background image
DigiCULT
.
Info
22
`similar' sites, based upon data retrieved
from Google.
A further demonstration
6
, from the
University of California at Berkeley, is
interesting for a different reason. This
demonstration shows the use of Web
Service APIs from Google, Amazon, and
Weather.com, allowing a search for Web
information and books about US cities,
as well as current weather information.
Specifically, the examples from Amazon
and Weather.com offer opportunities to
view results marked up either for human
readability or as raw XML, suitable for
relatively easy integration with other
systems.
Organisations in the cultural sector,
such as OCLC, are also beginning to
engage with Web Services. OCLC's
pages using an automatic subject classifi-
cation service, etc. The ePrints UK
project
8
, funded under the Focus on
Access to Institutional Resources (FAIR)
Programme of the United Kingdom's
Joint Information Systems Committee
(JISC) is one of those making use of
these developing services from OCLC.
The popular DC-dot
9
tool at
UKOLN, used to create Dublin Core
records for Web pages, has also recently
started to make use of a Web Service. In
this case, it offers an ability to call upon
the BabelFish translation service in order
to translate Web
page metadata
automatically from
one language to
another. The quali-
ty of the transla-
tion should not
detract from the
potential value of
the approach, com-
pared with visiting
the BabelFish Web
site manually seve-
ral times in order
powerful communication between dispa-
rate pieces of computer software, rather
than delivering some immediately visible
result to the desktop.
There are a few notable exceptions.
Well-known Internet companies such as
the search engine provider, Google, and
the bookseller, Amazon, have publicly
embraced Web Services
3,4
, making it
possible for third parties to build appli-
cations of various kinds that make use of
their data and systems.
TouchGraph
5
, for example, offers a
tool to display relationships between
Figure 1 TouchGraph.com's GoogleBrowser, looking at the www.digicult.info/ Website.
work, under the MetaSwitch label
7
, is
tackling a number of areas where a
remote Web Service might usefully be
employed such as checking names against
an authority file service, classifying Web
3http://www.amazon.com/webservices/
4http://www.google.com/apis/
5http://www.touchgraph.com/
6http://dream.sims.berkeley.edu:8080/doc-eng/
wsdemo/all.html
7http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/mswitch/
8http://www.rdn.ac.uk/projects/eprints-uk/
9http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/metadata/dcdot