When the Apple iPhone came out, we were told it ran on a variant of OS X. It was only natural to speculate whether it might not run Google Earth. Now Google has released the specs for Android, its mobile platform, and we are told it will run on a variant of Linux. Google Earth also runs on Linux, so do we need to start speculating whether Google Earth will run on Google-platform mobiles?
No need! The guy behind the platform, Andy Rubin, has just shown the New York Times a version of Google Earth running on a mobile device:
A brief demonstration of the Google software recently suggests that phones made using the technology will have features and design similar to the Apple iPhone. Mr. Rubin demonstrated a hand-held touch-screen device that gave an immersive view of Google Earth, the company’s three-dimensional visualization software.
Mr. Rubin, who is 44 years old and is a veteran Silicon Valley designer, said the software system that Google has designed is based on the Linux operating system and Sun Microsystems’ Java language. It is designed so programmers can easily build applications that connect to independent Web services.
As an example, Mr. Rubin said the company’s StreetView feature of Google Maps could easily be coupled — mashed up, in technology speak — with another service listing the current geographical location of friends.
That’s awesome! Okay, some caveats: “hand-held touch-screen device” could be something quite large, more like a car satnav device, in which case it wouldn’t be that special, as we’ve seen such prototypes before. And I wouldn’t put it past a reporter to confuse Google Maps for Google Earth (though John Markoff is tech-savvy).
Oh, and social APIs released last week, collectively called OpenSocial, are GeoRSS-savvy, discovers The Spatial Miscellany. Here’s the direct link to the Google Code reference, via Jason Birch. (Thanks Avi for the heads-up.)