Brief: Google Brings Map Mashups To The Masses - InformationWeek

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4/6/2007
02:10 PM
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Brief: Google Brings Map Mashups To The Masses

The point-and-click interface helps nonprogrammers draw lines and shapes, and add place mark icons, text, photos, and videos.

Google wants to make everyone a mapmaker. In the latest move by a Web company to make mashups easier, Google's My Maps service lets users create and customize maps with point-and-click tools.

Developers have been doing that since Google made its Maps API available. Google's code plus data and a few bells and whistles have yielded sites such as HousingMaps.com, which puts sales and location information on one page. Microsoft's update of its Live Maps service last week allows GeoRSS annotations. GeoRSS is a way to encode location information in RSS feeds, which can then be used in a mashup. And Ask recently added map annotation tools to its local search and mapping service.

Web companies are trying to make mashups--with maps as well as other interfaces--easier for nonprogrammers. Other services include Yahoo Pipes, Teqlo, and Coghead. They vary in complexity, but all aim to lower the software development bar.

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