Yes, I Foursquare. Yes, there’s an app for that — and I use it. A lot. I have a lot of mayorships, but it’s mostly because I live in a small town. Okay, we have more than two stoplights, but believe me; to me, this is a very small town. But that doesn’t make today’s Oooh, Shiny! any less cool. Where Do You Go (WDYG) is a Google maps and Foursquare mashup that creates a heatmap from your Foursquare checkins. You can customize it, specify another city (besides the one where you currently are), and choose a color scheme from a handfull of different looks — and finetune it to suit. Perhaps even cooler, once you create your map with your OAuth credentials, it will continue to pull your checkin data and dynamically update your map while you’re on the go.
Here’s my map of the general area I travel each day:
Now zoom out from the downtown area and you get a wider range of my checkins in the extended area. This shows the stops I’ve made over the last several weekends this summer at the Amish greenhouses in Madisonburg, Aaronsburg, and the general Penns Valley area. (Cows. Lots and lots of cows. Fields too.)
You can link to your dynamically updating map, too. Which is cool in a geeky sort of way.
What does DJ Danger Mouse have in common with a modern web application developer? Mashups! A hallmark of Web 2.0, mashup applications draw upon content retrieved from external data services to create entirely new and innovative applications. This introductory course explores what it means to be a web mashup, the different classes of popular mashups, and the enabling technologies needed to create mashup applications. Through projects and hands-on tutorials, students will learn about the practical tools and technologies they need to remix digital content using XML, AJAX, and web service APIs such as Flickr, Delicious, and the Google Maps API.
This, my friends, is the power of higher ed. This is the power of allowing students to think outside the box, of showing them how to mashing stuff up together to see what sticks. I’d been using this app for a while before I realized how and why it actually came to be. Now that I know, it’s even cooler. Because to me, the internet is really an amazing place to wander and discover new things to try, new things to see. It makes me really happy to stumble across something new and awesome that I didn’t know about yesterday.