Mashups

Before this week’s lesson, I really didn’t know much about mashups, much less that they can be fairly easy to create. I think map mashups are a great idea for libraries or any business that wants to show users exactly where they are located.  It is easy for patrons to then get directions to their nearest branch. I also like the idea of providing data from Google Books or Amazon in the catalogue, since this information can help patrons decide whether they would like to read a particular book. It also saves librarians the time it would take to generate all this content on their own. As Fichter’s chapter points out, though, it is important to bear in mind that these mashups are relatively new. Data available today might not be there tomorrow. Therefore, librarians should choose carefully when adding mashup content to the library Web site. There is also the question of who owns the content and whether it is being used with permission. Even though many organizations are starting to make information available through open data, mashup content is not always open data, so librarians should ensure they are not violating copyright laws by using it.

In terms of making my own mashup, I found it was quite easy to do. I think it would be interesting to look into some of the other mashups mentioned in this week’s readings to see if they are equally simple and what use they might have for libraries. For now, my map can be seen here.

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