September 21, 2007

OU Course Codes - A Web 2.OU Crown Jewel

In the days when this blog was dominated by library related concerns, I used to spend a lot of time working out how to use ISBNs as pivot points for various book related searches; (librarians, of course, don't rate ISBNs - they'd rather focus on the city a book was printed in...).

At the time, I produced a simple script to generate URLs that accepted an ISBN key - Amazon look ups, for example, or book cover images - you can find a link to the page from here: ISBN Playground. (The list may be a little out-of-date/increasingly incomplete by now...)

Somewhen around that time, (or perhaps even before, in the days before I blogged everything?) I also dabbled with a couple of webservices, in particular a course related book search (as well as an alternative course search):

This service looked up the set books associated with a course (in fact, it looked up the books students had to purchase for the course) and provided links for them through to the OU Library, as well as on Amazon and elsewhere, and also provided a couple of links to related course pages.

The service is no longer maintained, so many of the courses listed may have ceased presentation by now (and many of the newer current courses won't be listed), but it was an interesting exercise and one I;d like to revisit one day; not least because I'd like to put together a full RESTful API for it (and maybe tidy up the current SOAP API).

Anyway, anyway, as a precursor to that - possibly - I thought I'd start collecting URLs that are 'keyed' with an OU course code. This list is likely to grow over time (I'll try to maintain it), so if you're interested, it's probably worth bookmarking this page and revisiting it every so often...

Here's a host of RSS feeds sourced from MyOpenLibray. (As the library is about to undergo a redesign, these URLs may not be very stable, if indeed they work at all... assume it's broken if it's not listed as (works)!):

The above library feeds can also be bundled using this library course feed bundle OPML generator - which i will update at some point to run as a live OPML feed generator keyed by a course code.

It's worth noting, however, that the library database is sparsely populated and not all courses have items populating the above feeds.

Posted by ajh59 at September 21, 2007 07:34 PM