Microsoft Updates Live Maps Adds GeoRSS Support

Microsoft has released a new version of their Live Maps program, with this being the sixth different update since it was first released in July 7, 2005. Listed among the updates are bug fixes, performance improvements, enhancements, GeoRSS publishing of Collections, which would allow you to include a special markup to encode the geographic information of every item in the collection, area calculations and more. GeoRSS was just released in the Google Earth program as well, so we should see some great collections, google earth layers and all kinds of great add-ons.

You can now read reviews of businesses entered by other users, as well as adding your own ratings and reviews for any business in Live Maps. To get started do a search for businesses in the Yellow Pages like this search for Book stores, restaurants and Supermarkets. Click on one of the listings to bring up its details page, like the one shown below for Bailey-Coy Books. There you can see the average user rating for the business and page through reviews previously entered by others. We’ve partnered with sites like Judy’s Book to feed thousands of quality reviews into the system already. Of course you can contribute your own Rating and Review right there on the details page with the ‘Write Review’ button. Had a good experience with a physical therapist? Tell your neighbors about it. Tired of the over hyped bar in Belltown that’s too crowded, serves watered down drinks and takes a 10 dollar cover weeknights even though every other place on the block is free? Call em out on it..

RSS is a family of standard formats used to publish frequently updated content, such as blogs or news feeds. You can now subscribe to an RSS feed for a Collection so that you can be kept up to date as the author of the Collection adds new items. When you subscribe to a Collection?s feed, your RSS reader automatically receives updates as the author makes changes. Source: New Version of Live Maps Launches!

I can see this becoming a great feature on Live Maps and Google Earth, but I have no way to monetize Live Maps, yet, so I will probably work on Google Earth instead.