Quick quiz: Where else is geospatial data lurking on Google’s server farms, ready for visualizing in Google Earth? If you answered Google Analytics, you get a prize, and it’s the online Analytics2KML converter, developed by Jacob Cord.
I feel Ogle Earth is suffering a little from superlative-inflation of late, and I need to do something about it, but not until the next post: This converter is extremely cool, and works exactly as advertised. By way of example, here is a KMZ file of all the locations of all the georeferenced visits to Ogle Earth on June 14, 2006.
Jacob also posts the source code and a Linux binary here.
If Google were to do this instead of Jacob, they could automate the process, providing URLs to KML network links that update automatically — a little like how the personal iCal links work in Google Calendar. They could also prettify the visualization, for example by using sized 3D models to indicate the number of visitors from a location. Google is quite possibly already working on all this, as it is an obvious mashup candidate (with hindsight, okay), but if they’re not, I think I know somebody just right for the job:-)
[Update 00:02 2006-06-16: It just occurred to me to wonder where all this international geocoding was being done. It turns out it's done by Google Analytics, and the coordinates are exported along with the rest of the data.]