Yahoo! Maps Hacks

As far as official mapping APIs are concerned, Yahoo! and Google announced theirs at roughly the same time. But, thanks to the unofficial hacks and a big lead in mindshare, Google Maps is getting all the attention. This isn’t something that Yahoo! is content to accept; they’ve launched a PR blitz — inasmuch as e-mailing yours truly a couple of times can be considered such — to promote the various hacks using the Yahoo! Maps API. In contrast, Google is much more hands-off with its hackers; then again, they’re not the hungry ones, and besides, just imagine the effort in keeping track of them all!

Anyway, Yahoo!’s operatives are keen to point out a few examples of the API in use, such as this map that plots Yahoo! News stories on a map of the U.S., a crime map for a San Francisco neighbourhood, a map of San Diego bloggers, and a community-generated map of Milwaukee. The mashups work quite well, I thought, and the interface is clean.

Sooner or later someone will hack the same data via both APIs. Then there will be blood on the floor. Two APIs enter, one API leaves.