Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Google Earth and Apps

                                                              Google Earth Outreach
Another Google technology effort captured public attention in 2005: the Google Earth service allows users to call up on their computer screens detailed satellite images of most locations on Earth. Furthermore, these maps can be used to create combinations (known as “mashups”) with various overlays, incorporating details such as street names, weather patterns, crime statistics, coffee shop locations, real estate prices, population densities, and so forth. While many of these mashups were created for convenience or simple novelty, others became critical lifesaving tools. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Google Earth provided interactive satellite overlays of the affected region, enabling rescuers to better understand the extent of the damage. Subsequently Google Earth became a vital tool in post-disaster recovery efforts.
Google's commitment to privacy was questioned, however, after it introduced a related mapping service, called Street View, that showed street-level photographs from around the United States that were searchable by street address. Some photographs provided a view through house windows or showed persons sunbathing. Google defended the service by saying that the images showed only what a person could see if walking down the street.
In October 2008 Google Earth for the iPhone and the iPod Touch was released as a downloadable application from Apple Inc.'s Internet iTunes Store. With support for the accelerometer (motion detector) in Apple's portable devices, this version of Google Earth adjusts the way that the three-dimensional maps are displayed as the devices are tilted.
In February 2009 Google Earth began adding marine data where information was available. In addition, the mapping service began offering a feature called Historical Imagery that allowed users to view a sequence of regional satellite images to see environmental changes, such as those caused by erosion or human agency.

Google Apps
In 2006, in what many in the industry considered the opening salvo in a war with Microsoft, Google introduced Google Apps—software hosted by Google that runs through users' Web browsers. The first free programs included Google Calendar (a scheduling program), Google Talk (an instant messaging program), and Google Page Creator (a Web page creation program); in order to use these free programs, users had to put up with ads and be reconciled to having their data stored on Google's equipment. This type of deployment, in which both the data and the programs are located somewhere “out there” on the Internet, is often called “cloud computing.”
Between 2006 and 2007 Google bought or developed various traditional business programs (word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software) that were eventually collectively named Google Docs. Like Google Apps, Google Docs is used through a browser that connects to the data on Google's machines. In 2007 Google introduced a Premier Edition of its Google Apps that included 25 gigabytes of e-mail storage, security functions from the recently acquired Postini software, and no ads; as the components of Google Docs became available, they were added to both the free ad-supported Google Apps and the Premier Edition. In particular, Google Docs was marketed as a direct competitor to Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).
With the release in 2008 of Google Chrome, a Web browser with a superior JavaScript engine better suited for running programs within the browser, Google continued to advance its ability to serve customers over the Internet.

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