2 Neurones & 1 Camera

Olivier Thereaux

What happened to mashups?

In my recent work around Mobile augmented reality I came across the idea that MAR was merely a new name for mashups, under a thin disguise of 3d and video feeds.

Veggie Mash

mashed cauliflower, a photo by olgucz on flickr

Mashups were all the rage but a few years ago! Every Web developer and her dog were creating a “mashup application” – most often a few layers of points of interest applied onto google’s great map APIs. In that sense, it is true that a lot of the current applications of MAR are a new spawn of the mashup hype.

Fast forward a few years, and the world mashup is hardly ever uttered – or at least, very seldom without a hint of sarcasm. Most of those “mashup” applications have died, and google did a very smart move by not only allowing everyone to layer information over their maps – they actually let everyone integrate the rich maps and data on anyone’s web site.

Mashups are dead, but their progeny inherited a lot of the contemporary web landscape: only because of the mashup hype and the experimentation it prompted do we routinely think of the web not just as a collection of page, but as a large set of linked data that can be packed together into rich, cohesive units of information. Many of the “useful” tricks of the day, be it facebook connect, feed aggregation or the new portals (hah!) owe their existence to the stickiness of the mashup buzzword.

And now, for something completely different: my secret for a great veggie mash is a bit of butter, a dash of olive oils and a sprinkle of australian herb salt. That or a red wine stew sauce, actually…


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