Kaitlin Sherwood & Steffen Meschkat — The Business and Technology of Mashups

A presentation given at at Web Directions North, Vancouver, February 8, 2007.

  • MP3 of presentation (Kaitlin Sherwood)
  • MP3 of presentation (Steffen Meschkat)
  • Session description
  • About Kaitlin Sherwood
  • About Steffen Meschkat
  • Session description

    Mashups are the hottest web development topic today. Hear about the front-​​end, back-​​end, and business issues of mashups with these two experts who know more about them than just about anyone.

    Kaitlin Sherwood: Overview of Maps Mashup Technologies

    In the past two years, there has been an explosion of tools for conveying geographic information to the masses. In this talk, Kaitlin Duck Sherwood will introduce major concepts and issues, and discuss the pros and cons of each of the major mashup frameworks. Attendees will gain an appreciation for their mapping options, and information to help them better choose between them based on their particular needs.

    Steffen Meschkat

    A central topic of “Web 2.0” is browser-​​side web application programming interfaces (APIs) and the specific type of web application they give rise to: mashups.

    Using the Google Maps API as an example, I put this development into a perspective that allows one to appreciate how this, on the one hand, is a natural and coherent evolution of the Web that, on the other hand, significantly alters the ways of organizing the world’s information that the Web makes possible. I also discuss the specific technologies that web APIs for mashups are based upon, and their sometimes challenging idiosyncrasies.

    About Steffen Meschkat

    Steffen Meschkat joined Google in 2004 and currently works on maps.

    He earlier co-​​founded ART+COM AG and datango AG . At ART+COM, he worked on industry funded application research projects of Virtual Reality and, since 1993, the WWW. For datango, he built the client side components of the navigation suite, a technology that augments web applications by simulated user interaction fragments. He has an MSc (”Diplom”) in Physics from Humboldt University in Berlin.

    Kaitlin Sherwood

    With a keen eye for how people interact with technology now and the creativity to see how they could be using it in the future, Kaitlin Duck Sherwood started developing innovative Web sites in 1994. In addition to winning a 1995 GNN Best of the Web award, she developed one of the first webmail applications and the first navigation system for a large campus that integrated maps and floorplans.

    Most recently, she developed the first mashup to feature thematic (area-​​based) maps, overlaying census bureau data on Google Maps. On the strength of this, she earned a summer internship at the Maps group of Google, and no, she’s not yet allowed to tell you what she worked on. She has since returned to her graduate studies at the University of British Columbia.

    Sherwood spent several years as a “email anthropologist”, studying how people use electronic mail. From those experiences, she wrote two practical books and provided training to corporate and governmental clients on how to manage email better. She and her advice have been featured in the the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Tech TV, and many others.

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