Parentproofing Google Earth

Google Maps is at the epicenter of efforts to turn it into a social bookmark and geotagging fest because there is an API there to exploit. Just in the past few days there’s been a real explosion: There’s Tagzania (“Tagging the planet”), gmaptrack (“create and place your own information onto Google Maps, and share with others”), and of course the by now venerable Been Mapped (“Bookmark the Earth!”), just to name some I’ve run into.

The blog Excellatronic Communications, meanwhile, has been pondering on how it might be possible to do something similar with Google Earth.

I think it will always be relatively trivial to convert the result of a Google Mapshup into dynamically generated KML for ready consumption in Google Earth. But it would be very nice if it got easier for Google Earth to give some love back. The simplest feature request I can think of would be to incorporate an FTP client in a future version, so that there is a easy way to update straighforward network links with new finds.

Or perhaps Google might even consider letting me store my KML files centrally on their servers, somewhere among the 1.8 gigabytes of unused space allotted to my gmail account that I just never manage to fill up. After all, I’m already sending my placemarks to my gmail account (and on to others) everytime I find a keeper. It would be easier just to let friends subscribe to a network link that I can manage from within the application — ideally without needing to know what an FTP is.