My First Google Map Mashup

I created this mashup about 5 or 6 months ago, but could never put it on my website until I had php5. Now that I’ve made a change to Host Monster, running php5, I can make this script live.

Here is the mashup. It basically puts all of the earthqakes above a 5 in magnitude on the map. It gets its updates automatically from the U.S. Government.

The script encorporates AJAX for the data points, RSS feed parsing for pulling the data from the USGS Earthquake Feed. I used php5’s DomDocument for the xml that is consumed by the Google Map.

Saved by Mozy Backups

MozyToday my laptop started to do some scary things. I got the blue screen of death 3 times after restarting my machine. I thought I was hosed. My first concern was the data that I might be losing on my laptop if I couldn’t get in. However, I have Mozy backing up all of my super critical files. Mozy gives 2GB free back-up space for free.

The best thing about Mozy is that you can set Mozy to back up sets of files of a certain type, or to back up directories of your choice. It will check those directories and file sets for new and changed documents, and automatically backs up the changes. So once you set it up, you don’t have to worry about it. Well, you still want to check on it every once in a while to verify that Mozy is in fact backing up all of the files you think you’re backing up.

Another cool thing about Mozy is that you can access all of your backed up files from a web browser and securely restore them to your system.

Although my laptop might still die sometime soon, I’m feeling a little bit better now that I know I can restore those files easily, and that they are indeed backing up like I thought they were.

Big Return on Investment for Creating Web Services

There is a big return on investment for creating web services. At Provo Labs, we have some really cool web projects underway that are going to bring a good return on investment. We can get an even better return on investment by designing all of our products to have a web services API. This service oriented architecture will allow us to create even more companies and products very quickly as well as earn some additional revenue by leasing these web services to others. Here’s why:

Upon creation of the first web service, you have a great product that you can lease to other companies. This will bring in some good revenue.

One web service

Creating the second service gives two great products that you can lease. On top of that, you can mash the two web APIs into a new application that might bring in even more revenue.

Two Web Services

The real magic begins as the number of services you can mash together grows. When the third service is created, you will jump from one additional application to three.
Three Web Services

Adding one more gives you three additional applications.
Four Web Services

Really, you have even more possibilities than those shown because you could mash any three together, or all of them together which would give you another five applications from the four web services.

I realize that any two web services cannot be mashed together to create a valuable product, but I think many of the services would mash up well. There are also a ton of open apis provided by other companies that could possibly mash up well with our web services.

A Service Based Future

So, I just got done reading the ‘Ozzie Memo’ on Microsoft’s future. It sounds like they are scrambling to catch up to Google in the service based technologies that Google offers so well. When I was finally invited into Gmail program, I was amazed at the simplicity and ease of use of this web-based service. I found myself dropping my mail clients that I ran on my pc, and I just use gmail now.

There is speculation that the new Sun Microsystems and Google relationship is going to lead to a browser based word processing and office suite built on the popular Star Office / Open Office product developed by Sun. With AJAX allowing such great great browser to server interaction, I believe we are in for some amazing new products here in the future.