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Yasaitis, Kevin

Mashups have moved from the world of music to the Silicon Valley, created by computer engineers instead of disc jockeys. 

Pop Music MashUp from YouTube

A mashup application is a webpage or web application that brings together content such as data, presentations and functionality from a number of different sources and sites around the internet to create a new service. Many are created with websites that have an open API allowing programmers to edit their own details. Some of the most common characteristics of a mashup application are combination, visualization and aggregation with the goal of the designers and programmers of making existing data that is already available to the public, more powerful and and useful to the end user.

Mashup types
According to a study there are a number of different types of mashup sites including business, consumer and data mashups. 

Business mashups integrate a companies own content and enhance it with services from one or multiple external sites. These sites are typically secure and visually rich applications that expose usable information from multiple sources around the net. 

Most popular of the three, the Consumer mashups combine various visualizations and data elements, again from a number of public sources to create simple and attractive interfaces that are easy to use and appealing to the average consumer.                                                                                                                                                                                                              

The opposite of a consumer mashup is the Data mashup. This mashup integrates data, files and databases from multiple web service API's from around the internet, into one single representation.

The making of a Mashup

According to Developer Works by IBM a mashup application is built from three different participants that are completely different entities. API/content providers, the mashup site, and the client's Web browser:

API/content providers
The API and content providers are the sites that are "mashed" together to create the new functioning site. For example, the content providers for the website Map Your Buddies which is listed below are Facebook, Google Maps and Amazon which together, creates a web application that allows a user to see the location of their Facebook friends on a Google map. By exposing their content through web protocols like REST, Web Services and RSS/Atom, coders and writers are able to access and use this information freely in the construction of the mashed up site.
A commonly used process of extracting information from external sites is called screen scraping which is the process of automatically scanning through sites and extracting the necessary coding and applications needed for the new site.

The Mashup Site
The mashup site is the domain where the site resides and the users visit to use the site. However, it is not always where the "mashup logic" is necessarily executed. Because the site is using features borrowed from exterior websites, most of the sites functions are actually operated from outside the sites own coding. However, some content is generated within the clients browser through what is called client-side scripting or applets. 

The Clients Web Browser
In the clients web browser the application is graphically rendered and it is here where user interaction takes place. 

Below you will find five websites that are great examples of "mashed up" websites:

Map Your Buddies - Combines Facebook, google maps and Amazon to show you where your buddies are as they update their Facebook statuses.    

Twittervision3D - Using Twitter and Poly9Free Earth, this mashup shows you where your friends are when they update their Twitter statuses. 

Cloudme - Search for photos online with Yahoo, flickr, youtube at the same time. 

Tune Glue Music Map - A great music website that combines LostFM with Amazon e-Commerce that builds relationships between artists and allows viewers to buy songs and albums. 

VDiddy - Brings together videos from many of the internets most popular video sites.

Commercial from Exalead advertising its MashUp expertise on Youtube

Click here to learn how to make your own MASHED UP website?