Saturday, June 20, 2009

Globe + Google Developer Workshop @ UP Technopark

I attended the Globe Labs + Google developer event at the UP Ayala Technopark along Commonwealth Avenue. While I have passed by the Technopark several times, this was my first time to actually enter the compound. The place is very clean with low-lying buildings and wide open spaces. It reminded me of Silicon Valley environment (except for the heat).

The event was supposed to start at 1pm. I got there at about that time figuring that most people will be late anyway, as is typical for these events. But surprisingly, the place was packed with geeks (and I mean that in an endearing sort of way) by the time I got there. I guess geeks are more prompt with time unlike your average Filipino.

Google showed off their API's for developers to "mashup". The Globe Labs guys demoed their Location Based Service (LBS) API, and showed how it can be used to work in conjunction with the Google API to do really creative things. The Google guy also showed some really interesting developments going on at Mozilla/Firefox with respect to HTML5. New HTML elements like canvas and video allows for really interesting possibilities that should give Flash and Silverlight a run for its money in the very near future.

Amidst all the gee-whiz-bang show-and-tell, what really caught my attention was the Google Visualization API. The map that appears in Google Analytics showing where your visitors are coming from in a graphical manner, can apparently be easily used in other programs. What immediately popped to my mind is integrating it with PayEasy Admin to allow merchants to see where their payers are coming from in a visual manner. This led to my implementation of the API.

For an even simpler way of mashing up contents without any programming involved, Google Web Elements comes to the rescue. Copying-and-pasting HTML is all it takes to embed a calendar, presentation, spreadsheet, map or YouTube video to your site. Now I just have to figure out what the longitude/latitude valus of The Peak so that I can provide a map to our office from our website!

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