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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Google Earth Enterprise Goes 2D in the Browser

Google yesterday announced that business and government users of Google Earth Enterprise will be able to view their organization's geospatial data in 2D on a browser, behind the firewall. Through a special version of the Google Maps API (the programming interface for Google Maps), administrators can also embed this 2D view into any web application (much like a Google Map) and create mashups with information from external databases, spreadsheets and other data sources.

"Not only is it now easier for employees who need to access their organization's geo data - whether it be satellite images, terrain and elevation data or aerial imagery - to do so from almost anywhere, but they can integrate additional layers of information within their existing web applications without ever having to leave the browser," said Matthew Glotzbach, Product Management Director, Google Enterprise. "Because businesses and government organizations can leverage the browser in addition to the downloadable Earth Enterprise client, they can share their geo data more easily across teams and departments, create mapping overlays for improved data analysis and ultimately, deliver a greater return on their technology investment."

The new release also improves processing of images and mapping information, and enhances support for industry-standard security protocols such as LDAP and SSL.

Key features
  • Browser view lets anyone in the organization securely access Google Earth Enterprise through a browser. In addition, organizations can embed a map view with proprietary data into any web-based application. (A real estate firm, for example, can now publish 2D images of all properties in a given area and overlay those images with a spreadsheet's pricing data or availability notes - all on the firm's website.)
  • Enhanced search framework allows integration with multiple search services through Java plug-ins, including the Google Search Appliance. (A manufacturer might use this feature to find a set of customers with certain product preferences using the Google Search Appliance, and view the geographic distribution of those customers in Google Earth.)
  • Regions-based KML imagery data processing tool for creating super-overlays. These overlays enable organizations to easily publish large collections of images. (A government agency would be able to publish local aerial photography to citizens.)
  • Faster data processing and serving performance produces time savings of up to 10x for vector processing (points/lines/polygons) and computational savings of more than 2 xs for server responses to imagery data requests.
  • Industry standard security methodologies are supported for easier implementation of LDAP and SSL.
  • User interface improvements make the process of ingesting, previewing and publishing data easier and more efficient.
Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to make the world's geographic information easily accessible and useful to businesses and government organizations.

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