Thanks and a tip of the hat to DevX News for picking up on the announcement of the new Google Base programming API that allows content to be extracted easily from this rapidly growing data store. URL-based queries go in and an XML-formatted data feed comes out via Google's RSS-like Atom Feed format. Google offers a demo page to show just how easy it is to get information into a highly digestible form that can be used to build all kinds of content-oriented applications quickly and effectively. One needs to have a Google login ID to use the service (natch), but other than that it's open to all.
For those who think that this may have impact just on consumer goods and services try out the tool on Product News Network Publisher Paul Gerbino's favorite example of "flushometers." The normal search results are here - a fair amount of useful industrial content, to be sure. The buzz surrounding Google Base has been fairly low key as of late but the reality of Google Base is an infrastructure that is allowing structured content to become as accessible as unstructured Web content in a simple and reliable format.
With the Google Base API there's a tool now that will allow publishers of all kinds to consider how to integrate Google Base content into everything from mashups to high-end publishing products. It's encouraging to see a very visible example of how a new generation of feeds is changing how content can be consumed on many levels by individuals and institutions alike.