US: Google renamed ‘Earth Builder’ to ‘Maps Engine’. In addition, it launched Google Maps Engine grants programme for nonprofits, according to Dylan Lorimer, Google Maps Engine Product Manager. In September 2011, Google had launched Google Earth Builder, a product that allowed users to use Google’s cloud computing infrastructure to store, manage and share their own geospatial data and maps.
The Earth Builder enabled secure access to geospatial data it hosts through geospatial apps like Google Earth and geospatial APIs like the Google Maps API. Customers have used the platform in a variety of ways, including third parties using it to power their applications, data providers using it to commercially distribute their geospatial data, and customers creating their own 3D globes with private mapping data.
Through the blog, Lorimer stated, “We didn’t think ‘Earth Builder’ reflected the true capabilities of the product or vision that we have for easily accessible geospatial data.”