(Part 1 of the stories I missed last week)
The Google Maps API Blog announced support in Google Maps for the GeoRSS data format, a light and standards-based XML vocabulary for georeferencing content in RSS feeds (for example). This means that you can now simply drop a GeoRSS-enabled feed into the Google Maps search box and see the contents displayed geographically.
In the same post, Google also announced that the Google Maps API now supports the loading of KML files (in addition to GeoRSS). This means you can now show KML files on your own Google Maps on your website, as an alternative to displaying them in Google Earth.
Geobloggers’ Rev Dan Catt has a fine expository post on the news, O’Reilly Radar looks at the implications (playing with a GeoRSS-enabled Flickr feed), and Christian Spanring looks at what the next step of development might be: “Maybe GeoRSS feeds getting indexed for searches within Google Earth?”
Knowing that you could once turn a Google Maps view into KML simply by appending “&output=kml” to the permalink URL (alas the trick no longer works), I tried that hack on the permalink URL of a Google Map with a GeoRSS feed attached, hoping for a kind of pipeline to getting GeoRSS converted into KML for Google Earth. No such luck:-) Do remember however that Yahoo! Pipes is very GeoRSS-savvy, so using Google Maps in combination with Pipes should allow for some interesting results.
And finally, as Google Earth already has WMS support (albeit rudimentary), here’s hoping GeoRSS feeds will soon also be supported natively — perhaps as an admissible URL for a network link? As has been pointed out before, GeoRSS and KML do not compete — they are far apart on the ease/power axis of geospatial formats.