One of the neat snippets in Google’s recent blog post about training environmental journalists was that they’re now using the Google Earth Portable Server in real-world environments, though still in a closed trial.
Google has always been very responsive when disasters strike, and the Portable Server could allow them to assist to an even larger degree. The Portable Server allows you to pre-load data from selected areas so that you’re still able to access that data even if you enter an area with no internet connection, as is common after a disaster of any kind (flood, hurricane, tornado, etc).
Google explains it in further detail on this site, but their basic information states:
With the Google Earth Enterprise Portable solution your users can select and download portions of your private globe which they can serve and access locally from their laptop. Whether fighting fires or taking off in a plane, the Google Earth Enterprise portable gives your users the Google Earth experience when they are not connected to the Internet.
The portable solution consists of:
• A simple user interface to the Google Earth Enterprise system enabling users to extract portions of a globe based on a user-defined area of interest.
•A light-weight, cross-platform server that serves the extract globe on an end users machine.
For more information about Portable Earth Enterprise, visit the Google Earth Enterprise site or watch the short video below.
The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has had a profound influence on everything I’ve worked on over the last decade, and a new partnership with them is a great opportunity for saying “thanks” and giving back. Today we’re announcing the launch of apache-extras.org. Much like our launch of eclipselabs.org earlier this year, we’re creating a separate instance of Project Hosting specifically for ASF-related projects to congregate around.
Back in 2000, when the Subversion project was in its nascent stages, we first few committers were all made members of the APR (Apache Portable Runtime) project; Subversion and Apache HTTPD shared this common portability layer. Over the following years, I was pulled ever closer to the workings of the ASF — attending Apachecon conventions and meeting members from other ASF projects. And because the Subversion project started out with a significant number of developers from the Apache community, its own processes came to mimic the same classic consensus-driven culture that the ASF champions.
Years after that, Google Code’s Project Hosting service was also started by ASF members working at Google. So it’s not surprise that those of us who still work on the product share the ASF’s core philosophy: that open source projects aren’t just buckets of code, but are all about people. A codebase without a living, breathing community is a dead project.
So what can we do, as a company, to support open source communities? Providing hosting infrastructure certainly helps, but we can even go a step further. Successful open source software projects are rarely islands of development; larger projects tend to develop ecosystems of related but “unofficial” projects around them. It’s sometimes hard to identify these sub-communities, and so we can help by bolstering their presence: give them a clearer sense of identity and location by inviting them to live under a common banner.
This is why we’re excited to launch apache-extras.org today. By working under a common logo and domain name, we hope these projects can gain more visibility and grow into their own thriving community.
And to the ASF: a great big “thanks” for doing what you do.
[If you already have a project on Google Code and would like to migrate it to the apache-extras instance, you can fill out this request form