Google Maps Mapping Platform
The beauty of Google Maps (or Yahoo Maps) is not the application that we all see, but the underlying API (application programming interface) that its creators expose, publish, and give away to the world. Just as html and simple web-publishing made a publisher out of everyone, these APIs are giving rise to a multitude of map publishers. Data, of course, is still the missing ingredient, and good data is rare. Commercial (and closed-source) programs such as ArcGIS have a lock on the data, particularly local level data. But, they have failed to provide easy publishing tools, tools that allow common folks to easily create websites with integrated maps. Now comes a product that bridges the gap; Arc2Earth allows publishing ArcGIS data to Google Earth. Cool.