Google Releases Cloud-Based Google Earth Builder

Google has unveiled a new cloud-based product similar to Google Earth that caters specifically to businesses and government organisations.

The company revealed the new service, called Google Earth Builder at the Where 2.0 conference held last Wednesday.

“With Google Earth Builder, organizations can upload and manage data from multiple departments and create custom layers then share these maps with employees to view on Google Earth and Maps,” the company wrote on the official Google Earth Builder website.

This new service is likely to be available on the market, across more than 100 countries, from the third quarter of 2011.

Once it is fully functional the Google Earth Builder (GEB), which is a web-based service, will replace the company’s aging Geospatial Information System desktop software

"We're bringing the geo infrastructure that we've developed for Google Maps and Google Earth to the enterprise space," Google enterprise geo product manager Dylan Lorimer said in an interview.

The company revealed that two organisations, Ergon Energy and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency have already opted to embrace the GEB while carrying out their own activities.

The search engine giant also indicated that the product will be "competitively priced with traditional mapping products". The service will exist alongside Google's free mapping services, Google Earth and Google Maps.