It seems like not a week goes by (heck sometimes an hour) without Google just dropping a bombshell. Well this time it is a combination of things.
First we’ve got new functionality in the Google Maps Data API. First off you can now perform geospatial and attribution queries on data stored on Google’s MyMap. Now of course this isn’t paleo-type spatial queries, just simple stuff that solve 80% of all queries you’d need to complete. Simple web apps need not fancy complicated APIs and clearly Google is the master of this. So upload your data into Google’s My Maps and then query it to display on a Google Maps application. Simple and sweet.
Now, obviously Google Docs has been around awhile so uploading your spreadsheet data to this type of application is nothing new, but the compelling thing about Fusion Tables is its integration with the Google Maps API and Google Visualization API. Visualizations are also real time as Fusion Tables automatically updates data as it is updated or corrected. With the Fusion Tables API you can also update or query the database programmatically. Data can also be imported from various data sources including text files and relational database management systems.
The pieces are really coming together here. Not only can you load and work with data, but you can freely visualize it. And not only do it freely, but do it freely in a scalable environment. Let that all sink in for a moment. Google is enabling tools that we pay big money for with APIs that are so simple anyone can use them. Check and mate for some geospatial companies I think. Database + Visualization = GIS eh?
Information running through my brain…