Score one for openness on the Web. Google and Amazon both share their application programming interfaces, or APIs, with outside software writers, meaning that anyone who wants to develop a new service that uses or enhances data from Google or Amazon has the tools they need to interact directly with the companies’ databases. A great new example of an independent service building on these APIs is MoreGoogle.
Developed by an independent software engineer in Vienna named Andreas Pizsa, MoreGoogle is a free 300-kilobyte download that runs in the background as you surf Google. Its main function is to give Google search results a more Amazon-like appearance. For instance, every link appears with a thumbnail image of the Web page it links to. If you’re searching for a product, say a rice cooker, the Google listing appears with price information and customer ratings from Amazon. There are even links to traffic rankings for each site, courtesy of Alexa, a Web traffic analysis company owned by Amazon, and to old, archived versions of each site at the Internet Archive.
MoreGoogle may not be revolutionary–the same information is available elsewhere, and MoreGoogle simply aggregates it. But it’s a neat product that you probably wouldn’t see Google and Amazon releasing on their own. Sorry, Mac and Netscape users: MoreGoogle only works with Internet Explorer running on Windows machines.