A little over a year ago, Google released a new product called Google Fusion Tables. Fusion Tables allows you to upload, merge, share, and visualize large tables of tabular data. Basically, we wanted to answer the question “I have a spreadsheet. I want to share it with people and create a map/bar chart/storyline/other visualization.” Google Spreadsheets, while powerful, couldn’t handle the 100 meg upload we allow for Fusion Tables. And, being Google, we also provided something for developers.
It's funny that when I talk to people in the travel industry about mashups and APIs, most of them get glazed looks in their eyes. Throw in terms like location based services or geospatial awareness and I've lost them. What most of them don't realize is that the majority of the travel apps that are starting to come out, both online and for mobile are mashups that are relying on location awareness and geospatial data. Many of them, like Pocketvillage are a consumer interface on top of a variety of APIs all normalized for a single homogenous user experience. That's right, it's essentially a metasearch tool that pulls in content from a variety of sources including Viator, GetYourGuide, TourCMS, Rezgo, AirBnB, and many others. What differentiates a metasearch like Pocketvillage from other metasearch applications however, is the fact that with location based services enabled, Pocketvillage can return content based on your current location. The issue right now however is that not all geo data is equal. Not all APIs provide geolocation information and some return it based on different criteria.