Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Google Maps Geo Search Part 2/2

In Part 1 of my post introducing Google geo search I placed a focus on those searching with this new functionality within Google Maps (also available in Earth). In part 2 I'd like to present resources to the Google Maps API developer that are essential for you to turn those hours of hard work you've put in to now be discoverable to the millions of visitors to Google Maps:

geo search and using KML/GeoRSS in Maps API (YouTube video):

Start by watching this excellent talk at the recent Google Developer Day held on May 31st, 2007. Google's Lior Ron and Pamela Fox help you understand geo search in more detail, and why this is a good thing for you, the Maps API developer. This video also helps you to decide to create your content in KML vs. GeoRSS by taking a deep (technical) dive into both.

Drive More Traffic to Your Maps API Site - Include KML Files in Your Sitemap - This Google Maps API Blog post introduces you to a detailed sitemap help doc that will assist you in creating your KML files and getting them indexed.

Validate your KML (Online or Offline!) - Here is another Google Maps API Blog post that talks about two ways you can validate your KML: Online Validation with the Feedvalidator and Offline Validation with XML Schema.

KML Reference Documentation - Want to learn more about KML? Here is a detailed introduction to help you learn more about the KML standard including samples, tutorials and references.

Mapplets - While not directly included in geo search, Mapplets are another way for you to drive traffic to your Google Maps mashup or tool. Review this post I made recently that will help you learn about Mapplets and then check out this reference doc to help you start creating them. Once complete your Mapplet will be present in the Google Maps Directory where visitors to Google Maps can incorporate your mashup or tool directly into their Google Maps view. You can also create a teaser for them that will then direct them to your site to use expanded features, perhaps also allowing you monetize this user.

Geo search is now indexing existing content from the Google Earth Community, My Maps and other sites such as Mapufacture, ESRI ArcGIS, Yahoo Pipes, NASA WorldWind, Flickr and Platial. If you want your content to be included in this ground breaking new search trend on the (geo) web it's essential for you to review the above links and make your content accessible to Google geo search! As you do this you will be helping to bring more value to the "user-created content" link for everyone searching and realize many new visitors to your mashup.

[See Part 1: Google Maps Geo Search]
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