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07 Nov 2008
markowe says:As the author of StoreMinator, I thought I'd weigh in with some positives and negatives.
StoreMinator compares Amazon and eBay products using a sort of "fuzzy" algorithm. For some products this is successful, for some it is shaky and though I am aware of the reasons for the poor matches in most cases, I am still working on workarounds.
So here is an example of a successful page, a browse for the Garmin nüvi 270 (http://www.storeminator.com/item/Electronics/GPS/Garmin-n--vi-270-3-5-Inch-Portable-GPS-Navigator-with-Maps-of-US-and-Europe_B000OH26OM - sorry, no live links allowed here) gives a pretty good match with eBay items.
However, this comparison is not so successful - for an Apple iPod Touch: http://www.storeminator.com/item/Electronics/searchresult/Apple-iPod-touch-8-GB--2nd-Generation-_B001FA1NZK
Maybe you can see why - a dumb computer program has no way to tell the difference between an accessory for an item and the item itself. At least, my dumb program doesn't yet :) But I am working on it.
But this is kind of a good example of some of the challenges of writing mashups - correctly identifying matching or similar data from independent sources and making something meaningful out of it. That's why it's so cool too, when it works!
By the way, if you come up with any other dodgy product matches, please do let me know!