Something I’m playing with quite a bit at the moment is mapped data. A year ago we launced a system on our website to allow people to report instances of lost and found pets. Thinking about how we could add value to this service I decided to add an RSS feed and try to get some kind of map on the site to show the locations that the animals were lost/found in. The RSS was easy enough to generate (pagescraping in Yahoo! Pipes) but the map required a little more jiggery-pokery.

To get the location, I added a field to the form which requested the user to input a UK postcode. Again with Pipes, I fed this postcode data through the location generator which split out the relevant location, long and lat values. I extracted the long and lat values into geo:long and geo:lat variables respectively. These are the standard names for GeoRSS long and lat values.

The resulting RSS feed was now fully geocoded; the proof was dropping it into Google Maps and watching the points on the map correspond to the postcodes from the webpage. Test it yourself at these links:

The original pipe:
The corresponding GeoRSS feed:
The Google Map: