I was rereading the press release this morning, and a phrase at the end stood out:

GlobeAssistant, who’s responsible for the creation of Earthbooker and patented integration with Google Earth, believes that within the next 4 years in 50% of all travel arrangements Google Earth and their technology will be used.

It stood out not so much for the prediction but for the word “patented”. I highly doubt a method based on a process that’s only been around for a few months would already be patented. So is it patent-pending? Or is this press release-ese? Or a bad translation from Dutch? What’s so patentable about a method for depicting a database on Google Earth? Am I missing something?

(On GlobeAssistant’s site there is a more detailed description of the patent: “GlobeAssistant BV uses the patented Altitude Ranking Algorithm to filter relevant data before it is published to the Globe.” Haven’t some of Google Earth’s built-in layers done that since day one? Just asking.)

2 thoughts on “Patented?!”

  1. Dear Frank, the way filtering of data is taken care of within Altitude Ranking differs from the standard way data is filtered. Altitude Ranking displays data on a much more intelligent way and is designed to handle large amount of data

    Best Regards

    Qyan Tabak


  2. I’ve just been told the details of the patent will be secret until Feburay 2008. So it would seem to me the correct term would be “Patent Pending”.

    With dynamic and scale dependent labeling en generalisation present in mayor GIS applications i’m really curious what is new about this technology.

    Cheers, Ivo

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