Google Earth Reaches One Billion Downloads
Google has reach a major milestone with its Google Earth software, achievin a billion downloads since its debut in 2005. This number includes downloads of the mobile apps, web browser plug-in, and desktop client.
Google believes, however, that Google Earth is highly underutilized. According to Peter Birch, product manager for Google Earth, most users think of it as a novelty to “fly” to their house, the Huffington Post reports. Birch said, “They don’t have much of a sense what Earth can be used for. Really, it’s a very powerful platform for sharing information.”
Google, in honor of their accomplishment, has launched a new Google Earth-centric website, OneWorldManyStories.com. This website is setup to describe how creative thinkers are utilizing Google Earth in innovative ways. For example retired English teacher Jerome Burg created Google Lit Trips, which uses Google Earth to locate geographic places that are located in literature, to encourage students to create connections between the stories they read in school and the world they live in.
Brian McClendon, one of the founders of the Google Earth project says on the ‘One World’ website, “There was a time when explorers spent and risked their lives in search of new geographic discoveries. When we launched Google Earth, we made geographic discovery accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Armchair adventurers have made significant discoveries using this tool and can claim to be explorers in their own right.”
McClendon envisions big ideas for the next billion downloads. He is hopeful that users grasp the technology and run with it. He says, “[Google Earth] is not just a tool for those in cartography. It’s now a part of our culture to engage deeply with the world around us in a multitude of ways. Using Google Earth and Google Maps is a way to contextualize our surroundings and create a richer view of our place in the world.”
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