So who wants to do a nice shiny mash-up?

I’ve been thinking about how we might keep track of all the Ada Lovelace Day blog posts, podcasts etc., and have had a number of emails from people thinking the same thing. Initially I was thinking perhaps a Delicious tag and an RSS feed, but surely there’s a more visually exciting way to do it than that!!

So, what about a map mash-up? Can we set something up so that people can locate themselves on a map, link to their post and state who they’re talking about? I think the minimum info that I’d like to collect would be:

  • geolocation
  • language
  • URL for blog post, video, audio, etc.
  • name of blog or blogger
  • name of woman featured

What would be the best way to do this? And is there someone out there willing to build something for us? It’d be good to have a permanent archive of the day and a visual representation of all the posts. Please use the comments to discuss your ideas.

Posted in Ada Lovelace Day 2009.


  1. Hmmm… how about a “Planet” site, which busily goes around collecting all blog posts, videos and so on that have been tagged with “findingada” (or a more specific tag)? For example, the fantabulous Planet Crunchy (explained here).

    The blogger could add some more specific tags, for example for the longitude and latitude coordinates of the blogger, or the Ada-esque subject. E.g:
    * geo:lat=50.55
    * geo:lon=0.12
    This tags would allow the posts to be displayed on a map. Other tags could be used for more info.

    I could get interested in mashing up such a thing. Anyone want to collaborate?

  2. That’s brilliant, Tony. I’ll have a bit more of a play with it and see what refinements come to mind. Thanks!! And of course, if anyone else has other ideas, please do leave a comment.

  3. Cheryl, this is just a proof of concept, so I really wouldn’t worry about the wording at this juncture. I’m very grateful to Tony for taking the time to put this together.

    I wonder if there’s a way to be a bit fuzzier about people’s location rather than using their postal code, which is then visible on the list, just from a privacy point of view. It would also be nice make sure that people from any country can post. It looks like this takes American zipcodes at least, but I don’t know any postal codes off the top of my head for other countries so hard to test.

    I have some other thoughts but will post them later. 😀

  4. Postcode is just a label on the form at the moment, you can put anything in that field and if the yahoo geocoder can make sence of it it will work.
    What we need for the ‘production’ version is some descriptive text that gets across to people that they need to put as much information as they feel comfortable with giving in there so that a international lookup system picks the right place to put the pin.

  5. I think it is a great mashup, well done Tony!
    My only query is that the order seems a little strange I was the last to test and I appear 4th in view, so do we want to think of order for the Big day?

  6. This is a very impressive mashup. It’s amazing what folks can just throw together these days with just a few standard web components!

    A couple of test points:

    First, URL’s aren’t recognised unless they have the http:// prefix. It would be good to pre-enter this as a prompt in the box or test and add the prefix yourself. How long a URL can you cope with too? People will most likely be posting permalinks.

    Second, both my test entries had the same post code but only one appears to be mapped. I checked the mapping though and it was spot on — even

    Kindest regards

  7. Christine Burns, both your entries are mapped but one pin sits exactly over the other, on the Yahoo pipes map, if you hit the forward and back arrows you can see both entries. If you view the KML file with google maps it does the same thing, but as it renders a list of entries down the side it is more obvious that the location has two entries. It will be difficult to fix this issue without going the whole hog and doing a custom mapping mashup and jogging any overlapping pins so they separate.
    I will also look into where it is more efficient to check for the ‘http://’ prefix and add it in, I may be able to do it as part of validation in the Zoho front end, rather than the pipe.

  8. A few further thoughts.

    * Is it possible to search by language? It would be nice for people just to see posts in, say, Spanish .
    * Is it possible for us to see who is getting the most blog posts? It would be an interesting exercise, to see which women get blogged about the most.
    * Would we be able to archive this so that we have a permanent record?

  9. Hey folks–

    Just wanted to say I’m participating in Ada Lovelace Day and also happen to be the support engineer for the Google Maps API, so I’m happy to help anyone who wants to use that for a mashup. (If we did so, we could use a spreadsheet + spreadsheet form, or an AppEngine app).

    – pamela

  10. 1) There are several ways to do that, the ‘view’ on Zoho has searching and grouping. Unfortunately it only wants to give a drop down list as an option if that field is a drop down on the input form.
    2) We can interrogate the data anyway we want, another part of zoho will take the data and we can look at it as if it was a spreadsheet ( or database or even chart it
    3) Absolutely, we may have to save it as static views to ensure it persists, but not an issue.

  11. Pingback: using my head » Blog Archive » Celebrating women in technology: Ada Lovelace Day

  12. Hi
    I read about ‘tweetups’ recently. Could twits also be mapped? This could form the basis for people who tweet deciding upon where to meet up, if they like the idea, that is?

  13. Jim – Tweetfeed will do the pull from twitter based on the hashtag automagically. the other option is a wordpress plugin to have the latest tweets listed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *