Yahoo! has just announced they are now supporting interactive Yahoo! Maps and, even more significantly (IMHO), Google Earth’s KML format. This means you can use the powerful Pipes graphical interface to create complex queries of various web sites and, if the query includes geospatial information, you can generate a map viewable in Google Earth (or other applications). I still believe Pipes is a powerful concept, and I think adding geospatial visualization capabilities through KML is a smart move. In fact, Google’s application to make KML an open standard is probably one of the reasons Yahoo! has decided to support it. [UPDATE: Brady Forrest (of Oreilly) mentioned this in his post about the new feature.]
As part of the announcement, they show some examples. The example Pipes do show you can include geospatial information, and you automatically get a link at the bottom for a KML file. For example, they show a Pipe allowing you to search for apartments in San Francisco which are near something (like a park). You can view the Pipe, and at the bottom you get a link to a KML result . This results in placemarks of apartments meeting the criteria. Note that you can just run the KML link and it will automatically run the pipe and give you the result. One thing I would suggest is allowing the query parameters to be included as part of the network link itself, then you could dynamically change the Pipe by changing the network link. Hopefully more sophisticated KML features will be supported allowing you to add photos to a placemark description, etc. There are a lot of possibilities I can imagine for powerful Google Earth visualizations coming from this.