Its great to see my own local authority making great use of Google Maps, as pointed out by the Mapperz team , Richmond Council have produced a series of maps using Google Maps to illustrate most of their local services, including a pet subject of mine Recycling sites.
There is much to be said for a very simple approach like this, the maps are straight forward and communicate a single type of service each, and therefore are simple to use.
Behind the scenes the locations could also be indexed and become part of the ever increasing geoweb discovered by other websites and services, remember key to the success of the web is the ability to consume information via different channels.
Such an approach also illustrates the potential for developing a UK Spatial Data Infrastructure from the ground up, at least one focused at the needs of citizen in contrast to the more formal approach developing SDI’s for professional use.
The next step would be for Richmond to publish these points of interest as a feed (KML/GeoRSS), so they would be more easily accessible to anyone wanting to integrate local services in to their own applications. But for the residents of Richmond having this information easily accessible in this way is an important step forward..
Well done Richmond !!
Written and submitted from the Google Office, London.