Mashup: Google Maps + Amazon Reviews

Saturday morning I woke up with a rather odd idea: to create a mashup of google maps and Amazon book reviews. I was mildly surprised to discover it hadn’t been done yet. Here’s the result of spending a chunk of the weekend writing it in python (11/15 Update: should now work in Safari, Firefox2, and IE6):

It didn’t take long to write, since I’d recently been investigating the google maps API for a friend, and I’d also been doing bits of Amazon integration for a project. The biggest pain was dealing with the 1 call per second per IP address rate limiting mechanism of Amazon’s ECS API: the service returns error codes if you exceed the limit. So the application is pretty slow, especially if others are also using it.

But if you’re patient, it’s fun to watch the map markers gradually pop up. It’s also fun to look up a book with strong political leanings, and see how the ratings are distributed geographically. For example, you can look at The Communist Manifesto by Marx, and Bill O’Reilly’s Culture Warrior (*shudder*). Data for both are cached, so they should load very fast.

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