Google MyMaps and GeoRSS

O’Reilly’s Where 2.0 Conference isn’t until the end of May, but Google just released two sweet new map-related features: GeoRSS support and MyMaps.

The GeoRSS support means that any application that can output it’s geocoding — as simple as <georss:point>45.256 -71.92</georss:point> — can now be linked to a live map with no more effort than it takes to paste the feed URL into Google Maps’ search box. Google holds this up as the exemplar, but I’m a fan of the cheese photo map here. (Here’s some notes about GeoRSS feed validation.)

And if that isn’t easy enough, the MyMaps feature that allows anybody to start marking up a map in their browser.

The really cool part, however, is Google is now indexing all this data and supposedly will be making them part of their local search. The result? Geo mashups have now gone from peculiar examples of the new technology to the loosely linked nuggets that made Google search and the web magical in the first place.

Expect more, way more.

(Also worth noting: with these announcements, the release of the 1.0 version of the Geo Mashup WordPress plugin, and Cliffy’s experience, I’m now formally throwing in the towel on my own bsuite_geocode plugin.) (Tip o’the hat to Ryan for telling me about the GeoRSS support.)