[LINK] Australian know-how helps Google Maps find its way
kim at holburn.net
Wed Apr 1 00:23:08 AEDT 2009
Lars Rasmussen presents the 2009 Innovation Lecture in Brisbane (30
June), Sydney (2 July), Melbourne (8 July) and Adelaide (9 July)
> Australian know-how helps Google Maps find its way
> Key parts of one of the web�s hottest properties, the Google Maps
> technology, were created right here in Oz by this year�s Warren
> Centre Innovation Lecturer, Dr Lars Rasmussen, his brother Jens, and
> some Australian colleagues, Stephen Ma and Noel Gordon.
> It is a story with more than a few interesting twists and turns.
> Lars and his brother got to Australia via California. After Lars
> graduated from Berkeley (University of California) the two Danish
> brothers were part of a startup during the dot.com boom. When that
> imploded the two were jobless. So their own web application was the
> way to go. Lars kindly credits Jens with the idea for developing new
> mapping technology.
> Lars had done some work in Sydney for his old employer Digital
> Fountain before being laid off and there was a certain Cuban girl
> who could not work in the USA but could in Australia. So Sydney was
> looking very attractive...
> Their self funded company �Where 2 Technologies� started �in a
> spare bedroom� in Sydney and by 2003 they had developed their
> prototype for the new mapping technology. Whereas most other mapping
> applications worked on the basis of entering an address and getting
> a map, the brothers wanted to use maps a basis for a diversity of
> geospatial services.
> Then it was off to California to find some money. They did the
> predictable rounds while maintaining their base n Australia,
> eventually finding an interested party!
> However, at the last minute, the allegedly interested party changed
> its mind and instead, introduced them to Google (before the big
> public listing). Understandably they had to wait while the listing
> took centre stage, but by mid-2004, the four developers were part of
> the new Google empire.
> And they were still based in Australia! Their case for staying in
> Sydney was greatly helped by the enthusiastic response of Google�s
> international user community to the new mapping technology. The
> Google Australian and NZ offices now have over 300 people, and there
> are hundreds of thousands of sites using Google Maps technology.
> Lars credits much of the Google success to the very particular
> culture of Google that attracts, engages and inspires a variety of
> people to give of their best. There are 5 key factors to this
> innovation culture that are well worth considering �no matter what
> business you�re in� says Lars. More on those in our next edition!
> Google is one very clever juggernaut � an excellent case study in
> not only engaging and enthusing your own employees, but also
> including the wider online community in your development.
> So the momentum is ongoing - there is always more to do� including
> a single Google world map, which will involve a huge amount of data
> � a task that will probably never ever be completely finished.
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