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 – http://maps.google.com/maps?q=minneapolis&output=xml 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 – http://maps.google.com/maps?q=racine&output=xml. 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 – http://maps.google.com/maps?q=15%20Kings%20close&output=xml. 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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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.