Archive: October 21st, 2007

Closed open data

I arrived in San Francisco yesterday after a smooth flight (I bumped into Malarkey on the plane—how did I not spot him at the airport?). Now I’m on the ground, staying with Tantek for a couple of days—I’ll be moving into a hotel room once the conference starts.

I have a few days on either side of the conference to explore San Francisco. I’ll probably end up walking around a lot. It might be fun to make use of one of the newer features of Google Maps: put yourself on the map. If this feature had existed when I was in Chicago for An Event Apart, I would have plotted my explorations of that city.

If I do map my movements while I’m in San Francisco, you’ll be able to find them on my profile page. That page also has an hCard… sorta.

Alas, the hCard is contained within an embedded iframe. This means that most microformat parsers—bookmarklets, plugins, converters—won’t find the hCard because they parse at the URL level, reasonably enough. There doesn’t seem to be any good reason for using an iframe. This is exactly the kind of embedding that’s normally done on the server before a page is served up to the browser.

The guys over at Google are smart so I’m sure they’ll get this sorted out but I can’t help but feel that it’s a perfect example of why it’s important to use markup before adding microformats. If you aren’t using the right elements to structure your content to begin with, it’s probably going to be more of a struggle to implement that extra sprinkling of microformats.