yubnub + Google Earth mashup

My very first mashup!

yubnub is extremely clever. It’s a folksonomy of command-line commands for the web, quite simply, and it leaves little doubt that the web-as-operating-system meme is in full bloom.

To get an idea of how it works, just go there and try it. Type “g stockholm” and you will see the Google search results for “Stockholm”. Type “flk googleearth” and you’re taken to a Flickr search for “googleearth”. The “g” and the “flk” are user submitted; both “gmaps” and “gm” work for Google Maps, for example. (What’s more, you can now combine 2 or more successive such commands into pipes, just like with real Unix.)

But there wasn’t a yubnub command for Google Earth yet, as far as I could tell. So I remembered this morning’s little discovery, by Taylor Monacelli, that Google Earth KML files need not have coordinates — a valid address is just fine. (Google Maps works the same way: supply just and address, and it will return a URL with both address and coordinates.)

What needed to be done, then was quite simple: Write some PHP that procures a (valid, obvs.) address, wraps it inside valid KML and then saves it to the desktop, where Google Earth is waiting to launch it.

Here it is.

All I did then was go to yubnub and make my own new command, gearth, which calls my PHP form.

So now, you can “gearth 109 St. Marks Place, New York, NY, 10009”, my old haunt, and fly directly to the East village, where you’ll end up hovering above Tompkins Square Park, not unlike the aliens in Independence Day.

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