Some reactions on the web to the Google Maps Data API announcement ...
Dammit, I told you to pay attention to this stuff.
Google announced a data API for Maps this morning in San Jose. This is basically a CRUD service for storing geodata in “the cloud” that leverages Atom in lots of ways. That didn’t sound very world-shaking to me at first since there aren’t even any basic spatial query functions, but there are some ways in which this could be a game-changing service — if you trust Google to be your data custodian.
I’m disappointed by this one—it’s really just a CRUD store for the KML files used in Google MyMaps. It would be a lot more useful if it let you perform geospatial calculations against your stored map data using some kind of query API—a cloud service alternative to tools like PostGIS.
Geo data can get very large very quickly. Serving it can get expensive. This Data API will help NGOs, non-profits and developers make their data available without breaking the bank. Google's goals for doing this are obvious. If the data is on their servers they can index it easier and make it readily available to their users. There will be concern that Google will have too much of their data, but as long as Google does not block other search engines and allows developers to remove their data I think that this will be a non-issue.
Come and learn how lat49 and geocommons no longer have business models at the Google Booth