Google has posted official word about what is currently known as Google Base:
You may have seen stories today reporting on a new product that we’re testing, and speculating about our plans. Here’s what’s really going on. We are testing a new way for content owners to submit their content to Google, which we hope will complement existing methods such as our web crawl and Google Sitemaps. We think it’s an exciting product, and we’ll let you know when there’s more news.
Most speculation was that Google was looking to compete against eBay and craigslist. Google’s description seems to suggest that Base will be a SiteMaps for database driven pages. This description is a more appropriate for the name “Base” than would an auction site.
I may be wildly off base with my linking Google base with sitemaps. This was just my first impression from Google’s blog statement. It’ll probably turn out to be much more or completely different. It’s entirely possible that Google themselves don’t know what base will be ALL about just yet as well.