Today in APIs: Amplifon uses Web Audio API to Add Sound to Google Maps

Greg Bates
Aug. 26 2014, 05:49PM EDT

Amplifon enhances Google Street Maps with sound. Hackcess to Justice winners put their apps to work. Plus: the importance of putting API design first and Homeland Security holds a hackathon (with FEMA).

Google Maps Gets Sound Enhancement from Amplifon Using the Web Audio API

Google Maps can now be heard by, literally, giving a sound dimension to its Street View. Amplifon has done its best to give sounds that you might hear according to what direction in street view you are facing--see circles in the graphic. That determines what sound you hear.

Amplifon

As Elyse Betters writes in Pocket-lint, this is just getting off the ground:

The British arm of Italian hearing-aid company Amplifon has created ambient noise for Street View, but the technology is only available for three locations. In other words, you can now sit at your computer to both view and hear places like Balboa Park in San Diego, Place du Palais in Monaco, and Hapuna Beach in Hawaii.

Examples of Sounds of Street View are at Amplifon's website.

Hackcess to Justice Winners Put Their Apps to Work

Earlier this month we briefly covered a hackathon in the legal arena, Hackcess to Justice, where participants took on creating legal services. Now the winners are focused on getting their apps used by the legal community. Victor Li reports in the ABA Journal that reception has been positive, citing the third place winner as one example:

David Colarusso, staff attorney for the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services, has been busy talking to state officials about potential uses for his team’s app, Due Processr. The app, which took third place and was developed by Colarusso and his teammates, David Zvenyach, a general counsel in Washington, D.C. and William Li, a computer science PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is an interactive tool that allows users to determine their eligibility for indigent legal services in Massachusetts, and for criminal defendants to calculate their state prison sentences. Colarusso tells the ABA Journal that he has been speaking with the state’s Commissioner of Probation about the indigence calculator in the Due Processr app. “They expressed to me that they’re doing something similar and were interested in comparing notes,” says Colarusso, who says he hasn’t met with the commissioner’s office yet. “It was nice to hear that they see the potential for this technology.”

Using these types of problem sets, they hope to generate a host of similar new apps for defendants and their lawyers.

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Greg Bates A writer for Programmableweb since 2012, Greg is a freelance writer and a maniacal editor of dissertations and term papers. - Follow me on Google+

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