NGA Watch: Google and NGA team up

Google and NGA have teamed up, with NGA buying into Google’s enterprise geospatial cloud solution known as Google Earth Builder.

According to Cloud Computing Journal this is part of a new direction for NGA: “GEOINT on Demand.”

The project, named Earth Builder, was built specifically to enable NGA to directly use Google’s cloud-based geospatial processing power.  this capability will enhance the agency’s ability to provide timely, relevant and accurate geospatial intelligence to the DoD, Intelligence Community and the entire National System for Geospatial Intelligence (NSG).

Google is also touting the new deal:

Google has a contract with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) for the first instance of Google Earth Builder. Google Earth Builder will enable NGA to use Google’s vast geospatial processing power to enhance its ability to provide timely, relevant and accurate geospatial intelligence to its customers, who span a broad range of U.S. federal government departments and agencies.

Google Earth Builder, according to a short video posted at Google, is an enterprise cloud-based geospatial solution for sharing not just data but processing capabilities. That’s a bit of a mouthful, but perhaps an analogy might be something like, where you can share data layers and maps. GEB is being marketed as an enterprise solution (ie within company or agency) but it’s obviously ready to go more openly.


Developments like these must be a constant worry for GIS companies. Google is clearly moving into their market sector, and dissassembling huge software programs like ArcGIS and basically putting their capabilities on the web/cloud.


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