Global Billboard API Mashup

Click here to visit GlobalBillboard!

Kenny and myself teamed up to create Global Billboard, a mashup of the Google Maps and Last.fm APIs that plots Last.fm listening data for top artists and top tracks onto a styled Google Map canvas. Users can see the top artists and tracks for a country, and when zoomed into a country, a metro area can be selected (provided Last.fm has listener data for that area) to drill down even further. Starting with wireframes and color studies, Kenny and I worked together to develop a layout and color scheme that not only provided an optimal viewing experience, but also reflected the sleek black and red feel of Last.fm.

Once development time came, we split the project into two parts– creating a stylized webpage in HTML5/CSS3 for the map and output to be placed into, and building the PHP/mySQL and JavaScript files that would call the Last.fm API, reference a database that contained respective metros for each country, pull top artists/tracks from users within the specified area, convert the “human-readable” address into a Google Maps LatLng value, and finally plot it to the map with a custom icon/shadow. We tried to get a database built to hold and serve the data remotely, which would possibly enable us to show listening trends over time, but after running into serious troubles with using the POST method to push and pull data, we reverted to calling the API live, which has the potential to max out our API key if subjected to enough traffic. Aside from some minor post-implementation styling tweaks, our original idea has survived the rigors of development. There is certainly some potential for this project to be introduced to the public with future iterations and improvements.

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