Giving Context to Mashups (a What?)
This past Thursday evening, I was giving a presentation on how technology/the web has advanced since the "PC era" and how we got to this age of Twitter, Facebook, Cloud Computing and awesome mobile applications.
During this presentation, a member of the group asked me to explain what a mashup was (because it was on my slide) and thankfully I had a URL (padmapper.com) coupled with a funny story (the developer and I became email pen pals when I asked him to add a new city to the app so my friend could find an apartment) on hand -- but it made me realize that to a majority of the population, it's pretty confusing.
A Mashup combines multiple sources of information and displays it in a single web page or application. The easiest (and sometimes most useful!) example mashes together GoogleMaps and something else.
Track your package as it's moves across the map. BoxOh: Type in your tracking number and watch your package travel from it's origin to it's destination (you!). Mashes together FedEx/UPS/USPS data and GoogleMaps.
Find Free Internet in your city with HotSpotr: Mashes together a list of free WiFi hotspots and displays over GoogleMaps.