I just got back from an awesome Google event; The Geo for Higher Ed which was filled with insightful and educative training on Google Geo Products
The Geo For Higher Education was held at Google Headquarters, Mountain View, California US between 11th-13th August and brought together instructors and researchers in GIS and remote sensing technologies from higher education institutions. It connected instructors with Google engineers and gave resources for using these tools in their research and teaching. It also involves those who are actively working on projects or teaching courses related to mapping.
We had a warm welcome from Brian McClendon (VP of Engineering, Geo at Google, mastermind behind Google Earth, and creator of KML-Keyhole Markup Language) who gave a great history of the program and the creation of Google Geo.
The attendees learned highly practical online tools for geographers and GIS/RS academics, to collect, host, analyze, visualize, and publish map data using the power of the cloud. Special attention was paid to new Google tools, including Google Maps Engine, Google Earth Engine, and several other Geo Applications
Rebecca Moore (Engineering Manager, Google Earth Outreach and Earth Engine) also gave a great history of the importance of Google Earth and its transformation over the years highlighting a number of exciting things to come and products not yet released to the public
There are loads of amazing Google Geo products that we can make use of in Nigeria, especially in the education sector and extensively, to other sectors.
“The Google Geo Ecosystem”
Google Maps Engine (GME): makes it easy to create and share maps online.
Maps Gallery: A new way for organizations and public institutions to publish and share their maps online through the Google Maps Engine
Google Crisis Map: a map interface initially used for emergency alerts, however, it’s not entirely dedicated to crisis as you can easily integrate and create your own map mashup and community awareness map here
Maps Engine API: open the platform for developers to build Maps Engine-powered applications. Access Maps Engine data directly
Google Earth Engine: Google Earth Engine brings together the world’s satellite imagery — trillions of scientific measurements dating back over 40 years — and makes it available online with tools for scientists, independent researchers, and nations to mine this massive warehouse of data to detect changes, map trends and quantify differences on the Earth’s surface
Earth Engine API – (application programming interface) provides the ability to create your own algorithms to process raster and vector imagery.
Timelapse builds on Earth Engine to show decades of planetary change, both man-made and natural.
Streetview: Google Maps and Earth provides over five million miles of interactive 360-degree panoramas across all seven continents; it’s the closest thing to teleportation, allowing teachers and students to virtually walk almost anywhere they dream of going.
Visualization/ Story Telling
Tour Builder: Tour Builder is a new way to show people the places you’ve visited and the experiences you had along the way using Google Earth. It lets you pick the locations right on the map, add photos, text, and video, and then share your creation.
Two Keynotes I got from the workshop
- There is a lot of interest in Africa from the Google Earth outreach team and they are willing to invest some of their resources to get Google geo tools into schools.
- The potential for the tools to make an impact in African education institutions is huge.
We (Google Advocates) will continue our campaign to take the Geo curriculum in more schools here in Nigeria
I look forward to some exciting developments soon. I will keep everyone updated on this blog
Here are some of the Pictures at the Google Geo Summit