Mash-Up Magic

As Enterprise 2.0 tools gain acceptance within organizations around the world, we are finding new ways to unearth and connect useful information. For some organizations, a key to this has been to create mash-ups between existing collections of data. The magic of mash-ups is quite wonderful — by joining two known things you can create a splendid something new.

I haven’t thought hard enough about what the equivalent within the enterprise might be, but I wanted to share with you a new mash-up I discovered courtesy of Curt Hopkins at ReadWriteWeb. In his post, Mash Letter to the Past, he reports on several terrific mash-ups that marry mapping, photos, street views, video and documentary photographs from different times.  The results are marvelous.  For example,  take a look at this excerpt from There and Then, which shows New York City’s famous Flatiron building in 2010 and 1903.

Now, here’s my manual mash-up starting with a brief clip of “What Happened on 23rd Street” in 1901:


And here’s Google’s 2010 street view of 23rd street.

As you probably can tell, I’ve had lots of fun playing with these before and after views of New York City.  Admittedly, I haven’t yet found a knowledge management angle on this, but give me time!  The most important thing I’m learning is that marrying information from different sources can provide an appreciation and more nuanced understanding of our present day reality.  Perhaps that, in and of itself, makes the mash-up effort worthwhile.

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