On its Geo Developers Blog, Google announced time zone functionality for the Google Maps API. Developers around the globe have exhaled a sigh of relief, as time zone functionality has either kept them up at night, required extensive programming, or remained just a bit outside of an apps functionality because it wasn't mandatory (but sure would have been nice).
Gowalla, the location-based social network, is beginning to establish itself as the most generously interoperable of its check-in–offering peers. At a SWSX panel last week about integrated location data, Gowalla co-founder and CTO Scott Raymond indicated that developers would soon even be able to download data en masse from Gowalla for their own manipulation and analysis. When asked by the moderator, Programmable Web Executive Editor Adam DuVander, "Can I download Gowalla's data," Raymond responded that providing the option was "definitely on the roadmap."
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) last week ran a competition that involved identifying the location of 10 fixed red balloons throughout the United States. It was an exercise designed to see how people can self-organize on the Internet and how information disseminates through social and viral networks. It was won by MIT, taking just 9 hours to find 10 red balloons placed all over the United States.