VINQ -- Helps you know where things are
Web-hacker Mark Torrance, founder of VINQ, a San Jose consulting company, has created Greasemap, a program that will automatically add maps to the top of the Web pages you surf, as long as they contain so-called geotags (GeoURL or other standards), or regex-recognizable addresses.
It is a Greasemonkey-based plugin for Firefox, meaning that only users who install this will actually see the maps. He built it in seven hours, he says. We've written about the joys of Greasemonkey before.
Torrance's company has ten employees, and they like taking boating trips on the SF Bay.
It was inspired by the recent Where 2.0 conference we missed, Torrance says.
I did this more as a proof of concept than anything, though I have already found it useful on sites such as switchboard.com, whitepages.com, and www.apple.com/retail . If a page includes just one address, currently Greasemap shows 2 maps -- a width-limited one at left that is more zoomed out, to show context, and a wider zoomed in one at right.
Update: Meanwhkle, Topix says it has added geo-tags listing the latitude/longitude for its stories (lifting comment from below). Disclosure: Merc's parent company is part-owner of Topix.