Mapping the sky with YQL and

Machine tags and Google Sky, originally uploaded by eat your greens.

Astronomy photographer of the year has been open for a couple of months now, and the astrophoto Flickr group has a few hundred photos now. The amazing bot has been scanning the group and about 70 photos have been tagged with their celestial coordinates, using astro: machine tags.

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Opening up data with YQL

Recently I’ve been following Chris Heilmann’s enthusiastic posts about Yahoo! Query Language (YQL). Chris has also written a good introduction to YQL for developers. It’s a SQL-like language for getting data out of open web services. Sort of a single syntax for interacting with a variety of services, such as the APIs for flickr, upcoming or twitter, without needing to know a lot of the detail of those individual services. One of its features is open data tables, which allows you to describe your own web services using a simple XML syntax, not unlike OpenSearch.

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