Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Friday, July 21, 2006

API Mash

The ALA session on new technologies that Rebecca attended included a link to this Gaurdian Unlimited article on software mashups. As the article explains a mash involves combining data from different sources using applications programming interface (API).

What I don't know is how API is related to the phrase "Web Services." Both concepts involve combining data from two or more sources. It seems to me that API is perhaps one form of a web service. Anybody have any insight on this?

All of this is important in part because Endeavor has made web services an important part of its new vision of the "hybrid library." Endeavor suggested at ENDUser 2006 that they think in the future librarians will integrate services from a variety of vendors. Perhaps putting EBSCO serial information directly into our Catalog? And when EBSCO updates information in their database our is also updated.

Librarians are already using mashing skills to import cover art for example into their OPACs. Although New Jersey Institute of Technology which made such a splash at ENDUser with their Amazonized OPAC seems to have reverted back to a more generic catalog. Still I think that the ability to create software mashups may open up for us the possibility to enhance our catalog and perhaps come up with other creative new ways of delivering information to our patrons.


  • At 2:05 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    At lunch today I read pp.71-80 in Friedman's book where he discusses web services and protocols such as XML.

  • At 2:11 PM, Blogger Rebecca said…

    At the session I went to, they were talking about mash-ups. It sounds like a lot has been done with Google maps, because Google has designed it so you can take and use parts of the program. This makes it easier to combine it with other programs. Lake Forest was talking about creating an interactive campus map with Google maps that would include photos of the campus buildings.

  • At 2:25 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Maybe we could create a map with area churches for TIU students using goggle maps? Or area libraries?

    Here is an example from the article:

  • At 10:28 AM, Blogger Rebecca said…

    Having a map of area churches sounds like a great idea. People can look up churches on Google maps, but this includes all types of churches, including different religions. So it could be nice to have a map that just has the churches students would be most likely to want to attend.


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