John Hanke, Bernhard Seefeld


The Evolution of the Geoweb
22 minutes, 10.1mb, recorded 2007-05-29
John Hanke, Bernhard Seefeld
If the rapid pace of the evolution of Geoweb is an indicator, then an opportunity is certainly emerging for all of us in this ecosystem to create a map of the world that will be more detailed, more comprehensive, more inclusive than any map that has ever been created; not a map of imagery, but of user annotations, of descriptions, images, movies and sounds. The underpinning for this annotation is the base map. Companies in the geo space are investing aggressively in enhancements to the base map, which will drive the creation of many more interesting applications. This also presents a very large economic opportunity, and also means there will be more mergers and acquisitions in this market.

Today, Google covers more than half the world's population with high-resolution imagery. This has led to uses of the Geoweb beyond any of our expectations in the beginning. At the Search Innovation Day at Google this year, an application that could take any set of search results and view them on a map was launched. Alongside, we've launched Google SketchUp and Google StreetView, which provides 3-D, street level immersive photography with a broad zoom range.

We're also ramping up our support for GeoRSS and making it available in the Google Maps API. We now index GeoRSS and it is available in geo searches. We've submitted KML to the Open Geospatial Consortium and they've made it an open standard. We're working on the next version, which is fully vetted by the standard process. KML 2.2 specification has been made publicly available for review and feedback.

John Hanke oversees development and integration of the Google Maps and Google Earth products and services. He joined Google in October 2004 as part of the acquisition of Keyhole, a 3D mapping technology company that developed an "earth browser", which he co-founded in 2001. At Google, the Keyhole technology became Google Earth in July 2005. Prior to Keyhole, John co-founded Big Network. Earlier, he was involved in the start-up of one of the first massively multiplayer games online, Meridian 59, which was acquired by 3DO in 1996. Before his work in technology began, John worked in foreign affairs for the U.S. government in Washington D.C. and Southeast Asia. John earned a BA in Plan II from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley.

Bernhard Seefeld is a Geo Software Engineer at Google. In 1995 he co-founded, a Swiss search engine and one of the first sites that enhanced local search by connecting business entries with related web pages. Earlier, he worked at Seefeld focussing on web-centered mapping in his role as lead engineer. Endoxon was acquired by Google in December, 2006. Seefeld holds a Master of Science in theoretical physics from the University of Berne, Switzerland.


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