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.
Google Maps has added some cool new formats to their API, KML and GeoRSS. Currently, they support points, lines, polygons, styles, icons, and network links (without view-based refresh) in the KML files, and they will be adding ground overlays, screen overlays, folders, and visibility soon. More information can be found in the Google Maps API documentation. So now you can create a KML file using Google Earth and load it up in Google Maps, so you can see exactly where they are.
To start we now support GeoRSS as a data format for geographic content in Google Maps. We want to enable users to create data in whatever format is most convenient for them, and feel that by supporting both KML and GeoRSS we can enable a wider variety of people and applications to contribute content to Google Maps. We’ve built support for the Simple, GML, and W3C Geo encodings of GeoRSS — all you have to do is enter the full URL of a GeoRSS file into the Maps query box to load the file. For example, take a look at SlashGeo’s GeoRSS on Google Maps.
Most importantly, we’ve extended support for displaying geographic data — both KML and GeoRSS — into the Google Maps API. Now in addition to programatically adding content to a Maps API site, you can create your content as KML or GeoRSS and load it into the Map with a simple function call. This means that the more than 1 million KML files that are available from all over the web can easily be mashed up with the map on your site. For example, you can add some vacation photos from Japan with the following code:
var gx = new GGeoXml(“http://kml.lover.googlepages.com/my-vacation-photos.kml”);
This makes it easier for API sites to maintain content in a flexible format that can be accessed via the API or in a number of other tools directly, and makes it simpler to create a rich API site with declarative content, instead of a lot of code. Source: KML and GeoRSS Support Added to the Google Maps API
The O’reilly Radar site, says this will help KML become an OGC standard, and they expect Google to soon accept GeoRSS as a layer, and that they will probably start showing up in Google Earth’s web search.
Additionally, KML is on its way to becoming an OGC standard (and as you can see from this Slashgeo poll it’s a popular idea). It’s great for them to begin accepting this other OGC standard as they begin that process.
I expect this means that GeoRSS will be accepted as a Google Earth layer soon and that GeoRSS will start showing up in Google Earth’s Web Search. This would provide even further incentive content sites to join the likes of Flickr (as an aside compare with Flickr’s map feature with a Google Map consuming the same feed – I think Flickr’s is cleaner, but it does not have Google’s flexibility) and Upcoming by exporting in GeoRSS (as if today’s announcement wasn’t enough). WordPress bloggers can start using the GeoPress plugin (Radar post) right away (I already do on the Ignite Seattle blog — it’s very easy to use). Source: Google is Supporting GeoRSS
Lots of stuff coming out for Google Earth lately, be sure to check some of the other articles below.