My new office…

You may have picked up on the rumors that I have a new job, well it’s true !!

This week I joined Google as the Geospatial Technologist for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and to say I am excited would be somewhat of an understatement.
Google Door

Google (and yes Microsoft and Yahoo as well 🙂 ) have had a massive positive impact on the traditional GI industry and are developing truly innovative ways of distributing and exploiting geographic information – and there is still much more to come !

The “heavy lifting” of the data providers and sophisticated software tools developers is still a very important part of the industry which after-all is data driven, but through the efforts of Google the information is getting into the hands of a new community of some 200 million users, when they need it, and how they need it.

It’s really important that the world of neogeography and the more established industry come together as there is much to learn from both ends of the spectrum, there is already much good working going on to integrate geoRSS and KML with existing OGC standards for example.

Google lives up to its reputation – I feel like I’m back at university, really bright people getting on and solving problems, but unlike most university departments or corporate research units, with all the resources needed to do so – and yes there are lots of Lava lamps, as much free food and drink as you could cope with, and a games room 🙂

I have been smiling continuously for the last week, but I can see life is going to get really busy !!

Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.

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53 Replies to “My new office…”

  1. Ed:

    Congrats on the job–just don’t let anyone catch you dozing on one of those bean-bag chairs in the common areas.

    Now if you could just modify the EULA for GE Pro that would encourage the private sector to experiment with the platform, that would make my life, for one, much more pleasant….


  2. Hey Ed, well done and congratulations… sounds like it’s going to be a hoot and right up your street, you’ll love it! I like the look of the gourmet food best, but I’m sure there’ll be some interesting geospatial technologisting to be done too 😉


  3. Awesome – Congratulations Ed, now we’ve got someone from Google to ramble and ruminate on GeoSpatial wisdom…hope you’ll continue posting…or may be you’ll forget with too much attention towards the free food! 🙂

    Good luck..

  4. Ed congratulations. Perhaps you can get Google to throw some resource behind professional GIS tools as well as consumer software. That way we might get a decent GIS system for Mac OSX!!

  5. Congratulations! I’m looking forward to seeing your transition from an organisation that charges as much as it can for everything to one that tries to give as much away as possible.

  6. Grants on the new gig, sounds like some interesting work. Eventhough it’s Google. 🙂

    And Julian….I think you misguided in that Google gives away as much as possible. Please show me where I can download a copy of the imagery and vector data used in GE. I sure would like to use in other applications. *laughs* OO wait, just the dataviewer is given away, free.


  7. Ed,
    Congraulations. Will be interested to find out (thru blog?) what Google expect a Geospatial Technologist to do for them! I know it is early doors, but when you get into it, and if you find you have something to say, we would be very happy to invite you to speak at the Society of Cartographers conference at Portsmouth Uni from 3-6 Sept. We already have a paper on “Recent Google Earth initiatives” from Richard Treeves, University of
    Don’t hesitate to contact me later if interested.
    All the best in the new role,

  8. Ed,
    I have been a regular reader of your blog for some time, making almost no comments, but appreciating the valuable information you posted.

    CONGRATULATIONS. I recently joined an innovative telecom company and am very fortunate to be in a creative environment. I think a groundbreaking company such as Google will benefit from your knowledge but also give you a great big “sandbox” to work in and enjoy. GIS, mapping, geography and society will benefit from your presence.

  9. Congrats!
    The stuff Google is pushing out for mapmaking is very cool. How about a post on the differences between the OS and Google, workwise?

    Wish I was going to Calgary to see your talk at GeoTech but if you are ever back in Vancouver, I’ll see you then.

  10. Cool stuff Ed. I think you’re the right bloke, in the right place, at the right time – now all you have to do is live up to the hype.

    Have fun, and carry on pushing the open source message.

  11. Ed, MANY congratulations to a past Kingston employee from a current one. I’d like to echo Steve Chilton and invite you to contribute to The Cartographic Journal at some stage…what about a ‘Google’ based Special Issue?
    Ken Field
    Principal Lecturer in GIS
    Editor The Cartographic Journal
    Kingston University

  12. I was just playing around with the fab new ‘My Maps’ thing on google (so simple, I love it), and I thought to myself, “I wonder what Ed is up to these days?” Spookily I see my cognitive connections have become reality! Congratulations.

  13. Wishing you all the best, Ed. Sounds like a win-win scenario for both you and Google. A door closes and another opens.


  14. So Ed, is this:

    –Go to

    -Click on Maps.

    –Click on “get Directions”.

    –From New York

    –To London

    (read line # 23.)

    your doing 🙂

  15. One more congrat.

    Can I selfishly take this opportunity to shove the word “Ireland” into your field of vision at your new job, please?
    It’s just that Google Maps (and each of its competitors) doesn’t do anything useful here at all, and we don’t know who else to prod.

    Ta. 🙂

  16. Ed, first of all, thanks for signing off my voluntary-ish redundancy application form back in 2003 so I could leave Ordnance Survey!

    Everyone in Geospatial Maintenance and Testing could see you were destined for big things when you too eventually left, but we could never have guessed this.

    Great news, let’s hope you keep on having the time to share all your ideas with us while you are at Google. You must feel on top of the world.

    Best wishes,

    Paul Pridmore (you won’t remember me!)

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