Google Maps and Earth are both massively popular consumer products produced by Google. In fact, Google Earth has been downloaded over 700 million times and Maps has become one of the most popular cross-platform online mapping applications in the world. Today, Google is blending the capabilities of the backend of these mapping products into an enterprise oriented application—Google Earth Builder.
The product allows users to upload, process and store geospatial data in the Google Cloud. Many government agencies, environmental companies and more have massive amounts of geographic data and maps that need to be organized, stored and categorized for use. There are traditional on-premise products that help companies do this, but Google is hoping to enter this space with a cloud-based product that brings the ease of use of Maps and Earth to the enterprise.
With Google Earth Builder, users actually use Google Maps and Google Earth to share and publish mapping data. No technical expertise or GIS training is required, says the search giant. Besides being able to use Maps and Earth within the application, you can also add imagery, roads, points of interest from Google to complement your data. And because the application is cloud based, you can tap into a wealth of real-time features including the ability to scale, obtain detailed analytics, increase storage space, ensure data backup, and push features more quickly.
From the blog post, here are the various types of uses for companies: Whether you have terabytes of imagery or just a few basemap layers, now you can create multiple map layers from your data, such as shapefiles of demographic data, spreadsheets of worldwide customer locations and files of your recently acquired imagery for a new development. You can also integrate the map layers with our own imagery basemap, road data, Google Street View, Terrain View, or Directions in order to find your next best store location.
Australian energy giant Ergon Energy is currently using Google Earth Builder to manage and share geospatial data. And Google anticipates that many more companies and government agencies will find the product ideal for shifting this data to the cloud. Google Earth Builder will be made publicly available in Q3 2011.