With the Skype API it's possible to grab profile information from all your contacts. You could then do something like post it on a google map such as this one. I can't decide if this is a really bad abuse of privacy or really neat.

I did a little more work on this last night and this morning. here's the pieces of the puzzle so far.

- From the API you can get everything on your contact's profiles except email address.
- I can use Google unofficially or some other geocoder service to convert the country+province+city into a lat/long
- I can store all these and then read them out onto a Google Map.
- If I can find the magic USP, and get lots of people to run a local Skype AddIn program, I can aggregate everybody's contact list together and effectively build a Skype white pages outside Skype.

The privacy downside to this is that any one person only needs to authorise one user of the add in to see their profile detail and the world would be able to see it via my aggregator.

As an aside I'm still looking for a truly global Geocoder that can take a fairly arbitrary address string and turn it into a Lat/Long. Google Maps is very good at this, but curiously you get different results on maps.google.com from maps.google.co.uk. A search for "ware, herts, uk" works in one but not the other. While "ware, hertfordshire, uk" works in both. Google doesn't like you scraping their html to get the results out and they don't offer a geocoder API service (yet). I found another one that uses the USA (CIA?) world city database http://worldkit.org/geocoder/rest/ but it's less resilient to bad or partial addresses. The problem is that even in countries that are fairly formalised end users get very confused about how to write an address. In the UK, there's quite a lot of large metropolita areas with no county. So for instance people desribe themselves as being in London, London, UK. The existing mapping services have a hard time with this. And don't get me started on all the map and geocoder services that are USA only. Like Yahoo!

[ << eBay looking for allies against Google (via Always On) ] [ Skype contacts -> maps >> ]
[ 22-Apr-06 8:39am ] [ , ]