Sunday 14 June 2009

Another limited use killer app

A week or so ago I signed up with a Google App Engine account. The next step was trying to think up an application to develop and deploy onto this new-ish cloud computing environment. I thought about an auction system, as I have some experience of that from a project that I lead back in New Zealand, but I got side-tracked into preparing for some interviews.

Yesterday I was looking for someplace on Google maps, which made me somehow think of providing an online lost and found service. Users can register to post their lost/found item details:
  • using a Google Maps mashup (or whatever you like to call it) to specify the location
  • upload image(s) of the item
  • specify a means of being contacted
Sure enough when I did a quick search I found that someone else is already providing a similar service - but I'm still considering it as a toy application that could motivate me to try to produce a map-based system that can be configured to use different mapping services, as opposed to being tied to a particular provider. That was an issue that came up in one of those "what if" conversations at a pub after a technical user group.

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