Summer meant sun, beaches and BBQs... but it also meant interns at Google! For the past few months, a smart and energetic group of students from colleges across the U.S. have been hard at work on a number of Geo-related projects.

Many of the features they were working on are still in development or receiving their final touches. Shhh! But in the meantime, we wanted to share the timely accomplishments of GIS intern Edward Pultar, who’s currently in his last year of the Ph.D. program in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Between making new friends, participating in career-building workshops and, of course, enjoying meals that put dorm food to shame, Edward spent his summer working on new layers in Google Earth. Among the newly launched layers are those showing the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and hurricane data. Since summer coincides with hurricane season in the Atlantic, the recent release of the hurricane layer has come just in time to help people in those regions - or people traveling to those regions - to see current, forecasted and historical information for tropical systems.

That layer was certainly useful a few weeks ago when residents on the east coast were intently tracking the progress and path of Hurricane Earl.

With summer now coming to close, we’ll miss the colleagues and friends we made at Google, but will proudly remember the contributions we made in 2010 to help make Google Earth and Google Maps useful resources for many years to come.

Posted by Katie Corner, Summer Intern