XML gets a bad rap from time to time, some criticisms against it are fair, most of the time it is people seem to complain about a bad application of XML and confuse that with the mark-up being bad.
Sometimes though it is just brilliant,
the inclusion of GEO data in RSS is such a time. Why do I like this so. Well like a lot of RSS parsers I was completely unaware of the spec until about a week ago. That is kind of the point of namespaces, if you don’t understand something, you can ignore it without harm. So there have been all of these RSS feeds with geo information in and nothing broke most people will probably never notice the difference but if someone is interested they can now find GEO data in RSS feeds.
The other thing which is also brilliant is that there doesn’t need to be just one way of doing things. While working out why the geo data wasn’t working in my foursqare feed (turned out it was a problem with the feed) I looked into the simplepie file. I realised there were two standards georrs and w3c_basic_geo. OK one would be simpler but as they are standards with publicised schemas it is easy to interpret them. You can pick and choose what you want to interpret if another standard comes along it won’t break anything and you can choose to support it if you want.
Finally of course (and also brilliant) is that this GEO data doesn’t have to be part of a RSS feed. I could have some completely bespoke XML schema for, say recording narratives in RDF, and add geo data too it in a standard universally understood way.