The “news” headline found on a newswire service read “Pillows and Pancakes, a B&B guide, has released a layer for Google Earth.” – at first glance you might think big deal, however, when you consider that the online travel/tourism industry is HUGE, to say the least, the news is actually pretty cool. Now, to us GIS-savvy users who come to expect maps and imagery within our apps this isn’t rocket science, however, what this does do is confirm that there are indeed opportunities a plenty for application developers looking for work spatially-enabling web services.
Mashups providing locations of pubs, coffee shops, and even urinals are already on the scene, however, monetizing those apps may be problematic. Integrating maps with commercial reservation systems and the countless real estate sites out there may turn out to be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for mashers and web developers. Hopefully well start seeing some nifty Mapguide open source web apps (https://mapguide.osgeo.org/) in the near future as well as some products coming out of the ESRI camp once ArcGIS Explorer (https://mapguide.osgeo.org/) and their next generation of APIs are released to their developers… stay tuned. To see the B&B application mentioned above jump to http://www.pillowsandpancakes.com/ge.htm