More hires for Google Earth

While a few days ago it seemed like John Hanke was indicating Google might be content to just use it’s Earth as a backdrop for geobrowsing, today brings a job ad for Google Earth that looks a bit more ambitious:

The Keyhole group is hiring a sales/deployment engineer who will help the Keyhole technology to be adopted by large commercial and government customers.

Some of the more interesting requirements: “Knowledge of GIS technologies is desired including common data formats and applications (ESRI, MapInfo, Oracle Spatial, etc.) is desired” and “Hands-on Linux experience is a must ” and finally “5+ years experience as a […] systems engineering in a UNIX/Linux environment.”

So there does seem to be a will to compete on the high end, but is it possible (and I’m asking because I don’t know) that Google might deliberately choose to provide its enterprise products on a Linux platform while other mainstream GIS vendors like ESRI do Windows? Would that make sense, GIS pros? After all, IBM et al are pushing Linux, so why not run your your GIS on Linux at the enterprise level…

One thought on “More hires for Google Earth”

  1. I think that Google is taking a dual approach here, as it does for its traditional search products. It provides a web-based search for individuals, and search appliances for enterprise customers. For Google Earth, this will mean the hosted Free/Plus/Pro editions for individuals and the (sorta) appliance Enterprise product for enterprise customers.

    As to the platform, it makes sense for Google to focus on a Linux/*NIX server platform, as this is where their strengh is. Check out the server specs for the Google Earth Enterprise Server. Not that ESRI isn’t also providing its server-based applications for Linux. ArcSDE, ArcIMS and ArcGIS Server all have Linux/*NIX deployment options.

    Both of these companies have realized that selling a Windows client is a no-brainer, but that there is a good market for Linux/*NIX-based servers as long as you have a “killer app” to put on them. As far as my perspective as a GIS practitioner, it doesn’t matter what OS the service is hosted on, as long as it works, I can convince my CTO to support it, and I can reach it from my (Windows) desktop.


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