This blog can be visualized on Google Earth!! Download the eGIS Blog KML Network Link here and try it out.
WordPress, the engine behind this site, as well as a pair of plugins that I have tested (WPGeo and GeoPress), are able to convert the normal RSS feed that allows subscription to this site to a GeoRSS, which attaches a location to each post.
I did some research online and found the GeoNames web service, which among other things converts an RSS feed to a KML feed. For the GeoNames site and more information, click here.
I created a network link that uses the following syntax: http://ws.geonames.org/rssToGeoRSS?type=kml&feedUrl=http://egis3.lacounty.gov/eGIS/?feed=rss2
You can replace our RSS feed with any other feed that you like – and you will see it on Google Earth.
Why am I excited about this?
This blog provides a flexible, powerful tool for content management, and notification. It allows multiple people to imput and view information. It can be integrated into multiple platforms (Facebook, Twitter, GIS sites like ArcExplorere, etc), with a single point of entry.
People interested in the topic can subscribe, author, and edit content, and have those changes automatically pushed out via RSS and GeoRSS.
Here is how I plan to test this first: The creation of a dedicated site for the maintenance of facility and service information across the County. Each site in the County will have a dedicated blog page, categorized by the type (or types) of facility. The person responsible for maintaining this information will be given a login and password that allows them to edit that facility. They can upload and attach pictures, blueprints, emergency response plans, contact information (the information is basically limitless). At that point, the system can take over and distribute to anyone who is interested and has the rights to view that information (since posts can be private as well as public).
People can subscribe to just the schools, or the parks, or a combination of the two. If new information becomes available, a person can comment to note a change (and that comment stream can be subscribed to as well).
I look forward to seing where we go with this.