WorldCat Mashathon in Seattle: a (long-awaited) wrap up

Seattle Mashathon Group PhotoThe OCLC Developer Network and University Libraries at the University of Washington hosted a fantastic WorldCat Mashathon earlier this month in Seattle, WA, USA. Held 5-6 November 2009 at Odegaard Undergraduate Library, there were 28 eager participants--some of whom drove more than 500 miles on their own dime to attend. See Seattle mashathon photos on Flickr. What was unique about this mashathon? Each one is different, of course, and for this third one we wanted to improve the *drinking through the firehose* phenomenon of learning about all the Web Services available. So we created "cheat sheets" that are now available as PDFs on the Services page of the wiki. For many of the participants, they were familiar with OCLC and WorldCat--even mentioning WorldCat Local and WorldCat Navigator implementations. But the scope of data available (and the possibilities for what you might do with it) is still a little mind-bending at first when you're not used to thinking at such scale. To that end, we didn't really break up into groups. Instead, the room was large enough that several people collaborated on multiple projects. It was a different dynamic, but it was good and it worked. We had a class from the I-School at UW attend the Show-And-Tell session, too. It was inspiring to have all these hopeful young librarians and information specialists in our midst. One other fun twist to to this mashathon was a virtual submission for Show-and-Tell. Karen had wanted to attend in person, but travel budget cuts at her library prevented it. So she participated virtually--which was very cool! Participants showed off a total of 10 apps and mash-ups on Friday. Check out the video for each presentation, and links if possible. And now, in the order in which they were presented... Serials Solutions E-Journal list/360Link and xISSN mashup This mashup helps researchers identify peer-reviewed journals. For every ISSN the script finds using the JQuery library, it checks the OCLC xISSN service to see if the item is peer-reviewed. If it is, then it adds a "Peer Reviewed" indicator. Her Part I blog entry on the mash up. Part II how to insert the javascript into Serials Solutions. Karen Coombs, University of Houston Libraries Authors influences app This mobile app (still in progress) is designed to show what world events and other influences might have affected well-known writers. It uses the World History API and mashes it with WorldCat Identities names. Roy Tennant, OCLC Research Peer Reviewed journals and writers for Henrik Ibsen Peter had an index of Ibsen scholarship from journals and conference proceedings--but wanted to add some authoritativeness from a canonical source. He added a peer review indicator for journals (checkboxes on the left) and WorldCat Identities links to writers listed in the Ibsen database. See the app in action. Peter Leonard, University of Washington Slipstream Slipstreaming WorldCat data into an XML document or JSON feed. Written in Ruby, Michael shows an example from the DevNet blog. It takes an atom feed and adds Identity elements such as how long a writer has been publishing, etc. Michael Klein, Oregon State University Libraries [Intro video] Adding WorldCat to Windows 7 Alex and Savas used the WorldCat Search API to add WorldCat-formatted citations and links to the Windows 7 environment, which has native search federation functionality built in through OpenSearch. They then added book covers for visual interest (through a separate covers service). Next they will add geolocation mapping functionality so users can find their local library through a Silverlight-based mashup with Bing maps. Post about app created on Savas's blog. Alex Wade and Savas Parastatidis, Microsoft SRU Query by institution and subject This SRU Query creates new subject-based lists using Yahoo Pipes. You can search by institution, subject heading, and date, and the Pipe will creates a request link. Kyle notes that it doesn't handle values returned as arrays properly yet (e.g. if there are multiple oclc numbers or titles in a record), but it still might be useful as a point of departure for others. See the app in action. Kyle Banerjee, Orbis Cascade Alliance Using Amazon subject lists to connect to library resources This app uses the mainstream appeal and popularity of Amazon list feeds (bestsellers, new releases) and mashes them with ISBN numbers in WorldCat, so that the user will go to the library's copy of the item. In this case, Al made the pipe specific for WSU's WorldCat Local implementation. Post about app created. See the app in action. Al Cornish, Washington State University Libraries Recently added items lists (no video) This group worked on figuring out how to create lists of recently added items to the catalog automatically through WorldCat, building more specific functionality than currently available on a library's profile page on While they didn't have a working prototype to show yet, they were still coding as we started the event clean up. Corey Murata, University of Washington Libraries Jon Scott, Washington State University Libraries Anjanette Young, University of Washington Libraries Google scanned book repository and WorldCat mash-up Created a search box for WorldCat to pull in public domain information for items via an OCLC number. The mashup unifies multiple sources of data to provide a more complete view of an item. She explains that she built this mashup just for her own workflows, because she's working on a Google-scanned book repository that is not currently sorted in terms of publicly-available views. Stephanie Collett, California Digital Library Hathi Trust search Inspired to share his work after seeing Stephanie's mashup, Roy presented a project in process from OCLC Research to help libraries know if materials are digitized and available somewhere else. This app mashes WorldCat data (OCLC number, ISBN, or LCCN) with Hathi Trust records and vets it against the OCLC xISBN service. The next data element to add in is the storage facility information so libraries know what materials they can offer in digital format. See the app in action. Roy Tennant, OCLC Research All in all, this Mashathon was a resounding success, thanks in no small part to the incredible facilities at UW. The room had just been renovated, and we used every bit of the new technology. What's next for the Developer Network? When's the next mashathon? We're contemplating that very question right now. If your institution would like to host, let us know.

  • We'll be at ALA MW in Boston this January for the bi-annual Developer Network luncheon (send your director, your colleagues, or anyone else you want to be more informed about OCLC Web Services).
  • In February we're hosting a daylong OCLC API Mashathon preconference at VALA, as part of the VALAtech Boot Camp sessions.
  • Later in February, we're off to the Code4Lib conference in North Carolina.

So it's a busy time for everyone--but keep building these great apps and mashups to help your students and users get to library materials easier, quicker, and more skillfully.

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