Google Maps supports XML output

Google maps beta

Well well, after only a couple of days at the most? Google maps has been found to give off simple XML when you add ?output=xml to the query string. So for example – will give you the centre and span geo's of Minneapolis in North America. Its not alot of information I grant you that but its not bad at all. Here's Sarah's home town – I honestly think this is what Web 2.0 is all about, a data only/machine readable view of a servie. So where from here? Well first some more data would be great, not to say you couldnt just query another service for information but its google and its free for use – not even a api key in view. A public schema, no matter how simple it may be. It would be useful in the case of a error like this – Jon Udell goes into more depth and builds a simple XSL to demostrate whats possible. I am tempted to do something with it myself but it supports nothing outside of North America, which is little use to me. Till a european service is open, here is some interest queries…

Pharmacies in Chicago
Walgreen's pharmacies in Chicago
Sex shops in Minneapolis
Churches in Racine, wi
Racine to Minneapolis and the interesting XML version
There's lots more comments on google maps at slashdot as usual.
Seems SVG is only mentioned once, while its being used in backend map building all around the world. Damm I wish I had the time to build prototype using SVG and the google xml.

Google Maps XML output has now been disabled. Oh well it certainly was fun while it lasted.

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Into the Dragons’ Den

The Dragons from the Den

The Dragons' Den was a six part series where entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to secure investment finance from the Dragons… elite business experts.

I missed most of this series and only caught bits here and there on TV. It also seems very few people were interested in seeding a torrent of the Dragons' Den, but I'm slowly getting them down. Anyhow I have to say its one of those programmes that the BBC do so well. Yes its reality TV but actually its got all the elements of ideas and thoughts which I expect from the BBC. Great programming, well shot, well thought-out… I may even considering checking out the Apprentice which starts next week on BBC2.

Some of the ideas for businesses are sometimes laughable like in the pitch when a couple of guys suggested turning old tyres into wheelchair ramps. But there have been some gems like Paul Thomas' Trufflesplantation system. The pitches can make one hell of a difference (as we all know too well) and honestly the winning entrepreneurs tend to have a good pitch and the business figures to back themselves up. Best example has to be Huw Gwyther who pitched for a high quality magazine called Wonderland (shame about the nasty flash website, hardly says quality or good taste in anyway!). I know just the person Huw should speak to about this…

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