Online Article Page


Google Guy Gushes over Details
Birmingham Post

"I will be really proud to see more advertisement on Google Maps and Google Earth. Wouldn't it be great if you could look up locations of hotels, and also get a list of top five-rated ones?"

The engineers at Google, which generates almost all of its pounds 3.5 billion revenue from advertisement, work with a concept.

"We have to imagine if we had a button to turn all the advertisement off - we would never want to turn it off," Mr. Jones added.

"The advertisement has to be that good for the users," he said.

In the United States, Google has tied up with Valpak, the country's number one coupon supplier, to provide offers to users of Google Maps and local directory services.

Microsoft also offers a similar product called MSN Virtual Earth. The two rivals are racing to add new technology and services.

Google Earth covers a third of the world's population in high-resolution imagery, which is detailed enough to show cars. The database, which gets updated every month, also offers 3D images of buildings and tracks geographical changes over time.

Recently, many media reported on concerns raised by officials in countries such as India and Thailand that detailed satellite pictures on Google Earth may be a risk to national security.

"There are countries where information hasn't been freely available, and to those countries, I imagine the idea of other countries' satellites taking pictures of them from outer space is very uncomfortable. That would be China, former Soviet Union and possibly North Korea," Mr. Jones said.

He explained that satellite photography is regulated by international treaties and isn't restricted by borders, but he added countries restrict the quality of the images taken by commercial satellite companies, which sell data to Google.

"Commercial pictures have been available for a long time, but people's awareness as well as the number of people who use them has increased. That's the difference," Bowden added.

On the other hand, Google is helping governments and many other international organisations with a product called Google Earth for Enterprise, which let experts take their own data and organize and analyse it themselves.

"People come to us looking for information and they want to understand it," Mr. Jones said. "A map can show you what you're looking for and put it in context. That very sense of place is everything Google Earth is about."