Xtech 2006: Mikel Maron – GeoRSS

90% of information has a spatial component. Needed to agree a format.

Definitive history of RSS

– Syndicus Geographum – ancient Greek treaty for sharing of maps between city states

– blogmapper/rdfmapper – 2002, specifying locations in weblog posts, little map with red dots

– w3c rdfig geo vocabulary – 2003, came up with simple vocab on irc and published a doc, and this is the basis of geocoding RDF and RSS

– geowanking – May 2003, on this discussion list GeoRSS first uttered

– World as a Blog/WorldKit – realtime weblog geo info nabbing tools, World as a Blog looks at geotags in real time then plots them on a map so you can see who’s up too late.

– USGS 2004, started their Earthquake Alerts Feed.

– Yahoo! maps supports georss 2005

Lots has happened. Google released GoogleMaps, and shook everyone up with an amazing resource of map data, and released an API. Lots of map-based mash-ups.

OSGeo Foundation, Where 2.0, OpenStreetMap.

Format then only specified points, not lines or polygons. GeoRSS.org. Alternatives were KML used by Google Earth, rich, similar to GML, but too complicated and tied to GoogleEarth so some stuff is more for 3d; GPX, XML interchange format for GPS data, but tied to its applicaton, extensible but not so useful; and GML, Open Geospacial Consortium, and useful for defining spatial geometries, so an XML version of a shape file, but quite complicated spec at over 500 pages, and a bit of confusion on how you use it because it’s not a schema its similar to RDF, so provides geometric objects for your own schema.

OGC got involved in GeoRSS because they wanted to help promote GML. So some of GeoRSS is drawn from GML. Two types of GeoRSS: Simple and GML. Simple is a compressed version of GML. Neutral regading feed type, e.g. RSS1.0/RDF, RSS2.0, Atom.

Looking for potential to create a Microformat.

[Now goes into some detail re the spec which I’m not going to try to reproduce].

EC JRC Tsunami Simulator. Subscribed to USGS earthquake feed, ran tsunami model, and dependent on outcome, they would sent out an alter. Also had RSS feed. Produce maps of possible tsunami.

Supported by, or about to be supported by:

– Platial

– Tagzania

– Ning

– Wayfairing, Plazes

Commercial support

– MSFT announced intention

– Yahoo! (Upcoming, Weather, Traffic, Flickr may potentially use it, and Maps API

– Ning

– CadCorp


– OGC member


– Acme GeoRSS


And other stuff

– Feed validator

– WordPress Plugin in the works

– Weblog

– A press release

– Feed icon






Mapufacture, create and position a map, select georss feeds and put them together in a map. Then can do keyword searches and location searches. Being able to aggregate them together is very useful. Rails app. E.g. several weather feeds, added to a map and then when you click on the pointer on the map, the content shows up.

Social maps, e.g. places tagged as restaurants in Platial and Tagzania on one simple maps.

Can search, and navigate the map to show the area you’re interested in, then it searches the feeds and grabs everything in that location. All search results produce a GeoRSS feed which you can then reuse.

Odds and ends

– mobile device potential, sharing info about where you are

– sensors, could be used for publishing sensor data

– GIS Time Navigation, where you navigate through space and see things happening in time, e.g. a feed of events in Amsterdam which provided you with a calendar and location.

– RSS to GeoRSS converter, taking RSS, geocode place names and produce GeoRSS

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