Google Earth En­ter­prise to be­come open source in March

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Google has an­nounced that it is open sourc­ing its Earth En­ter­prise soft­ware in March 2017. With this devel­op­ment, or­gan­i­sa­tions will be able to de­ploy Google Maps and the 3D view of Google Earth on their on-premise data cen­tre in­fra­struc­ture.

Orig­i­nally in­tro­duced in 2006, Google Earth En­ter­prise (GEE) was be­ing sold by the search giant till 2015. It was de­signed to let en­ter­prise cus­tomers build and host their pri­vate, on-premise ver­sions of Google Earth and Maps. But now, Google has given a two-year main­te­nance pe­riod to the cus­tomers to help them tran­si­tion.

Af­ter the tran­si­tion, Google’s team is set to re­lease the source code of the Earth En­ter­prise suite on GitHub un­der an Apache 2 li­cence. The open source pack­age will in­clude GEE Fu­sion, GEE Server and

GEE Por­ta­ble Server. “Open sourc­ing

GEE al­lows our cus­tomer com­mu­nity to con­tinue to im­prove and evolve the project in per­pe­tu­ity,” Avnish Bhat­na­gar, se­nior tech­ni­cal so­lu­tions en­gi­neer, Google Cloud, wrote in a blog post.

Google Cloud is used to host Earth images. The com­pany will re­lease in­struc­tions on us­ing the Google Cloud Stor­age ser­vice with Google Earth be­fore the source code be­comes freely avail­able in March 2017. Though a ma­jor part of the GEE suite will be open sourced, Google does not have plans to re­lease the code for Google Earth En­ter­prise Client, Google Maps JavaScript API v3 and Google Earth API.

The im­agery and ter­rain quadtree im­ple­men­ta­tions used in the en­ter­prise prod­ucts will help third-party de­vel­op­ers build view­ers that can con­sume GEE Server Data­bases. This will en­able

Google to ex­pand its pres­ence among de­vel­op­ers and en­ter­prises.

Open sourc­ing server soft­ware will af­fect soft­ware providers in the same space, such as Esri or Ar­cGIS Server. But de­vel­op­ers would ul­ti­mately get a chance to switch to Google’s so­lu­tions for pro­vid­ing their cus­tom maps and 3D globes.

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