The new product will let companies upload, process and store their geospatial data in the Google cloud. As it utilizes the popular Google Maps and Google Earth tools, Earth Builder will enable users to share and publish mapping data without requiring any technical expertise or GIS training.
In announcing the new product, Google points out that, "in the enterprise a lot of geospatial data remains trapped on costly servers and inaccessible to those who need it. We'd like to help free that data and bring the same benefits that consumers have enjoyed for years to businesses and government agencies."
That sounds pretty noble, but it's also likely to be incredibly lucrative. Google Earth Builder could provide a cloud-based alternative to many of the GIS software packages already on the market. The new package, which will officially launch this summer, will be priced "competitively" with similar software offerings already on the market.
But as Business Insider's Matt Rosoff rightly points out, the savings may be at the level of hardware as much as hardware. Not only will companies be able to store massive amounts of data ("terabytes of imagery," in Google's words), but they'll have access to the computational power of Google's cloud as well.