5 Years Ago Today the Web Mashup Was Born

Adam DuVander, April 8th, 2010

Google MapsFive years ago Paul Rademacher reverse engineered Google Maps to put Craigslist homes and rentals on a map on his site. The site essentially pre-launched the map mashup category, because there was no Google Maps API at the time. Even now, Paul’s HousingMaps.com is the prototypical example mashup and still used by many to find their new homes (and our HousingMaps profile is of course one of the first mashups added to our directory back in 2005). Since then, as we’ve seen, the Google Maps API has gone on to be the most popular API to use.

HousingMaps

Google Maps Mania tracks the history, all the way back to a Craigslist discussion board posting. Originally the site ran off of Rademacher’s website, but he purchased housingmaps.com a few days later.

Today Rademacher is a Google employee, hired not long after he created his trail-blazing site.

Things moved quickly in 2005. Adrian Holovaty, who later went on to found EveryBlock, created a Chicago transit map. A month later, Holovaty announced Chicago Crime, which embedded crime data in Google Maps.

ChicagoCrime.org, shown below, has since been retired, but it remains along with HouseMaps as one of the innovative applications that demonstrated the great potential for what mashups could become.

ChicagoCrime.org

Finally, seeing all this innovation, Google officially launched its API in June 2005 (I covered the launch on my personal blog). ProgrammableWeb was started shortly thereafter and this site now lists over 2,000 mapping mashups.

Including the one that started it all.

Tags: Mapping
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9 Responses to “5 Years Ago Today the Web Mashup Was Born”

April 16th, 2010
at 8:22 pm
Comment by: Library Mashups : Mashups 5 Years Old

[...] Programmable Web had a post a couple weeks about announcing the 5th birthday of the first web mashup: Five years ago Paul Rademacher reverse engineered Google Maps to put Craigslist homes and rentals on a map on his site. The site essentially pre-launched the map mashup category, because there was no Google Maps API at the time. Even now, Paul’s HousingMaps.com is the prototypical example mashup and still used by many to find their new homes (and our HousingMaps profile is of course one of the first mashups added to our directory back in 2005). Since then, as we’ve seen, the Google Maps API has gone on to be the most popular API to use. [...]

June 29th, 2010
at 3:12 am
Comment by: Happy 5th Birthday, Google Maps API - Map Scripting

[...] easy to forget now, but the API followed some unofficial hacks (we celebrated this anniversary in April). Adrian Holovaty’s ChicagoCrime plotted public crime data in Chicago. Paul [...]

January 12th, 2011
at 12:58 pm
Comment by: Instagram Shuts Down Developers, Plans Official API

[...] to use a service if it’s interesting enough, with or without an official API. That’s how the mashup was born, after [...]

April 8th, 2011
at 5:01 pm
Comment by: Quora

If Craigslist had an open API, what would people build on top of it?…

HousingMaps for 2011 = Craigslist/Instagram/Google Maps Mashups for iPad and AT&T Uverse, so I could see crowdsourced beautiful photos of rentals on Sunday morning before venturing out from the comfort of my couch. BTW, Happy 6th birthday today to Hous…

April 28th, 2011
at 6:54 pm
Comment by: OAuth 2.0对Web有害吗? | 尘土

[...] 在最近的五年间,复合应用程序已经从新奇的事物变成了主流。在构建复合应用程序时, 关键的架构问题之一就是在访问特定服务的时候需要双重认证,以及相关的认证规则: 一般,我们需要对触发服务的(复合)应用程序和复合应用程序本身的用户进行认证,同时还要能够为应用程序和用户定义服务访问规则。这在客户端/服务器中间 件环境中尤其困难,包括HTTP环境,因为多年以来它们构建的前提就是“客户端”只会表现为单一的标识:或者是软件客户端,或者是用户,而不能二者都是。 [...]

July 18th, 2011
at 8:28 pm
Comment by: The Unofficial Google Plus API–Wait, Which One?

[...] answered with their own homegrown APIs and widgets. This follows a rich tradition started with unofficial Google Maps mashups and continued with full-featured, unpublished Instagram API. Both have followed with official APIs [...]

September 2nd, 2011
at 10:01 am
Comment by: Yahoo Maps API: So Long, Old Friend

[...] was Google Maps that birthed the mashup before anyone had a mapping API like what we know today. But Yahoo saw the opportunity and released [...]

September 14th, 2012
at 11:37 am
Comment by: This is Not the Craigslist API You’re Looking For

[...] at Twitter as it tries to figure out what its service looks like as a business. And clearly, seven years after HousingMaps, Craigslist has still not found a way to distribute its value via API. Related ProgrammableWeb [...]

December 20th, 2012
at 3:58 am
Comment by: The users lose | William Gill – lean-focused agile product management

[...] the first web mashup was born seven and a half years ago when Paul Rademacher reverse-engineered Google Maps to put [...]

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ProgrammableWeb
APIs, mashups and code. Because the world's your programmable oyster.

John Musser
Founder, ProgrammableWeb

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