Yahoo! Pipes Adds Geo Data Support

pipes map

Yahoo! Pipes, the graphical, web-based RSS re-mixer (Radar post), has significantly increased its geo support. They now provide a map output that plots your data on a Yahoo! supplied map. Pipes will also export geocontent in KML, which means that Pipes content can be used in Google Maps and in Google Earth. It also means that Pipes will start to appear in the increasingly important geoindex of Google.

The Pipes team sent me the following pipes to demonstrate some of the capabilities and the interoperability of their new feature. Enjoy.

Kiv a Loans by Location is a Pipe that takes a listing of open microloans on and geocodes each item based on the nationality of the entrepreneur requesting a loan. The end result allows users to browse a interactive Yahoo! map to see where Kiva is currently fund-raising. It’s also possible to use the KML output of this Pipe in a variety of ways including to explore it in Google Earth and Google Maps

I knew that the Pipes team was going to increase their geo support (and we discussed having a map output before launch). I had expected them to output GeoRSS before KML (and we had also talked about GeoRSS support and KML).

KML stands for “Keyhole Markup Language” associated with Google Earth and until recently was a proprietary Google format. Very recently Google began the process of turning KML into an open standard with the OGC (details of that are pending and will be discussed by the OGC at Where 2.0). Google must have hoped (known?) that this step would get companies like Yahoo! to start supporting KML (many startups already have been). The more data that is available in KML, the more data for their geoindex (Radar post). I suspect the other large mapping portals will add KML support to their products and add their own geoindex.

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