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Say Hello to Google Maps’ Creators!

Google Maps

Do you remember an obvious situation for everyone two decades back? One enters a new city. He has a paper map but not so sure about his position in it.  The only thing his eyes are looking for is a street vendor or a cab driver who can tell him directions to his destination. And the absence of them frightens him out of wits. Feeling nostalgic or grateful? These thoughts seem a distant memory, thanks to the introduction of Google Maps.


Google Maps is a web mapping service that offers satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, 360° interactive panoramic views of streets. Not only this, but one can also be acquainted with real-time traffic conditions, and route planning for travelling by foot, car, bicycle, and air, or public transportation. But how did this ground-breaking idea came into existence?


The genesis of Google Maps

Lars Eilstrup Rasmussen, an alma mater of the University of California, had a different bend of viewing the world. He became a software developer and computer scientist after completing his PhD in theoretical science. Lars along with his doctorate worked with Mark Jerrum and Alistair Sinclair in the Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science at Edinburgh. He later moved with Sinclair, to Berkeley, California, USA.


Lars’ brother, Jens Eilstrup Rasmussen, too, was a possessor of a heap of innovative ideas. Jens concluded his graduate degree from Høje-Taastrup Amtsgymnasium in 1986. He didn’t hesitate in momentarily working for Chase Manhattan Bank in Copenhagen. A year later, he settled on enrolling himself at the University of Aarhus to study Computer Science and Mathematics.


In 2003, these Danish brothers came together with Australians Noel Gordon and Stephen Ma and co-founded Where 2 Technologies. Their centre of attention was to incorporate a mapping-related start-up in Sydney, Australia.


Google Maps first started as a C++ program named ‘Expedition” in this Sydney-based company. Where 2 technologies sowed the seed of revolutionary software. It was initially designed to be separately downloaded by users. However, they chose to pitch this idea for a purely Web-based product in front of Google management. Finally, Google Inc. acquired it in October 2004, where it transformed into the web application Google Maps.


Whenever you feel lost or stranger to a place, express gratitude to these two legends as your experience. Their pivotal contribution has made a simple voyage turn into a “Happy Journey.”


Harminder Singh