- Stamen Watercolour Maps — I saw a preview of this a week or two ago and was in awe. It is truly the most beautiful thing I’ve seen a computer do. It’s not just a clever hack, it’s art. Genius. And they’re CC-licensed.
- Screens Up Close — gorgeous microscope pictures of screens, showing how great the iPad’s retina display is.
- Numbers API — CUTE! Visit it, even if you’re not a math head, it’s fun.
- China Now Leads the World in New iOS and Android Device Activations (Flurry) — interesting claim, but the graphs make me question their data. Why have device activations in the US plummeted in January and February even as Chinese activations grew? Is this an artifact of collection or is it real?
Google Maps alternatives, inside Dart, and the upside of offline.
This week on O'Reilly: StreetEasy's Sebastian Delmont explained why his team left Google Maps behind, we looked at the ins and outs of the Dart programming platform, and Jim Stogdill considered the alternatives to always-on living.
Watercolor Maps, Inside Displays, Numbers API, and Chinese Mobile Activations Boom
- mari0 — not only a great demonstration of what’s possible in web games, but also a clever mashup of Mario and Portal.
- Lessons From BerkeleyDB — chapter on BerkeleyDB’s design, architecture, and development philosophy from Architecture of Open Source Applications. (via Pete Warden)
- An API Ontology — I currently see most real-world deployed APIs fit into a few different categories. All have their pros and cons, and it’s important to see how they relate to one other.
Jacob Harris is building APIs and data into elections coverage at the New York Times.
To learn more about the people who are redefining the practice computer-assisted reporting, in some cases, building the newsroom stack for the 21st century, Radar conducted a series of email interviews with data journalists during the 2012 NICAR Conference.
In the year to come, APIs will continue to transform into core business tools.
Among the key API trends to watch in 2012: enterprise APIs will go mainstream, data-centric APIs will become common, and APIs will need to be optimized for mobile apps and developers.
The danger of SOPA, lessons from a Starbucks social experiment, and why the real world is writable.
This week on O'Reilly: Alex Howard explored the implications of SOPA and PROTECT IP, Jonathan Stark looked back on his Starbucks card experiment, and Terry Jones explained how APIs can help publishers.
Gamification Critique, Google+ API, Time Series Visualization, and SQL on Map-Reduce
- A Quick Buck by Copy and Paste — scorching review of O’Reilly’s Gamification by Design title. tl;dr: reviewer, he does not love. Tim responded on Google Plus. Also on the gamification wtfront, Mozilla Open Badges. It talks about establishing a part of online identity, but to me it feels a little like a Mozilla Open Gradients project would: cargocult-confusing the surface for the substance.
- Google + API Launched — first piece of a Google + API is released. It provides read-only programmatic access to people, posts, checkins, and shares. Activities are retrieved as triples of (subject, verb, object), which is semweb cute and ticks the social object box, but is unlikely in present form to reverse Declining numbers of users.
- Cube — open source time-series visualization software from Square, built on MongoDB, Node, and Redis. As Artur Bergman noted, the bigger news might be that Square is using MongoDB (known meh).
- Tenzing — an SQL implementation on top of Map/Reduce. Tenzing supports a mostly complete SQL implementation (with several extensions) combined with several key characteristics such as heterogeneity, high performance, scalability, reliability, metadata awareness, low latency, support for columnar storage and structured data, and easy extensibility. Tenzing is currently used internally at Google by 1000+ employees and serves 10000+ queries per day over 1.5 petabytes of compressed data. In this paper, we describe the architecture and implementation of Tenzing, and present benchmarks of typical analytical queries. (via Raphaël Valyi)
IBM is building a massive 120-petabyte array and Infochimps releases a unified geo schema.
IBM takes data storage to a whole new level (120 petabytes, to be exact), Infochimps' new API tries to make life easier for geo developers, and the "Internet of people" keeps an eye on Hurricane Irene.
Android Charting, Illusion of Insight, Mapping API, and Science Storytelling
- A Chart Engine — Android charting engine.
- The Illusion of Asymmetric Insight — we are driven to create and form groups and then believe others are wrong just because they are others.
- Urban Mapping API — add rich geographic data to web and non-web applications.
- Tell Us A Story, Victoria — a university science story-telling contest.