Ed Parsons formerly CTO of OS has joined Google as Geospatial Technologist.
Everyone who knows Ed will be delighted for him, if ever someone has found their natural home in the geo-industry then this is it. Those of us who know Ed will have seen him as being increasingly out of place in the formal environment of the national mapping agency. Many of his views on data licensing and business models have been at loggerheads with official OS policy and his departure at the end of last year was hardly surprising.
It is great news for Ed but what does this move mean for those of us still working in the mainstream?
Google have just hired a seriously heavyweight technology visionary from a bluechip of the industry. I don’t think that this is about a couple of extra neat widgets in Google’s mapping applications. I wonder what ideas we will see coming out of Google over the next year? Could we be about to see the commercial use of the API really start to ramp up. If anyone knows how to make the Google service into a major player in both public sector and commercial applications Ed is the one to do it.
Perhaps in the next year we will start to understand the longer term plan for Google’s mapping capabilities. I have never been convinced that local search and advertising alone could provide a payback on their investment. There again these guys can afford to try things out because they fancy it and then work out a way to make money some way down the line.
I can understand why Ed must have a massive grin on permanently. 🙂