Google Earth Builder

The Google Earth Blog contained this post back in April. I totally missed it. I believe the difficulty in sharing Google Earth data is one of the major problems the system has. Looks like Google is trying to address that problem with Google Earth Builder, a cloud-based storage system for Google Earth data that stores data in a similar way to Google Docs. Here is the Post by Mickey Mellen:

April 21, 2011

More about Google Earth Builder

We mentioned Google’s new “Google Earth Builder” in our wrap-up post yesterday, but decided that it deserved a bit more attention.

In a nutshell, Google Earth Builder is a new way for companies to share their vast repositories of geo data. Rather than needing to configure servers and support a local infrastructure, they can simply upload their data to Google Earth Builder and share it that way. It uses a sharing model quite similar to Google Docs (private, individual access, or public), and the data streams extremely quickly.

The implications of this could be huge. Not only will it be a great solution for large corporations and government entities, but provides a way for any company to generate data for a specific client (such as custom 3D buildings) without necessarily having to post them for the world to see.

An interesting point that Google made is that this data will be easily accessible to anyone (with permission) from their desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc. That makes sense, but currently the tablet and smartphone clients for Google Earth likely can’t handle this kind of data. Either their comments have been misinterpreted by everyone (including cnet and others), or we’re hopefully looking at some nice updates to their mobile products in the coming months.

They keys that Google seems to be pushing with this is that it’s easy and fast. Both of this seemed clearly evident in the live demo that they provided on stage yesterday. You can watch that video demonstration below:

There were a few fun facts in that video: There have been more than 700 million downloads of Google Earth and that people use Maps and Earth for more than one million hours every day. Wow!

The fact that Google Earth Builder isn’t due out for a few months (some sites say July, Google says Q3), means that it will only be getting faster and smoother. This could be a brilliant tool to help large entities deal with their vast amounts of data, and we’ll find out once it launches later this year.