Mashups getting mashed by data providers

Brian Flood has a piece on mashup fragility, and in particular our plight after Yahoo’s recent updates to their geocoder api. Then there is the article on the risk of mashups that kicked things off.

I think I have already said all that needs to be said on the issue, or have I?

Mashups are built on the shoulders of data and service providers, which seemlingly will need to get something out of the relationship. In the case of map interfaces, that could mean ads. In other situations, where there is not the same opportunity, I think we will see the data providers getting more and more stingy about who they let do what.

Right now I think Yahoo is being the most liberal in their data API’s, so I can’t really fault them for rolling back functionality on a service that nobody else is daring to offer. Also I’d remember there is another player in this game besides Yahoo, their data providers. They want to protect the investment and value in the data products they have created.

No doubt its an on going tango between data provider, service provider, and application provider (in this case, the batch geocoder.) I like being the application provider, its the most fun…. and even though there is certainly less control at the end of the chain, there is also less expense, less risk, and most importantly less work!