Two related announcements of note: 1) The pioneering and Google Earth-featured Gombe Chimp Blog gets a major upgrade (including a design revamp and a change of address), and now uses 2) Earthwatchr, a new open-source geosavvy content management backend that uses Google Maps to georeference posts and which outputs content both as HTML with ready-made Google Maps and as KML.
Earthwatchr beta source code will be available July 15, 2007, according to the site. Bryce Tugwell and Nick Novitski are the people behind this. Nick blogs his involvement in the development of Earthwatchr on That Bright Instrument, highlighting some of the cool features:
If you go to the [Gombe Chimp Blog], you can see Earthwatchr integrates google maps, google earth, and your website into a single experience. Please feel free to try out the geo-referenced comment feature: Replies and comments that possess spatial information, just like the posts themselves
Bryce let me have a look at the CMS: Here’s how you georeference the post — you can even add a path:
There are also options for defining the view in Google Earth. Here’s some of them:
Earthwatchr is written in ASP, but Bryce writes in an email:
We will be posting a forum for users to post questions suggestions and new versions, perhaps some other users will decide to jump in and start a PHP version.
There are a couple of other geosavvy CMSes out there, but Earthwatchr is the only one I am aware of that uses Google Maps in the back-end to georeference posts. I’m guessing most mainstream blog CMSes will have this feature in a couple of years. What I’m also looking forward to is GeoRSS support.