Thursday, June 26, 2008
Today marks the first birthday of the US launch of the Google Earth Outreach program. The program began as a 20% project by Googlers Rebecca Moore and Jenifer Austin Foulkes, who shared a vision of using technology like Google Earth to make the world a better place. In response to demand from non-profit organizations who wanted help using Google Earth and Maps to tell their story, their side project grew into a formal program. The Outreach website launched with teaching tutorials, a Google Earth Pro license grant program and a showcase gallery featuring great Google Earth layers created by people from around the world, and a new folder in the Google Earth layers panel called "Global Awareness" was created. From taking viewers on a virtual tour to taking them along on an expedition with a geoblog, groups have used Google Earth layers to share their compelling work in a geospatial context.
In the past year, we've more than doubled the number of layers in the Global Awareness folder, made the program available in seven languages, trained partners in nine countries, made it easier to create content in Google Earth with Spreadsheet Mapper 2.0 and launched a new version of our site. Public benefit groups around the world have been busy creating phenomenal maps and posting them to our Showcase Gallery. Grants of Google Earth Pro have been issued to over 450 charitable organizations. Organizations are seeing the benefits of using mapping technology for public awareness and seeing the resulting impact in measurable terms. It's amazing to see what's transpired in just one year.
Below you'll find a video highlighting some of the great content from the past year, and today we've added the Rosetta Project/Long Now Foundation's KML, which allows you to explore information about endangered languages in Africa and the Americas. Take a look and join us in celebrating our first birthday!