In a short piece entitled Non-Visual Mashups Rule, Dave Linthicum draws the distinction between visual and non-visual mashups. Visual ones are of course like all of the nearly 900 mashups here, with maps and photos defining the model. Non-visual mashups are more akin to enterprise integration software, invisibly making connections in the background:
Non-visual mashups are the mashing up of two or more services to create a combined application, or integration point, to service a business process. What's unique here is that they may not externalize anything to a user interface. For instance, mashing up a stream of customer addresses with an address validation service, or mashing up a stream of social security numbers with a credit check service. Each non-visual mashup, perhaps, is sending exceptions off to another stream or queue for processing later, or perhaps to other mashups. This is very simple, and I bet you can think of even more complex and valuable non-visual mashups for your own enterprise...Truth-be-told, while visual mashups are cool and useful, I think that non-visual mashups will be more valuable to business as time goes on.