this API, page creators can embed various Facebook widgets and API calls into their own sites.

An example of how this new API might be used involves a site's developer embedding a Facebook Fan Box into their main site page. Then, when a user clicks the "Become a Fan" button, this action is sent to Facebook, which records the change (a feature that of course already exists). The difference is that from that point on, content from the site can be pushed to the user's stream. 

Where Is This Going?

The Open Graph API is still under discussion and isn't available for use yet. According to the roadmap, the initial versions are expected in the second quarter of 2010.

More importantly, the Open Graph API is just one prong in a broader movement. As Nick O'Neill at All Facebook discussed in mid-2009, "Mark Zuckerberg has said on a number of instances that the future of Facebook does not exist on Facebook.com."

Instead, says O'Neill, the folks at Facebook are working toward seeing their brand as an "identity platform" that focuses around an ever-expanding Facebook Connect. For businesses, he sees the extension of Facebook Pages out onto the web as another step in the evolution of customer relations.

"One thing that’s changing is the way that customers communicate with businesses," he says. "On Twitter we now regularly see people complain about their Comcast cable experience because they have learned that Comcast will respond. It gives them an outlet for their frustration and a platform for immediate satisfaction. This is a fundamental shift in consumer behavior."

As consumers get used to this level of interaction, his theory is that people will come to demand it. Right now, people complain through whatever social media platform the company appears to listen to. So providing companies with better ways to integrate their presence with Facebook increases the chances that people will use Facebook to complain about the product — and so, to be heard.

And if your platform is the one where people get heard, your platform is the one with the power. It also gives them yet more data for delivering targeted ads and services, just as Google (site) has all of its data from its many properties to do the same. 

So Who Really Wins Here?

Well, if sites adopt the new APIs, companies can win if they use the platform to genuinely interact with their customers and build brand interest, buzz, and loyalty. Consumers might win if they manage to be heard and get results.

But ultimately it's Facebook who needs the rest of the web in order to remain relevant, let alone generate revenue. In the fickle world of social networking, it's all too easy to become a "might have been." Given the drive to evolve through projects such as these, they might yet avoid becoming the Internet version of a ghost town.

Semantic Web: W3C Publishes Working Draft of HTML + RDFa Spec

The W3C (news, site) has been busy. They've released seven documents related to HTML, one of which is of interest to anyone working with HTML and another to anyone involved with the semantic web.

HTML 5

One of the documents released is HTML5 differences from HTML4. This resource is broken into sections according to feature type. Some examples include open issues which are still under debate within the mailing lists, as well as ways in which HTML5 will likely impact:

  • Web architecture
  • Web page syntax such as character encoding and DOCTYPEs
  • Character encoding
  • HTML itself such as new, changed and removed elements and attributes
  • APIs with new extensions added to HTMLDocument and HTMLElement

This document also offers changelogs listing the changes made in each of the HTML5 drafts.

HTML + RDFa

The other document of interest is HTML+RDFa, which details the new working draft for embedding RDF into HTML. This update offers the following changes from the previous version:

  • Updating the processor (Infoset) that transforms XML fragments to HTML5 (referred to as "coercion")
  • Clarifying how to extract RDFa attributes through Infoset
  • Clarifying how to extract RDFa attributes through DOM2

Note that within the Infoset documentation it states that this is the last call for comments, so if you're planning on looking at the transformation process and giving any input, now is the time.

Also, within the HTML+RDFa document a number of sections are identified which refer to open issues, or blocked progress before being able to declare a Last Call.

For more on RDFa, see our primer at RDFa, Drupal, and a Practical Semantic Web.