In ancient times, the ability to process and analyze information was invaluable. Greek knowledge of astronomy gave rise to the Antikythera Mechanism, an analog computer with sophisticated bronze gears that predicted astronomical events like lunar phases and eclipses.
As data itself has become currency, the metadata describing it — and what happens to it — has also emerged as a core asset of modern business.
The concept of mashups is a simple one: combining separate, typically heterogeneous elements into a single, compound, and useful system. A stick, some rope, and a sharp rock all have their worthy independent uses; but, when combined, they become a spear to make hunting and survival easier.