Last week, a few of my teammates and I participated in the Strong Angel III effort in San Diego. As the NYT article below mentions, we used SSE to pull in data from several different sources in the field and analyze / visualize it in various clients. The distributed nature of SSE worked very well in an environment of many ad-hoc unreliable networks, and its basis on RSS made it easy to consume by 3rd party developers from Google, IDV (a Virtual Earth partner) etc.
The graphic above illustrates how we used SSE in the exercise. On the final day we did a demo to show the integration between Groove, IDV and Google Earth that was recorded and will be available in video form soon.
At the same time, the technology roadblocks were balanced by notable successes, like the work of Google, Microsoft, ESRI, Intergraph and other companies to allow sharing a single set of digital satellite maps seamlessly and to overlay event data relayed from emergency workers throughout the San Diego area.
The new software capability relies on a Microsoft-designed system called Simple Sharing Extensions. It has been built on industry standards, like the Web protocol known as Really Simple Syndication, or R.S.S., which was designed to enable one-way data streams.
Such tools are valuable for disaster-response coordinators who require real-time data feeds from a variety of locations. The Microsoft extensions will make it possible for the feeds to display constantly changing or even conflicting data streams from multiple sources.
Moreover, the achievement demonstrated that industry rivals like Microsoft and Google could cooperatively generate useful technologies. Small teams of programmers from the two companies sat before laptops at adjacent tables to make sure that the Microsoft software connection system would transfer information to Google Earth, Google’s visual mapping tool.
I posted this and the previous entry with the recently released Windows Live Writer. It’s a great product – simple, targeted, functional and scenario based, without being cumbersome.
Lots of people have already written favorable things about Writer, as you can see by looking at this TechMeme snapshot. The basic content creation and editing features already have been covered extensively, but what I’m really excited about is the content source plugin SDK, to which Michael Arrington alluded and which was mentioned here.
A short time ago J.J. Allaire, Joe Cheng and Bonnie Plottner of the Writer team met with us to talk about possibly adding support for Live Clipboard in the Writer plugin model. I’m thrilled to see that they were able to deliver on this in time for the Beta release. The documentation that is installed with the SDK explains how easy it is to register a handler for a specific content type of Live Clipboard data (for more about these content types, see the Live Clipboard spec).
Once such a plugin is installed, it is invoked whenever Live Clipboard content of its registered type is pasted into the application, which it can then format for inclusion in the blog post. For example, a plugin could register for location data in hCard or vCard formats and nicely format the pasted data along with a map in the post. A more advanced plugin might take advantage of the sidebar integration to provide editing of the pasted data before publishing.
I plan on posting a walk-through of building a Live Clipboard content source plugin in the near future. I can’t wait to see what kind of cool plugins involving Live Clipboard and microformats the development community comes up with.
I’m a software development engineer on Ray Ozzie’s CSA Concept Development Team at Microsoft. During the time I’ve spent on this team, I’ve helped define and prototype technologies such as SSE (Simple Sharing Extensions) and Live Clipboard. Prior to that I spent several years working in MSN on the contacts and permissions web service, known internally as ABCH, that is used by sites such as Hotmail, Messenger and Spaces as the foundation for contacts, social networking and user-configurable permissions features.
I will use this blog to point out and discuss technologies that our team is working on as well as some random thoughts about software and technology. In short, this is my “work” blog. My “!Work blog” is at http://matta.spaces.live.com.