All the way back in 2005, as our 6-person team was preparing to launch Google Maps, we were starting to look at what we would do after the product was launched.
The roadmap I had started out with (in late 2002) was clear enough: start out with a high quality interactive 2D map, using shadows to make it feel more like a map on a table than a map on a wall, so altitude and things standing up on the map would be part of the experience. Then go to full 3D with terrain height and buildings. And finally, add a 4th dimension to the map – time.
Waiting for the Right Time
Time was always the most interesting and ambitious part of the plan. And the element of time is what has made Planet’s mission so interesting and exciting. I’ve always said that you rarely want driving directions from A to B, you mostly want to know when to leave A to get to B by a certain time. (This was 2005, getting directions still meant printing them out from a web browser, and bringing them with you on paper…) I used to say that when ...