Fast Takes

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Name: John McDowall
Location: Redwood City, California, US

Friday, February 28, 2003

New graph tool

I have had a few cycles on planes etc to update the blog mapping tool Blog Map. It is now more interactive - youy can crawl links that have linking to RSS or RDF feeds. The nodes are color coded for the type of RSS feed that each node has. I still need to add a help button and a bunch of other features to get anywhere near useful. It will update the xml representation as you crawl new nodes. The xml file is as Map Data

As always comments welcome.

Monday, February 17, 2003

It is about structured data

Google has announced that it is buying Pyra Labs providers of Blogger (used by this site). Already this has been covered all over the BlogSphere.

One major benefit that Google gets promoting and supporting Blogs (apart from a new revenue stream) is more structured data. Structured data as RSS, LinkBacks,FOAF are raw meat to the carnivorous beast that is Google search engine. Flat web pages are interesting but what you can extract from Blogs is much more interesting.

In the past (cira 1995) I wrote software to scan the web and try to extract meaning - very hard and painful. In a few weeks I was able to do so much more with mapping than was every possible just because of RSS. Just thing what the smart guys at Google are going to do.

It will be some time before the web is completely structured but Google's purchase of Pyra is more about structuring the content and providing more insight.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Updating Mapping Project

The next step of the mapping project is making the data maor available and making the graphing tool more interactive. The data is now available as an xml file (I am still working on the schema so it may change. For those who are interested here is the xml for the current map Blogmap. I hope to update the graphing tool soon to allow users to explore on their own. As always comments/suggestions welcome.