Tags: sxsw06

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Mashing up with microformats

Back in March, during South by Southwest, Tantek asked me if I’d like to sit in on his microformats panel alongside Chris Messina and Norm! The audio recording of the panel is now available through the conference podcast.

I’ve taken the liberty of having the recording transcribed (using castingWords.com) and I’ve posted a tidied up version of the transcript to the articles section: Microformats: Evolving the Web. You can listen along through the articles RSS feed which doubles up as a podcast.

I’ve also posted the transcript on the microformats wiki so that others can edit it if they catch any glaring mistakes in the transcription.

During the panel I talked about Adactio Austin, a fairly trivial use of microformats but one that I’ve been building upon. I’d like to provide some cut’n’paste JavaScript that would allow people to get some added value from using microformats. Supposing you have a bunch of locations marked up in hCard with geotags, you could drop in a script and have a map appear showing those locations.

Perhaps the geotagging won’t even be necessary. Google added a geocoder to their mapping API two weeks ago. The UK, alas, is not yet supported (probably because the Post Office won’t let go of its monopoly that easily… Postman Pat, your money-grabbing days are numbered).

Unfortunately, Google Maps isn’t very suited to the cut’n’paste idea: you have to register a different API key for each domain where you want to use the mapping API.

The Yahoo maps API is less draconian about registration but its lack of detailed UK maps makes it a non-starter for me.

Maybe I should step away from maps and concentrate on events instead. It probably wouldn’t be too hard too write a script to create a calendar based on any hCalendar data found in a document. Perhaps I’ll investigate the calendar widget from Yahoo.

Ultimately I’d like to create something like Chris’s Mapendar idea. If only there were enough hours in the day.

Adactio Austin

In less than a week, I — along with the rest of the Brit Pack — will be flying out to Austin, Texas for South by Southwest 2006.

I will be speaking with Aaron. If you fancy learning how to bluff your way in DOM Scripting, swing on by.

The standard of panels looks really good this year. As usual, it’s going to be difficult to choose which ones to attend and which ones to pass up. I remember at last year’s conference, I had the constant feeling that there was probably something really good happening somewhere at every moment and I was missing it… but I was missing it for something equally good. That’s a nice, if somewhat frustrating feeling.

But the panels and presentations are just one part of Southby. The real value of Geekstock is the pressing of the flesh and the meeting of the minds. I met so many wonderful people last year, it was astounding. I mean, by the sheer law of averages, I should have come across at least a few assholes, right? Nope. Salt of the earth, those webby geeks.

I am so looking forward to once again being surrounded by fellow nerds, imbibing Shiner Bock and consuming Texas barbecue. This year is going to be all the more fun for the presence of Jessica.

Instead of posting a list of panels I’m thinking of attending, I thought I’d put together a page of much more useful information: parties I plan on going to. To use the term du jour, I’ve “mashed up” hCalendar with Google Maps and here’s the result:

Adactio Austin

If you’re going to be in Austin, and just in case you’re wondering where I’m going to be on any given evening, just make use of Austin’s ubiquitous WiFi to pull up that page. I want to make it easy as possible for you to join me for a beer.

Update: After some inspiring banter with Tantek, I’ve added some more microformat goodness to Adactio Austin. The list of parties is now outlined in xoxo and the venues are marked up as hCards.