I’ve meant to dig into Yahoo’s new support of GeoRSS since the announcement in September.
Annotations purely in code denies other developers and the entire Geospatial Web of that data. For instance, Housing Maps put work into geolocating Craigslist housing ads, freeing and transforming that data, but if someone else wants to build on that, say combine Housing Maps with Chicago Crime, they can’t leverage any of that work and have to start from scratch, building screenscrapers, etc. GeoRSS is designed to fully liberate data.
Yahoo has supported GeoRSS since the beginning of their API, and now giving developers the ability to export their maps into GeoRSS is a great step at encouraging more sharing. However it could go farther. The developer must actively export, and the exported data is not available in a subscription compatible interface. True, it would be much more complex on Yahoo’s part to provide GeoRSS feeds for all of their API uses. And the developer should have some choice in the matter. But by default, we should be sharing, just like by default RSS feeds are produced for weblogs.
The Yahoo polylines are specified using <geo:line>, which was my unofficial extension to the W3C Geo namespace. Now GeoRSS.org has official support for more geometries .. lines, polygons, and boxes. Perhaps this was partially my fault, since I hadn’t updated the worldKit documentation on GeoRSS and polygons with the work of GeoRSS .. until today, where GeoRSS Simple and GML are the recommended encodings (though every other format at there is still supported).
It would be great to see Yahoo Maps update to GeoRSS.org as well. Other parts of Yahoo, like flickr, are now publishing GeoRSS Simple. And I think there’s enough in GeoRSS to do away with the need for the extra ymap namespace.
So some critical feedback. Still good stuff. Thanks ever to Yahoo for supporting GeoRSS.