Google's investment in mapping technologies
December 17th, 2008 by analyticjournalism

From O'Reilly's Radar:

GeoData Explorations: Google's Ever-Expanding Geo Investment

Posted: 16 Dec 2008 02:40 PM CST

Google has been investing lots of money in geodata acquisition. Some of the money is being spent externally: they've inked an exclusive satellite imagery deal with GeoEye (Radar post) and a data sharing deal Tele Atlas (Radar post). And some is being spent internally with Mapmaker, Street View and the web. Over the past week Google has been sharing visualizations of their internally gathered geodata. Here's a round-up of them.

google street view

The image above was released on December 9th. It shows how much of the US is available via Street View. According to the post Street View imagery increased 22 fold around the world in 2008.

google mapmaker viz

The dark image above was released on December 11th. It highlights the parts of the world that are being mapped on Google's Mapmaker by users (Radar post). Mapmaker is now live in 164 countries. According to the map it has gained the most traction in Africa and the Indian sub-continent. The Google Mapmaker team has released timelapse videos of Mapmaker building cities on the Mapmaker YouTube Channel. I've embedded one after the jump.

google georss kml

This final image shows all the points described by GeoRSS and KML all over the world. It was shown at Where 2.0 2007 by Michael Jones (video). Unsurprisingly, this image and the Mapmaker image show opposite data density concentrations.

In some more GeoData Explorations posts this week I will look at OSM vs Google and some surprising trends in KML.

This timelapse video of Da Lat, Vietnam being created is one of the most impressive. It shows a town and lake emerge from a blank slate.


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