Basically it scans all anchors in a given text for “geo:” links, extracts location and meta information (e.g. coordinates and corresponding text), places them on a map and appends the map to the text.
I choose to go with a Google Map because I already knew the API, so it was the easiest way. Of course one could modify the script to use any other mapping API’s, create a KML or even transfer the data to a GIS application. If I can free some time in the next weeks I’ll spice the script a little up, some more user defined parameters (e.g. map dimension, marker symbols) and the interpretation of query arguments would be nice though.
See a quick example here: the locations of a few cultural venues are marked with “geo:” anchors, scanned by the script and dynamically shown in the map below.
The idea is heavily inspired by Gutenkarte, a presentation of MetaCarta Labs I remembered from last year’s Where 2.0 conference. Gutenkarte is based on MetaCarta’s Geoparser API, which is of course far more complex than my few lines JavaSrcipt code.