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Google Earth Enterprise

Observed Non-Personal Data Infrastructure Digital Society

The Data

Google Earth Enterprise (GEE) announced in 2017 that it will give the public access to their data by open-sourcing their products. The data, that was previously only available to paying customers to host private versions of Google Earth and Google Maps, included its GEE Fusion, GEE Server and GEE Portable Server source code. The data shared is equivalent to over 470,000 lines of code.

How the data was shared

GEE will make its data available in March 2017 on GitHub under the Apache2 license. However, in this initiative the GEE Client, the Google Maps JavaScript API V3 and the Google Earth API will not be open-sourced and will remain available to paying customers only.

Purpose of Data Shared

GEE follows the common practice by many software companies to open-source their deprecated products. According to Google, by opening GEE services to the public, it can allow a wide-range of developers to improve and build on the data available. This move may also encourage more GEE customers to move to Google's paid cloud-based geospatial services, like the Google Cloud Platform and the Google Earth Engine, highlighting the commercial interest for Google in making GEE open-source.

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