The Google Earth project has the ambitious goal of creating a 3D model of the entire Earth. In recent years, advances in mapping have made this goal attainable within a reasonable period. John Hanke & Brad Schell - Product Directors for Google Earth - discuss and demonstrate Google Earth and Google SketchUp.
John first discusses the latest version of Google Earth, now available for both the Apple Macintosh and Linux, as well as Windows. He talks about the new high resolution imagery included, covering over 20 percent of the earth's land mass. More and more areas are now displayed in 3D, including parts of Africa and the Middle East. John also reviews the amount of detailed aerial photography that is part of the program, as well as the ongoing tagging work. Google Earth has become a useful tool for community information.
Brad then reviews Google SketchUp, including the new version for the Apple Macintosh. He assesses the program's ability to use photo images to build models of buildings.
Hanke and Schell are excited about the possibilities for the future, because of both continued collaboration and the nonstop improvements in technology.
John Hanke has had an accomplished career in the world of interactive software where he has pursued advances in technology to pioneer new kinds of products. In the early days of the Web, Hanke was involved in one of the first massively multiplayer online 3D games ("Meridian 59"), which was acquired by 3DO in 1996. He then co-founded a second company - Big Network - to pursue "casual gaming" online. That company was acquired by eUniverse in 2000.
Hanke co-founded Keyhole in 2001 to create a new kind of global 3D map of the world. He forged partnerships with Sony, NVIDIA, CNN, and others as the company introduced its "earth browser" to the world. Keyhole was acquired by Google in October, 2004 and the Keyhole technology re-emerged as "Google Earth" in July 2005.
Hanke received his MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley in 1996 and has a BA in Plan II from the University of Texas at Austin. After graduation, he worked in foreign affairs for the U.S. Government in Washington, DC and Southeast Asia.
Brad Schell has been a long-time fan of 3D, both as a user and as a developer of 3D applications. He began his career as a structural engineer and first discovered the power of 3D while detailing precast concrete structures. He founded CadZooks in 1990 and sold the company to Autodesk in 1996. CadZooks built 3D add-on applications to AutoCAD.
In 1999, Schell and Joe Esch founded @Last software with the mission of making 3D accessible enough to let everyone experience the fun and power of 3D. SketchUp is the result of their efforts. @Last was acquired by Google in March 2006.
Schell has a B.S. in structural engineering from The University of Colorado, Boulder.
This free podcast is from our Where Conference series.