Andrew Turner at High Earth Orbit has a nice overview of the state of spatial programming with Ruby on Rails. He compares database systems (PostgreSQL good, MySQL bad, susprisingly) and examines in which direction the development of geospatial plugins would be most useful. It’s a great little linkfest.
He also links to a number of geocoding resources. Unfortunately, they are all US only. Fortunately, the US military has available to the public a global geocoding database (excluding just the US and, shockingly, Antarctica) and it’s downloadable in one fell swoop, for free, at 190MB compressed. Wouldn’t it be nice to suck that into on your server’s database? (You can also download individual countries for smaller projects.) (Via Liquidx.net)