Google will soon open-source Google Earth Enterprise

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Google Earth Enterprise, which originally launched over ten years ago, was Google’s tool for businesses that wanted to build and host private versions of Google Earth and Google Maps for their internal geospatial applications. In 2015, the company announced that it would shut the service down in March 2017 but in what is becoming a pretty standard move for deprecated products, Google this week announced that it would open source all of the core Google Earth Enterprise (GEE) tools.

This means that GEE Fusion, Server and Portable Server (that’s a total of 470,000 lines of code) will be available on GitHub under the Apache 2 license in March. The company explicitly notes that neither the GEE Client, nor the Google Maps JavaScript API V3 or the Google Earth API will be open sourced. The company will continue to update the Enterprise Client, though.

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Google would probably prefer that its existing GEE users would move to its Google Cloud Platform and the Google Earth Engine, but quite a few of its existing customers never moved off GEE, despite the upcoming deprecation date. Unsurprisingly, the company used most of today’s announcement to plug its cloud-based geospatial services and to note that this new approach offers its users more flexibility and easier access to public datasets.

 

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