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RoamAbout browser plugin brings web services to any page

What do Gmail, Facebook, MapQuest, and all have in common? They're web sites, but they're also web-based services, providing access to interactive tools like email, mapping, or weather forecasting. Typically, if you want to take information from one web page and enter it in another, you have to do a lot of copying and pasting. For example, if you find an address online and want to see it on a map, you have to copy the address, open a new window or tab, open a map service like Google Maps, and paste the address before you get your results.

But why take the data to the web service, when the web service can come to the data? This morning Vysr is launching a new browser plugin for Firefox and Internet Explorer called RoamAbout. It lets you access a series of web tools from any page.

At launch, a handful of services like Facebook,, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, MapQuest, and Google Maps will be supported. Users can highlight an address on any web page, and click a button in the toolbar to plot the address on a map and then email the map to a friend. Or you can select a zip code or city name and check the weather by hitting another button to pull up the interface.

Vysr RoamAbout

Users can pick from categories like maps or weather and select the services they want to be able to pull up from an in-browser toolbar. The company hopes to add new services every week. And Vysr is also releasing an API to allow third parties to add services to RoamAbout.

Since RoamAbout works with Firefox, the service is compatible with Mac, Linux, and Windows systems. Vysr CEO Guda Venkatesh says the plugin is just a 30kb download, and uses less RAM than opening up a new tab in your browser with Facebook or another web service.

RoamAbout is available as a public beta. The program is free for users, but eventually Vysr may ad contextual advertising to the interface. Vysr also hopes to work with web publishers to develop tools that will let you interact with web services directly from a web page even if you haven't installed the toolbar yourself.

Tags: roamabout, vysr, web-services