Philosopher's Stone

Jeff Harrison tries to flip the alchemist label back onto the web wonks:

Maybe what we should be thinking about is how to advance GeoWeb platforms NOT as proprietary implementations using an alchemy of REST, JSON, RSS, KML - but as Community GeoWeb Platforms that combine international standard geospatial web services with Web 2.0 technologies.

Nice try, but no. We agree about the proprietary flavor of some of the "GeoWebs" out there. Google, in particular, promotes a "GeoWeb" that is dominated by its proprietary browser and its proprietary search. Our role in this "GeoWeb" is to make KML files and expose them through sitemaps, increasing the value of Google's proprietary index in exchange for some return traffic through Google's proprietary browser. Sharecropping, in other words. Still, the OGC's SOA isn't appropriate for a "GeoWeb". There's no web there. Principles of web architecture, standard protocols like HTTP/1.1, and standard formats like JSON, Atom – and even KML – remain the way to geographically enrich the existing web.