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World Citizen News: a Mashup built with Location-based APIs

, 2 Jul 2013 CPOL
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Please note

This article is an entry in our Windows Azure Developer Challenge. Articles in this sub-section are not required to be full articles so care should be taken when voting. Create your free Azure Trial Account to Enter the Challenge.

Introduction 

World Citizen News gets you the weather forecast, local time & map for popular cities around the world, images of selected location from flickr, news & interesting places around a chosen location. It is especially recommended for travelers and geography buffs. This article will explain how this mashup is built. This is a work in progress and there are a bunch of features that are planned. It is hosted on a Windows Azure Web Site service. You can try it online and also keep watching how it evolves. 

Why Azure?  

These are the top 3 reasons I find Azure useful: 

  • Easy to get started - build your application with Visual Studio or WebMatrix, click Publish when you're done  
  • Multiple deployment options  
  • Scale on demand - computing resources can be added or removed based on website visitor volume, and budgeted cost without any major upfront fees. 
I have an Azure account via MSDN which gives subscribers some free benefits. These resources are extremely useful for hobbyists and developers to explore Azure.  

Background 

All the information displayed on the mashup web page is generated dynamically. World Citizen News currently makes use of the following APIs & libraries -

Each API "feeds" the other. A location selected from a drop-down list of popular country & city names is used as a keyword for Google News to search on. Each location has a Yahoo! Where On Earth ID (WOEID) associated with it. Once a city is selected, its WOEID is used to fetch weather information via Yahoo Weather and YQL, as well as flickr images specific to that location. Yahoo Weather gets us latitude and longitude based on the WOEID. The coordinates are used to get the current local time and map for the selected place as well as interesting places (with a link to its corresponding Wikipedia article) around using the Geonames Wikipedia Webservice. The Amazon ad is configured to use the city and country names as keywords to fetch book titles that may have  those nouns. 

As the entire process is automated, some results may be off the mark but they may still be hilarious. 

Code Overview 

Will be added soon... 

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Points of Interest

Will be added soon...

History

2013-May-9: Article published

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

'Anil' Radhakrishna
Web Developer
India India
'Anil' Radhakrishna is a seasoned developer who enjoys working with Microsoft tools & technologies. He blogs quite regularly about his little discoveries and technical experiments on his blog called Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia. You can find some of his unusual code samples & snippets at his Code Gallery. He loves building mash-ups using public Web APIs.
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