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It is now possible for your computer to extract information from our web pages and then re-use it in other websites or computer programs, such as your calendar or address book.
What: the method we use
We do this using something called microformats. You'll find microformats on lots of other leading websites, too, such as Wikipedia, Upcoming and LinkedIn. Local websites which us them include the Town Hall & Symphony Hall, All Brum events listings, and the West Midland Bird Club.
Why: what our microformats can do for you
You can download contact details for people, organisations (like on our main contact page), and venues from our pages, to your address book, or to a website like Google Contacts, using the 'hCard' microformat.
You can add our events to you calendar program or electronic diary, or a website like Google Calendar, thanks to our use of the 'hCalendar' microformat.
Search engines like Google can easily understand our reviews and include them in search results, because we use the 'hReview' microformat.
How: Using our microformats
There are two ways to use our microformats, by adding a tool to your web browser, or letting another website do the job for you.
Adding a microformat-aware tool to your web browser makes it possible to use our microformats in the ways described above. Examples include:
Some websites allow you to submit the URL (address) of one of our web pages, and will then act upon the microformats on that page, for you. Examples include:
See if you can find the microformats on this page!
If you are interested in the technical side of things, here is more detail about microformats, what they do, and how they work:
- Microformats are an agreed set of HTML classes (and occasionally rel attributes).
- hCard contact details can also be exported as vCard files
- hCalendar events can also be exported as iCal calendar entry files
- Some tools will convert microformatted data into RDF, KML and other data-exchange formats.
- If you run websites, then the source code from some of the above websites can be installed on your own server.
The text about microformats on this page is available for you to reuse, under a Creative Commons "Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported" licence. Please cite as "© Birmingham City Council, 2010, from http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/microformats".