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The country's new robots.txt file. Here's a small and nerdy measure of the huge change in the executive branch of the US government today.

The country's new robots.txt file

Here's the robots.txt file from whitehouse.gov yesterday: User-agent: *Disallow: /cgi-binDisallow: /searchDisallow: /query.htmlDisallow: /omb/searchDisallow: /omb/query.htmlDisallow: /expectmore/searchDisallow: /expectmore/query.htmlDisallow: /results/searchDisallow: /results/query.htmlDisallow: /earmarks/searchDisallow: /earmarks/query.htmlDisallow: /helpDisallow: /360pics/textDisallow: /911/911day/textDisallow: /911/heroes/text And it goes on like that for almost 2400 lines!

Here's the new Obamafied robots.txt file: User-agent: *Disallow: /includes/ That's it! Update: Nearly four months later, the White House's robots.txt file is still short...only four lines. UK government wants to mash it up. “We’re confident that you’ll have more and better ideas than we ever will.”

UK government wants to mash it up

It’s refreshing to hear this from a government. In this case, this language comes from the UK government, or more specifically, its Power of Information taskforce, which is holding a £20,000 competition for the best idea to build services on top of openly available government information. Ideas are flowing in at a good clip – witness this word cloud of the 150 ideas submitted in the first week of the competition. In a Guardian article, an MP touts his favorite idea to mash up Google Earth and biographical info from Wikipedia with data about so-called Blue Plaques (speaking of Wikipedia, Blue Plaques are UK lingo for “a permanent sign installed in a public place to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person or event”), which would allow users to plan walking tours of cities to visit these intriguing locations.

Now that does sound familiar, doesn’t it? Show Us a Better Way. Creative Block? Try Moodstream - ReadWriteWeb. The world's largest stock imagery company, Getty Images, this week released a new mashup that leans on the company's vast stock image and audio assets.

Creative Block? Try Moodstream - ReadWriteWeb

The flash app called Moodstream draws on Getty's photo, video, and audio collections to create what the company calls a "powerful brainstorming tool designed to take you in inspiring, unexpected directions. " The mashup debuted earlier this week at the Webby Award Film and Video Awards after party in New York. Moodstream adjusts its output based on settings users input via sliders that describe their state of mind. Happy to Sad, Humorous to Serious, etc. Users can also control the type of transitions between image assets, the amount of color vs. black and white imagery, and the type of music. If you see a picture or hear some music you like, you can add it to your "moodboard" and get additional information on purchasing it from Getty's library. What is Moodstream? He's certainly right about the last part. Make Mashups Using Your Own Data with geoXtract - ReadWriteWeb.

GeoXtract is a powerful tool that allows you to integrate your own data with Google Maps or Google Earth.

Make Mashups Using Your Own Data with geoXtract - ReadWriteWeb

Using this desktop application, you can create a personalized map with no programming experience required. Using your own data source, which can be an Excel Spreadsheet (.xls), Access database (.mdb), or Comma-Separated Values file (.csv), geoXtract walks you through the process of creating a mashup. The program uses a wizard that helps you with the data selection, configuration, processing, and publishing of your data into either Google Maps or Google Earth. GeoXtract doesn't require you do do any manual processing of your data or programming and you don't even have to modify your data set in any particular way prior to using the program.The map created by the program can be published to the geoXtract web site, to your own site, or simply saved to your computer.

Here's an example of a map made with geoXtract showing Clearwater, Florida beach motels: