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February8, 2005

Google Maps Unleashed

Google Maps first started as a C++ program designed by two Danish brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen at the Sydney-based company Where 2 Technologies. Lars and Jens Rasmussen were broke and jobless  –  with only $16 between them  –  when they made it big in the Web world by selling their idea for Google Maps.


Lars and Jens Rasmussen

It was first designed to be separately downloaded by users, but the company later pitched the idea for a purely Web-based product to Google management, changing the method of distribution.  In October 2004 the company was acquired by Google Inc. where it transformed into the web application Google Maps.

The application was first announced on the Google Blog on February 8, 2005,  and was located at Google. It originally only supported users of Internet Explorer and Mozilla web browsers, but support for Opera and Safari was added on February 25, 2005.


In April 2005, Google created Google Ride Finder using Google Maps. In June 2005, Google released the Google Maps API. In July 2005, Google began Google Maps and Google Local services for Japan, including road maps. On July 22, 2005, Google released “Hybrid View”.

Together with this change, the satellite image data was converted from plate carrée to Mercator projection, which makes for a less distorted image in the temperate climes latitudes.

Also see

Google Moon

Google Mars

Google Sky

Video History of Google Maps


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