I published a quick app to the market, NEO Droid – Asteroid Tracker. Just s simple app that shows asteroids and comets (aka near-earth objets) in the vicinity of earth. This was really a test for me, to see if I could reliably mine useful data from an HTML web page. It turned out to not be that bad. If you are adept with regular expressions, picking what you want out of a web page is quite easy, and as it turns out quite fast … faster than trying to parse the web page’s structure.
I wonder how the folks at the NEO program feel about third-parties building apps that use their data? In all likelihood, this data is for fun in the first place so they don’t care. Or, they are happy that people are writing free apps to publicize them. Under other circumstances, I think it could be a problem (for-pay apps, re-purposing the data, etc).