United States of Ajax

John Musser, February 13th, 2006

USofAjaxSince starting MashupFeed I spend less time in this blog pointing-out specific mashups and examples since they’re available via subscription. But, here’s an interesting one: United States of Ajax created by Jim Hamilton.

The core of it is based on the Yahoo! Maps API. It seems simple on the surface but there’s a lot going there. In particular, lots of nicely integrated links to location-specific data as you drill-down. The type of data available varies according to your level of detail. There’s data for 3,140 counties (2,113 of which have home pages) and 20,261 cities (4,288 with home pages). The help page lists all the sources and links but here’s a sampling:

  • State Links = http://www.statelocalgov.net
  • Newspapers = http://www.newspaperlinks.com
  • Census Data = http://quickfacts.census.gov
  • Wikipedia = http://en.wikipedia.org
  • Demographics = http://mcdc2.missouri.edu
  • Place Names = http://www.placenames.com/us
  • Aerial View = http://local.live.com
  • Contacts = http://www.naco.org
  • Search = http://search.yahoo.com
  • Current News = http://topix.net
  • Services = http://maps.yahoo.com/beta
  • Search = http://search.yahoo.com
  • Weather = http://www.hamweather.net
  • Weather = http://xml.weather.yahoo.com
  • geocoding = http://api.local.yahoo.com/MapsService/V1

Easiest way to navigate is by clicking on the state names in the upper left, then on the Play button to show counties, then drilling-down via markers from there. In some densely populated areas the overlapping data can be difficult to navigate. But has some nice Ajax-style features including status bar feedback while it moves from location to location.

And for mashup developers it’s nice to be reminded of how many good data sources are out there. If only they all had APIs…

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John Musser
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Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.