geo (working name, pronounced "gee-oh") is a simple format for marking up geographic latitude longitude information, suitable for embedding in (X)HTML, Atom, RSS, and arbitrary XML. geo is a 1:1 representation of the "geo" property in the vCard standard (RFC2426) in XHTML, one of several open microformat standards.
- 1 geo
- 1.1 Draft Specification
- 1.2 Introduction and Background
- 1.3 Semantic XHTML Design Principles
- 1.4 Format
- 1.5 Examples
- 1.6 Examples in the wild
- 1.7 Implementations
- 1.8 References
- 1.9 Work in progress
- 1.10 Discussions
This specification is (C) 2005-2021 by the authors. However, the authors intend to submit (or already have submitted, see details in the spec) this specification to a standards body with a liberal copyright/licensing policy such as the GMPG, IETF, and/or W3C. Anyone wishing to contribute should read their copyright principles, policies and licenses (e.g. the GMPG Principles) and agree to them, including licensing of all contributions under all required licenses (e.g. CC-by 1.0 and later), before contributing.
Inspiration and Acknowledgments
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Geo Microformat BOF at O'Reilly's Where 2.0 conference, and in particular to Nat Torkington and Vee McMillen of O'Reilly for arranging and hosting the BOF. Thanks to Chris Hibbbert for providing the real world geo-caching example.
Introduction and Background
At the Where 2.0 conference in June 2005, there was widespread recognition that the community needed a way to simply and easily publish visible, extractable, geographic location information on the Web, given how often bloggers, and numerous other sites publish such information. The geo microformat BOF discussed this very topic, and concluded with a consensus decision to just try using geo from vCard/hCard.
This specification introduces the geo microformat, which is a 1:1 representation of the aforementioned geo property from the vCard standard, by simply reusing the geo property and sub-properties as-is from the hCard microformat.
Publishers can both embed geo addresses directly in their web pages and feeds, as well as markup existing latitude/longitude coordinates in the context of the rest of the information in their web pages and feeds.
If the publisher knows and is publishing the name of the location in addition to its geo lat/long, then the publisher MUST use hCard instead of just geo to publish the name and geo lat/long of the location.
If the publisher knows and is publishing the address of the location, OR if the address of the location was what was actually entered by a human, and the publisher simply turned that into lat/long using some sort of a service, then the publisher SHOULD use adr to publish the actual human entered address information since that communicates far more semantic information than a simple geo lat/long coordinate.
Semantic XHTML Design Principles
Note: the Semantic XHTML Design Principles were written primarily within the context of developing hCard and hCalendar, thus it may be easier to understand these principles in the context of the hCard design methodology (i.e. read that first). Tantek
XHTML is built on XML, and thus XHTML based formats can be used not only for convenient display presentation, but also for general purpose data exchange. In many ways, XHTML based formats exemplify the best of both HTML and XML worlds. However, when building XHTML based formats, it helps to have a guiding set of principles.
- Reuse the schema (names, objects, properties, values, types, hierarchies, constraints) as much as possible from pre-existing, established, well-supported standards by reference. Avoid restating constraints expressed in the source standard. Informative mentions are ok.
- For types with multiple components, use nested elements with class names equivalent to the names of the components.
- Plural components are made singular, and thus multiple nested elements are used to represent multiple text values that are comma-delimited.
- Use the most accurately precise semantic XHTML building block for each object etc.
- Otherwise use a generic structural element (e.g.
<div>), or the appropriate contextual element (e.g. an
- Use class names based on names from the original schema, unless the semantic XHTML building block precisely represents that part of the original schema. If names in the source schema are case-insensitive, then use an all lowercase equivalent. Components names implicit in prose (rather than explicit in the defined schema) should also use lowercase equivalents for ease of use. Spaces in component names become dash '-' characters.
- Finally, if the format of the data according to the original schema is too long and/or not human-friendly, use
<abbr>instead of a generic structural element, and place the literal data into the 'title' attribute (where abbr expansions go), and the more brief and human readable equivalent into the element itself. Further informative explanation of this use of
<abbr>: Human vs. ISO8601 dates problem solved
Note that all the properties in geo are singular properties, and thus the first descendant element with that class should take effect, any others being ignored.
Human vs. Machine readable
<abbr> element is used for a property, then the
title attribute of the
<abbr> element is the value of the property, instead of the contents of the element, which instead provide a human presentable version of the value.
Sometimes only part of an element which is the equivalent for a property should be used for the value of the property. For this purpose, the special class name
value is used to excerpt out the subset of the element that is the value of the property. See hCard for details on this.
Root Class Name
The root class name for an geo location is
This is the list of properties in geo, taken from hCard:
See hCard parsing, with the only difference being that "geo" is the root class name, rather than "vcard".
This section is informative.
Example from RFC2426
Section 3.4.2 of RFC2426 has a simple geo example:
this vCard fragment as a geo, as first documented on the hCard examples page:
<span class="geo"> <span class="latitude">37.386013</span>, <span class="longitude">-122.082932</span> </span>
this geo could be displayed as:
Real world geo example
Here is a sample of published lat/long info (from geocaching: Noble Steed):
N 37° 24.491 W 122° 08.313
With geo markup:
<div class="geo"> <abbr class="latitude" title="37.408183">N 37° 24.491</abbr> <abbr class="longitude" title="-122.13855">W 122° 08.313</abbr> </div>
This geo might be displayed as:
N 37° 24.491 W 122° 08.313
Note that since the real world example used a more human readable presentation of the geo coordinates, we use the abbr design pattern to keep that more human readable presentation, and in addition provide the respective absolute numerical values for the geo.
Examples in the wild
This section is informative.
The following sites have published geos, outside their normal context of hCards, and thus are a great place to start for anyone looking for examples "in the wild" to try parsing, indexing, organizing etc., in addition to hCard examples in the wild. If you find geos outside of hCards anywhere else, feel free to add them to the top of this list. Once the list grows too big, we'll make a separate wiki page.
- Flickr now supports the geo microformat on all geotagged photos. Within 11 days of launch there are now over 3M+ photos (as of 20060907) marked up with the "geo" microformat.
- ocono.com has marked each of it's "Upcoming Events" items with lat/long values.
- Harry Chen has marked up his geo location
- Multimap.com uses the geo microformat to mark up latitude and longitude values on map pages.
- Pete Prodoehl geotags posts on his blog.
- 07.pagesd.info uses the geo microformat to mark up latitude and longitude values for each commune of the Ardèche département in France.
- OpenGuides has support for the geo microformat in svn, and for now you can see it in action on the Cotswolds OpenGuide
This section is informative.
The following implementations have been developed which either generate or parse geos outside the context of hCards. If you have an geo implementation, feel free to add it to the top of this list. Once the list grows too big, we'll make a separate wiki page.
- GreaseRoute is a GreaseMonkey user script (also available as a simple Firefox Extension) which will add icons for displaying the MapQuest map of a Geo. Written by Andrew Turner
- podster.de finds geo markups in podcast RSS Feeds and maps soundseeing episodes on a map (German only)
- Calvin Yu has written a web service that will allow you plot and describe places on a Yahoo Map easily using hReview and Geo.
- pnh_mf is a plugin for Textpattern that supports embedding geos and other microformats in templates and blog posts. Written by Chris Casciano.
- Brian Suda has written some geo extracting code to convert geo microformats to KML for use with Google Maps and Google Earth. There is also a bookmarklet to extract the data and pass it to google maps automatically. He is working on a GeoRSS version for Yahoo! Maps as well.
Work in progress
This specification is a work in progress. As additional aspects are discussed, understood, and written, they will be added.
- If you have any questions about hCard, check the hCard FAQ first, and if you don't find answers, add your questions! (Odds are that any geo question will apply to hCard as well).
- Please add any issues with the specification to the separate hCard issues document. Ditto.
- Proposals for changes, additions and other thoughts about Geo may be found in the hCard brainstorming page.