I'm live at the Googleplex blogging Google's Geo Developer Day...
2:00PM: Okay, so for those of you tuning into the Google Geo Developer via Google Maps Mania this is the stuff that really matters. A lot of Google Maps product announcements have just been made. Here is a brief summary of those announcements (I'll elaborate later):
- International Geocoding Support - Google Product Manager Thai Tran just announced geocoding support for the Google Maps API. It is now available for US, Canada, Japan, France, Italy, Germany and Spain -- Convert addresses to geographic coordinates! This is a HUGE announcement for the Google Maps community who today might be using external geocoding services. He pleaded with the geo developers in the room to "promise to cache your geocodes" so they can up the standard number of geocoding requests available. Check out more info at the Google Maps API page for more details.
- Google Earth KML to Google Maps - Cut and paste any Google Earth KML file to the Google Maps Search Bar and instantly map this information just like you would view it in Google Earth - An instant Google Maps mashup! Google Maps Product Manager Jessica Lee showed off some cool KML files loaded directly on Google Maps. Very cool! :)
- Google Maps for Enterprise - New licensing model starting at $10,000 per year allows companies to use the Google Maps API and marry it with data on your corporate intranet behind a protected firewall. This also entitles you to gain support from this service licensing fee. This is in additional option to the current Google Maps API.
- Other points: New Google Earth imagery now available for 1/3 of the world population, 1/5 of the planet is now covered with this new data (new imagery for every country) -- this data should be in Google Maps in a few weeks.
1:25PM: Google's top brass Eric Schmidt (CEO), Larry Page and Sergey Brin (co-founders) just provided open remarks followed by John Hanke and Michael Jones of the Google Earth teams. Eric, Larry and Sergey outlined the importance of Google Maps in the overall Google Search strategy. Cameras are all over the room, so this address and thoughts should be available on Google Video soon.. I'll be sure to point you to it later. Google Maps product announcements to come soon! :)
10AM: Just posting a short one here from the final hour before the Google Geo Developer Day begins. I'm in the front row of a large room. In front of me John Hanke is going through his talk and several laptop monitors are glowing around the room. At the front of the room two large screens show a series of really cool Google Earth flyovers, along with several maps mashups flashing up on the screen. Two plasmas to the left and right of the room show the brilliant colors of the Google logo. TV Cameras, sound mixing board - An appearance by Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt is also expected. The day promises to have some exciting Google Maps announcements, so be sure to check back periodically for the next several hours. I can tell you I'm pretty excited sitting in here watching this ready to take off!
Want to see where I am? View my "personal" Google Map! :)