Demos > Earth Data Visualization
The Earth demo grew out of a simple concept: show data attached to their geographic locations. This simple concept spawned a complex demo which locates RSS news feeds and Flickr photos onto the surface of the earth based on their tagged data. Yahoo's RSS News feed is fed through Yahoo's Placemaker service which gives latitude/longitude coordinates for each new's story (based on the story's content). Then we place a pin on the planet for each story.
Something similar is done for each Flickr photo. As you move around the globe, we discover geo-tagged Flickr photos nearby. We download thumbnails for those photos and place a pin on the planet. As you move, new photos are streamed in for your location. You can look at the thumbnails by rolling over the blue pins, or load the full-res image by clicking the pin.
The Earth demo is all about exploring ways we can access data in a graphically interesting way. It also is a demonstration of combining multiple online services with large stores of data to an interesting, graphical, front-end.