But still. APIs? Kinda awesome, right? And Mashery and Twilio and LinkedIn and Apigee and SimpleGeo and SendGrid joining Urban Airship and PHP Fog for a hackday? Super awesome. So why aren’t you going? Read More
Portland has always received recognition for its independent and somewhat underground music scene. So it’s no surprise that its music startups take a similar tact.
CD Baby, for example, is largest online distributor of independent music. They’re here in Portland.
Didn’t realize that? Well, here’s another surprise. Portland music startup Rumblefish is making some noise in the music industry, as well. In fact, they’ve just celebrated more than four million downloads of their licensed music—and now there’s an API to make using their tunes even easier. Read More
Now, we all know that Portland has a thriving hacker culture. From weekly hackathons to Dorkbot to open source projects, we like our hacking around here.
But sometimes, it’s interesting to get some new people in the mix—especially if they have interesting APIs. And that’s why API Hackday PDX, July 30, could be a whole bunch of awesome. Read More
Remember the CivicApps contest? Of course you do. Who am I kidding?
Well one of the most valuable things to come out of that contest was PDX API, a way of making sense of all of the data sets offered up by the City of Portland. So valuable, in fact, that Max Ogden, creator of PDX API, was just awarded a fellowship by Code for America, an organization that connects “city governments and Web 2.0 talent.” Read More
[HTML4]Now, I don’t know if you know this, but Portland? Portland likes the Twitter. A lot. And those of us who happen to pop on to Twitter—every now and again, I mean it’s not like we’re addicted or anything—are quite proud of the fact that we have a Twitter employee—Rael Dornfest—here in town.
Well guess what, Twitter types? The number of Twitter employees in town is going to increase 100%. For this weekend, at least.
I’m quite fond of saying that Portland is the de facto hub of OpenID development. And it’s days like today that make me sound like I actually know what I’m talking about.
Google (maybe you’ve heard of them?) has just announced two new enhancements to the Google OpenID API. And it just so happens that Portland-based JanRain and their RPX solution have come to play a critical role in the announcement: they’re one of the first examples of the new features in use. Read More
It’s been a true Portland success story. And very much embraced as a Portland tool by the Web community around here.
But there comes a time when every little startup needs to leave the nest. When it needs to spread its wings and explore the broader market.
According to the announcement:
Today we are announcing the public launch of Shizzow, a location-based friend finder where you can declare your location, and it will notify all of your friends so that they may come join you for a drink or a cup of coffee. Shizzow has been in private beta since August 2008 with invites open only to a limited number of people in Oregon, California, and Washington. Anyone in the United States can now sign up for Shizzow with no invite required.
Why now? Shizzow has big plans for SXSW—the annual geek get together in Austin, Texas—where people are constantly trying to figure out “Where the heck are you?”
You may remember that Twitter took off at SXSW in 2007 by helping people find one another. Since then, everyone has had aspirations of recreating that magic. Shizzow has a good chance to do so, given that it’s even better suited for that “Where the heck are you?” task. Plus, they’re promising some features specifically targeted at the SXSW crowd.
But wait. There’s more.
Not only is Shizzow opening up, they’re also unveiling some of the apps that have been developed using the Shizzow API. And opening the public beta of that API.
Here’s a look at some of the apps that have already taken advantage of the API:
IceCondor is an android application that allows you to follow people and events in real-time. IceCondor takes advantage of map coordinates embedded in RSS feeds (called GeoRSS feeds) and allows them to appear as red markers on googlemaps. IceCondor works with multiple services including Brightkite, Shizzow, and Upcoming.org. Built by @donpdonp.
Shizzeeps.com shows you which shizzow users (known as shizzeeps) are congregating where at the moment. It also allows you to see their shout messages, and even send your own ephemeral message to the group at a particular place. Shizzeeps also offers a Twitter service: follow @shizzeeps to get updates every 15 minutes. Built by @crunchysue.
An iPhone client with list and map views of people and places, detection of nearby places to shout from, ability to auto-shout, and more. You currently need to build the Shizzup client from the source code to use it. Built by @wajiii.
A simple Shizzow application for Android to quickly find out where your friends are, or find out who’s nearby and listen to them. See their locations on a map, or their recent shout history. Browse nearby places, search for places by name and tag, add to your favorites, and shout from them. Automatically detect your location using GPS/wifi, or manually set it on a map for finer control. You currently need to build the f’shizzow client from the source code to use it. Built by @petercowan.
Baken is an Android (and iPhone, eventually) app that automatically finds nearby locations from Shizzow’s database. It also provides much of the functionality found on m.shizzow.com. Matt also has plans to take the app in new directions in the near future. Built by @mattg.
Exciting times for the bootstrapped Portland startup. Here’s hoping they continue to soar. And I’ll be sure to report on how they’re received by the crowd down at SXSW.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at the mapping and location apps that call Portland, Oregon, home. (Thanks in no small part to the reigning King of mapping, Matt King. An “*” below identifies each of his mapping projects.)
The most well-known Portland-based mapping application, Platial, is the largest independent social mapping application. According to the Platial site:
Platial enables anyone to find, create, and use meaningful maps of Places that matter to them. Our dream is to connect people, neighborhoods, cities, and countries through a citizen-driven common context that goes beyond geopolitical boundaries. We are building Platial because we adore Places.
The admittedly “we did it for the fun of it project” that helps the would-be lush-on-a-budget find the nearest happy hour. And fast.
In Unthirsty‘s own words:
Unthirsty is the work of a group of like-minded souls who were always struggling (for obvious reasons) to remember where and when they last enjoyed that good happy hour. A plan of action was drawn up on beer sodden napkins over bargain pints and some mighty fine nachos. Thus, Unthirsty was launched and dedicated to the good of all mankind’s legally drinking denizens.
Yearning for yarn? Look no further than KnitMap, your way to finding all of your needling knitting needs or simply getting your Turkish Cast-on on.
KnitMap describes itself as:
[A] site that catalogues and maps the locations of retail shops that sell yarn, knitting supplies and knitting accessories. You can search to find these locations in the US, Canada, UK and most of Europe. Its anywhere that Google maps will work, and the list is growing everyday! Once you’ve found a shop, you can rate it’s attributes, leave comments, upload photos, and add it to your Favorites.
Think Unthirsty and KnitMap are cool, but interested in putting your own spin on the “plot and find [whatever] via Google Maps”? Then look no further than SocialMap, the mapping technology that powers both of those properties.
Why release SocialMap?
SocialMap was created to help solve the problems we encountered on the web within the communities we are a part of. Through its humble beginnings as a national Happy Hour finder, then a Knitting store locator, we noticed regions and groups that had a passionate user base, but were very underrepresented online. Existing websites and search engines were not only dated in their technology but lacked the ability for users to interact with the information presented.
Winner of the “Best Mashup” at this year’s Mashup Camp, Mapdango takes other API-accessible content and plots it on the map.
Mashup Awards described Mapdango as:
An extensive Google Maps mashup that lets you explore locations with helpful information including weather (WeatherBug), photos (Flickr), facts (Wikipedia), events (Eventful), news (Google News) and more.
New to the Portland mapping scene, WeoGeo takes a deep dive into online cartography, providing extremely detailed mapping options.
[WeoGeo] supplies surveyors, engineers, cartographers, and scientists with the ability to conveniently store, search, and exchange high-resolution CAD and GIS mapping products. Mappers easily list their data for sale. Researchers quickly find the data they need.
(Bonus) TwitterLocal* (formerly known as TwitterWhere)
It’s not a mapping application, per se, so I didn’t want to include it on the list. But TwitterLocal is another Matt King project that makes location information useful in the context of Twitter. Simply plug in a location and TwitterLocal will provide an RSS feed of the Twitter residents in that area, like Portland, for example. It’s a valuable tool for getting a feel for your neighborhood Twitter types.
That’s just a short list. But, admittedly, there’s so much mapping occurring in map-happy Portland, that I may have missed some obvious maps. If I did, please feel free to admonish me in the comments.
One of the biggest drawbacks of trying to follow Twitter conversations is that Twitter tends to come at you in one stream. And if you’re following enough people, it’s a fire hose. That said, one of the biggest benefits of using Twitter is that, with the availability of the API, someone is going to figure out how to fix pretty much any Twitter “drawback” you can highlight.
Case in point: TwitterThreads from Portland-based CouldBe Studios, a one-night project that delivers Twitter conversations in—shockingly enough—threaded format. (Man, they should call this thing… oh wait, they already have.)
Developed by Matt Beck, TwitterThreads provides a more conversational view of your tweets, allowing you to see multiple tweets from the same person grouped together or to more easily follow conversations as the @s start percolating.
To see it in action, visit TwitterThreads where you can view the public timeline. Or, login and see how your conversation threads come together.
Portland-based Grabb.it, the music service that helps users share and rate MP3s, has announced the release of a rich RESTful API for accessing its data.
The primary resource type Grabb.it makes available is the playlist. We make playlists available in many formats, at many endpoints. We also have a few methods to manipulate and generate playlists. This document details the formats, endpoints (access urls) and uses of Grabb.it playlists.