Giving Context to Mashups (a What?)

Alana and Mashups 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.

Plan a wine tour (saves a lot of Googling) with Wines and Times. Find where you live (or where you want to go) and see what's around so you can start sniffing, swirling, and tasting some vino.

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.