Where 2.0: First Steps At OGC Integration With Google Maps

This morning the Google Maps mailing list digest had a nugget of gold: David Knight has released a small javascript file that enables you to add (almost) any
WMS layer to your google map
(for a live example, visit globalcoordinate.com and click the “LANDSAT” button). David writes:

I have only tested this with a couple of WMS servers, but in theory it
should work with almost any. The bbox parameter in the url will be
written as latitude and longitude so this code will not work with UTM
type projections.

This is an amazing success for Google (and for David–great programming!). The geospatial/GIS world has a huge number of open APIs defined by the Open Geospatial Consortium. David’s work lets you draw in tiles from almost any GIS source in the world.

If you were at Where 2.0, you probably saw the really impressive Geotango GlobeView. GlobeView is a bit like Google Earth in appearance, but it can pull in data straight from GIS sources that support the OGC standards. I think of Google Maps and Google Earth as two different sides of the same coin: one’s in the browser, one’s on the desktop, but they’re both struggling toward the same goal.

OGC standards play a role in this goal, as you can tell from this thread on the Keyhole mailing list about a hacker adding Google Earth’s KML output to Geotools so you can translate map features to be viewable in Google Earth. Suhweet!