In the International Herald Tribune today, John Markoff explains the Web 2.0 and APIs to the mainstream reader, but also delves into possible revenue models for Google Maps and Google Earth.
He also looks at the competitive landscape:
Microsoft also plans to make use of satellite data, but its interface will be based on a Web browser, not separately downloaded software like Google Earth.
In contrast, Yahoo executives said they were skeptical about the value of satellite imagery, and the company is focusing instead on digital maps. Yahoo is hoping that Web users will emerge to overlay its maps with restaurant reviews and other kinds of contributions.
If that is the case, I’m afraid Microsoft and Yahoo are going to find they didn’t aim high enough. But let’s wait and see.