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The 100 People Who Are Changing America

Posted Mar 18, 2009 5:30 PM

50 | John Hanke
Google Maps chief puts the Earth on your computer — and he's not done

WHAT HE'S CHANGING:The director of Google Maps and Google Earth has mapped out areas covering half the world's population and expects near total global coverage in less than five years.

FRIENDS SAY: "He's fulfilling the predictions that the Net would evolve into a mirror world," says EA's Will Wright.

ENEMIES SAY: "There is a serious tension here between free speech and privacy," says an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "They've done something that's irresponsible and rude."

KEY QUOTE: "The goal is to create a complete virtual reality of the world."

Photo: Courtesy of Google

SEE THE CHANGE: Google Maps/p>

49 | Dave Eggers
Writer-publisher makes books feel vital in the age of iStuff

WHAT HE'S CHANGING:The writer-turned-indie-publishing mogul has injected life into the moribund book industry with his McSweeney's empire.

SIGNATURE MOVE: Personally teaches kids at his 826 Valencia writing center.

NEXT MOVE: Co-wrote Spike Jonze's highly anticipated film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are.

KEY QUOTE: "It's an automatic [human] response, to think that things are getting worse. But when it concerns how we see young people, this kind of doomsaying is a goddamned dangerous kind of intellectual sloth."

Photo: Steve Rhodes

48 | Danger Mouse
Gnarls Barkley producer tears apart rock, hip-hop, puts them back together

WHAT HE'S CHANGING: Gnarls Barkley's mastermind isn't just breaking down boundaries between genres — from Gnarls to the Black Keys, his mix of hip-hop technology and classic-rock sonics is helping convince listeners that those barriers never existed in the first place.

FRIENDS SAY: "He has impeccable taste," said Gnarls singer Cee-Lo. "I aspire to impress him."

SECRET WEAPON: Despite his sampling skill, he mostly plays live instruments in the studio.

NEXT MOVE: He's recorded tracks in Rome for an Ennio Morricone tribute.

SEE THE CHANGE: Danger Mouse's Official Site

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Photo: Walter/Getty

47 | Greg Daniels
The Office kingpin pulls the network sitcom into the new world

WHAT HE'S CHANGING:A veteran of SNL, Seinfeld and The Simpsons, he revamped the British show The Office and revitalized the sitcom. Now Daniels — with his uncomfortable pauses and abhorrence of pat punch lines — is launching Parks & Recreation with Amy Poehler.

SIGNATURE MOVE: Shoots much more material for each Office episode than they can use, encouraging his actors to improv.

KEY QUOTE: "Unless they're incredibly inventive, you can anticipate the rhythm of everything [in sitcoms]. And if you're anticipating everything, it's hard to be surprised and laugh at it."

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Photo: Brown Getty

46 | Trent Reznor
The industrial-rock godfather becomes the world's scariest digital nerd

WHAT HE'S CHANGING: While other stars cower in the face of the Internet, the Nine Inch Nails leader has been more creative than anyone in embracing the post-CD era — he releases new music with the speed and ease of a blog post.

BIG MOVE: Parted ways with his longtime label, Interscope, in 2007 — and began a rapid-fire series of new releases, including an entire NIN album, The Slip, for free.

NEXT UP: He hints that Nine Inch Nails' upcoming tour with Jane's Addiction (whose new album he is producing) may mark the end of NIN — and presumably the beginning of a new musical phase.

SEE THE CHANGE: Nine Inch Nails Official Site

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Photo: Rob Sheridan


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