Mashup fun

Crime mapEnjoyed learning a bit about transforming XML documents with XSLT in doing some homicide mashup maps for a series of stories reporter Matt Lakin is doing.

He had complied homicide cases since 2000 into two OpenOffice Calc (Excel compatible) spreadsheets. I converted the spreadsheets to XML docs, then “transformed” each XML document into an HTML file and an XML file in Yahoo’s map format using a simple perl program (all my perl programs are simple) and an XSLT stylesheet.

One gotcha I ran into was that the same spreadsheets saved by Excel and OpenOffice produced different XML for the date field and another field with using XML||Excel in perl. I’ll have to look at that some more.

I did run into some issues of things I didn’t know how to do in XSLT stylesheets, but I worked around them and I did have to clean up some addresses in Yahoo..

I used XML and Perl by Mark Riehl and Ilya Sterin to learn how to do this. It’s a good introduction, but you’ll need a book about XSLT if you want to do more than scratch the surface.

The results:

Knoxville homicides

Knox County homicides