You can input and store any kind of data: some prebuilt items include events, car sales, recipes, etc, and you can create your own item type by adding attributes and their type. Your public items are then searchable by other people. Cool, but apart from searchable free storage space, nothing really original.
Now look at the item's attribute types: among number, text and date, there's also an "item location" attribute type. Your items can be geolocated. Combine this with Google Maps and... Wow, items on the map! Search an item, locate it on the map, and click on its location to get directions to reach it. So kewl!
Integration is still limited though: I'd like to be able do add a location filter for any search, and not only the prebuilt item types. That will come soon, for sure!
Just noticed the " post multiple items with a bulk upload file" link: upload up to 100000 items or 10Mb at once, or more using FTP. Uploaded files also have an expiration period, which is probably to ensure "freshness" of data.
This feature has a lot of implications:
- This directly attacks a number of websites such as price comparators (it feeds Froogle), job offer websites and why not eBay.
- Very soon, just as happened with Google Maps, there will be some specialized front-ends to this storage and search engine.
- Small businesses will be able to publish their offerings for free. Use a super-cheap domain hosting with a few static or PHP files that provide an Ajax front-end for the product catalogue that's stored in Google Base and you're done!
- Data can be in CSV format, which can be created very easily from a lot of data sources, including Excel. People will upload large sets of their personal data (e.g. book or DVD collections, address book)
- etc, etc...