At Google we’re committed to opening up our cloud infrastructure so that others can benefit from our enormous computational power. Today I’m going to share some exciting details on our plans to make our cloud technology available for processing and serving geospatial data.

Over the past six years, the way we explore the world has changed dramatically. Online tools like Google Earth and Google Maps have given people the ability to easily view rich geographic information from desktop or mobile devices. Google Earth helps us understand the effects of climate change on our ecosystem, Street View provides a panorama of our neighborhoods, and Google Maps Navigation guides us home.

However, in the enterprise a lot of geospatial data remains trapped on costly servers and inaccessible to those who need it. We’d like to help free that data and bring the same benefits that consumers have enjoyed for years to businesses and government agencies.

So we created Google Earth Builder. It lets you upload, process and store your geospatial data in our cloud. Your employees can use familiar tools - Google Maps and Google Earth - to easily and securely share and publish mapping data. No technical expertise or GIS training is required. The benefits of Earth Builder’s 100% web approach include:

  • Anytime, Anywhere Access: view your maps from any computer or Internet-enabled device

  • Speed & Scale: process your complex geospatial data quickly and efficiently; effortlessly scale to manage traffic spikes (for example, in cases of emergency)

  • Lower Cost: significantly reduce IT costs and eliminate time spent buying, maintaining and patching software and servers

  • Constant Innovation: just refresh the browser for the latest features

  • Secure Storage & Recovery: no longer worry about storage limits and backups; data is backed up to multiple data centers for near-instant recovery

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.

Geo has been a big area of investment for us. The Google Maps API delivers more maps to more people every day than any other service, and Google Earth has more than 700 million downloads. We hope that more people can use Google Earth Builder to make better location-related decisions within business and government. Ergon Energy, based in Australia, has already signed up to be a Google Earth Builder customer in order to manage and share geospatial data. With Google Earth Builder, Ergon Energy’s 4600 employees will be able to view maps anytime, anywhere.

If you’re interested in learning more today, you can find more information here.

Posted by Tarun Bhatnagar, Head of Geo Enterprise Sales