Mashup Idea: Where are my friends?

Where my friends be on Facebook

Last week I went to San Francisco for work and then a bit of a break. I knew I had friends in SF, but couldn’t remember everyone. I touched base with a couple before heading out that way and set up plans, but once in the state got a message from another friend that I forgot lived there! There are many apps out there with location information, Tripit for example is what I use to track all of my travel. When I add a trip to Tripit it tells me who’s close … but it’s only using Tripit data and only my other trainer/presenter friends use Tripit. Facebook lets you enter your location but I don’t look through all my friends in one area before I go on a trip. There are also apps (like wheremyfriends.be) for Facebook that gather that info – but not all of my friends are on Facebook or add their location info (I don’t). My contacts in Google have a lot of location info, but not for everyone I know in libraryland.

So, what I’d like to see is a tool that told me the city I’m heading to is close to specific friends. A tool that I don’t have to register for and a tool that my friends don’t all have to be registered on. A tool that lets me pull in data from all of my networks and alerts me without forcing my friends to sign up or add info to some additional service. Does such a tool exist for the web or Android?

Mapping Friends

I’ve been on the road a lot this month and last and have had friends on Facebook and Twitter comment on my Foursquare checkins asking why I didn’t let them know I’d be in their area. Well the reason is simple – I can’t remember where everyone I’m friends with lives :) This is the new world of virtual relationships and for me many of these relationships are just as good with people I know online (and at conferences) as those I know in my everyday life. My point here is I wish I did know where all my friends were before I headed in their direction – so I asked on Twitter and I got two answers to my problem.

The first is using Bing to map your Facebook friends.

Now of course I need all my friends to put their locations on Facebook and share them with me so I can find them :)

The other option was Google Latitude, but I’m not sure I completely understand how it works. I think that all my friends have to tell Google their locations to see them.

Anyway, I’m going to give these tools a whirl before my next trip (aka today).

Google Maps Labs

Okay this is just sad. Apparently Google Maps has had a link to Labs since at least February, but I just noticed it today. I have used Labs before in my email and like the idea of adding new features to Google Maps – i just wish I was more observant and had seen this sooner.

My favorite new feature is the ability to draw a box on the map and have the map zoom to your selection!

Open Source ILS Maps

David Friggens, Systems Librarian at University of Waikato in New Zealand, has been releasing a series of mashups that are close to my heart. They are a series of maps of libraries that are using an Open Source ILS.

The maps pull data from libwebcats (another project I love very much) and plot the libraries on a Google Map. Since libwebcats depends on libraries to enter their automation information, and open source is easy to implement without telling anyone, there are surely libraries missing from these maps. So here I repeat what I tell everyone on the Koha Mailing Lists – if you’re using an open source ILS – or any ILS for that matter – head over to libwebcats and enter your library information so that we can get a better picture of the spread of the open source ILS.

Map Mashups

Today I taught mashups for InfoLink at the Clark public library. We did some simple Google Maps mashups just to get a feel for it. Then when catching up on blog reading I found this article from CNet that talks about additional map tools.

Google Maps is dynamic. Making customized maps through the service isn’t very difficult. But there are a variety of third-party tools on the Web that help you create fully customized Google Maps mashups. From Flickr geotag integration to wedding event mapping to just doodling, you can do it all.

I’m going to have to explore this list in detail before the next time I teach a mashups class :)

Google Street Views – New Locations

Back when street view was released for Google, I was hiding my head in 100 books, but I did bookmark the announcement. Now, Download Squad has pointed out that Google now has 6 new locations on street view – including Philadelphia! I could have used that a couple of weeks ago when I got turned around coming out of the subway and walked 6 blocks in the wrong direction!!

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Google “My Maps”

I saw this new tab earlier but just ignored it (who needs another “my” tool?), but then I read what it was all about on Lifehacker and had to share.

To add multiple layers of data points to your maps – like information about real estate prices, weather, earthquakes and movie showtimes – from the “My Maps” tab hit “Add content,” and watch all those third-party Google maps mashups get consolidated onto GMaps proper.

Very very very cool! This is a great example of how using user-generated content can add value to your tool (or possibly – you library catalog?).

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