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Jan 5, 09 - 1:43 pm

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Today, Google announced that the enterprise version of its Google Earth product is available in mobile form “immediately.” What does this mean? You can look at your enterprise’s own Google Earth data out in the field when not connected to the enterprise network.

I’ve never used this product, but the idea is great. According to Google:

Google Earth Enterprise lets customers build globes with their own data that can be accessed with the same fast, easy-to-use technology as Google Earth. Previously, Google Earth Enterprise customers could only access their private Google Earth globes when connected to the network. Sometimes, when working in the field, limited or no network connectivity prevented our customers from accessing the full potential of the geospatial data.

The portable version of Google Earth Enterprise allows organizations to distribute geospatial data to their employees where bandwidth is limited or unavailable — such as emergency workers responding to a disaster. Customers can deploy the portable solution for a single individual, or for a multiperson team.

This version is also appropriate for situations when users are away from their desks and need to access an organization’s geospatial data. Data collected in the field can also be transferred to the primary system when network connectivity is available.

I can imagine many uses of this product on the enterprise level. Think about your field force workers, or emergency response teams. For those who travel regular routes, or need to take down survey data or need access to other geospecific information, having remote access to this tool can be highly beneficial.

Google says that the software is loaded on a customer-supplied USB drive or a large partition on a user’s laptop using VMware. In this case, mobile means accessible via a laptop, and not a mobile phone. Google didn’t say that Google Earth Enterprise will be available on any mobile platforms, but that would be the pinnacle of mobility.

The consumer version of Google Earth is available for the Apple iPhone.

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