Google to offer cloud service for digital maps

Enterprises will be able to store and retrieve geospatial data for end users

Google will open up to third parties its digital maps infrastructure so that enterprise organizations can use it to store and serve up geospatial data to their end users.

Called Google Earth Builder, the new cloud service will be unveiled on Wednesday and is expected to be commercially available in this year's third quarter. Google will provide pricing information later on.

After putting their mapping data on the Google cloud, enterprises can make it available to their employees, partners or customers through end-user tools like Google Maps online service and API or the Google Earth desktop application.

"Google Earth Builder is Google's mapping platform in the cloud, for organizations that deal with mapping data, whether it's hundreds of terabytes or a few base maps layers," said Dylan Lorimer, Google's enterprise Earth and Maps product manager.

"They can upload that content to the cloud and have access to push-button tools to process that data, build Maps and Earth layers from it, and securely publish those layers to their end users who are going to access the layers through familiar tools like Google Maps and Earth," he added.

By relying on Google Earth Builder, enterprises can save on storage and server provisioning, maintenance and tuning, which can be substantial and complicated when dealing with mapping data, he said.

Google Earth Builder will be officially unveiled at the Where 2.0 Conference in Santa Clara by Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of location and local services.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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