Many of the advances in the geoweb have come from Google.
If the rapid pace of the evolution of Geoweb is an indicator, then an opportunity is certainly emerging for all of us in this ecosystem to create a map of the world that will be more detailed, more comprehensive, more inclusive than any map that has ever been created; not a map of imagery, but of user annotations, of descriptions, images, movies and sounds. The underpinning for this annotation is the base map. Companies in the geo space are investing aggressively in enhancements to the base map, which will drive the creation of many more interesting applications. This also presents a very large economic opportunity, and also means there will be more mergers and acquisitions in this market.
Today, Google covers more than half the world’s population with high-resolution imagery. This has led to uses of the Geoweb beyond any of our expectations in the beginning. At the Search Innovation Day at Google this year, an application that could take any set of search results and view them on a map was launched. Alongside, we’ve launched Google SketchUp and Google StreetView, which provides 3-D, street level immersive photography with a broad zoom range.
We’re also ramping up our support for GeoRSS and making it available in the Google Maps API. We now index GeoRSS and it is available in geo searches. We’ve submitted KML to the Open Geospatial Consortium and they’ve made it an open standard. We’re working on the next version, which is fully vetted by the standard process. KML 2.2 specification has been made publicly available for review and feedback.