Google Earth-Client Gaia ist offline

Google Earth
Nachdem der Google Earth-Client Gaia über Nacht bekannt geworden ist, hat Google natürlich sofort reagiert – allerdings nicht so wie man es erwartet hätte. Der Entwickler wurde nicht verklagt oder mit rechtlichen Schritten eingeschüchtert, sondern er wurde vom Earth-Chefentwickler ausführlich und im netten Ton gebeten das Projekt einzustellen.

Natürlich wäre es nicht gut für Google gewesen wenn sie gleich mit der Eisenfaust zugeschlagen und den Entwickler verklagt hätten, aber dass sich der Chef persönlich Zeit nimmt und die Gründe auch noch ausführlich erklärt hätte ich nicht erwartet. Der Entwickler hat auf diese eMail, die ihn persönlich auch beeindruckt hat, auch gleich reagiert und alle Downloads von der Website entfernt. Außerdem bittet er alle, die die Software auf ihrem PC haben, die Daten zu löschen – was wohl kaum einer tun wird.

Immerhin hat der Entwickler jetzt Aufmerksamkeit bekommen und hat gezeigt dass er Programmiertechnisch so einiges drauf hat, vielleicht hilft ihm das bei spätere Jobsuche – evt. bei Google 😀

Hier die eMail von Michael Jones:


I am Michael Jones, the Chief Technologist of Google Earth, Google Maps, and
Google Local search writing to the author(s) of the Gaia project ( with an urgent concern. We have now become aware
of your efforts and are concerned that you may not understand the developing
global social impact of your engineering creativity.

The data that we license for Google Earth and Google Maps is made available
for use under the restriction that it not be accessed or used outside of
Google’s client software. These products — Earth, Maps, and Mobile Maps —
each have a data protection mechanism tailored to their environment. They
also all come with a clearly indicated end user license agreement, known as
the Terms of Service, which means „these are the conditions under which we
are providing access to valuable data through our client software for your
use.“ In all three cases, the ToS are very clear that the data services used
by the client software must never be accessed directly and that the
encryption, passkey, and other data protection mechanisms must not be

We appreciate that you like our software and enjoy the many millions of
dollars and years of labor that the licensed data represents. Unfortunately,
your curiosity about the protected server mechanisms ignores the Google
Earth Terms of Service, the software license agreement that you accepted
when installing Google Earth, the built-in encryption mechanisms within the
client/server protocol, the economic rights of a worldwide network of
providers who license this data to Google, and most of all, the sense of
fair-play that is the basic relationship between Google and its users

The kindness through which Google has made the wonder of our planet
available to more than 100 million users around the world is now threatened
— not by a menacing and fierce business competitor — but by you. Please
hear the seriousness in this statement. I am not an attorney. I am not
posturing. Just the opposite. We on the engineering team are hopeful that
despite the risk your actions (break the ToS, reverse engineer parts of the
data protection mechanisms, publish the fact and code, encourage others)
pose to our product, team, company, and users, we remain hopeful that this
was an unintended result of what started as intellectual curiosity by a
smart engineer like ourselves who has a passion to learn how things work.

Are we right?

If so, we really need to have you take down that code and refocus your work
toward building an open earth viewer that uses open earth images (such as
from NASA) or licensed earth images from willing providers rather than
having the basis of your project being the improper use of our images. If
you understand the gravity of the situation and agree to respect or position
in this, please let me know quickly (hours rather than days) and on an
equally responsive time scale please modify your project pages to remove
anything suggesting or teaching the improper access to our data servers.

Anxious to hear from you,

Michael T. Jones, Chief Technologist, Google Earth, Maps, Local
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043
Email: [email protected] T:(XXX)XXX-XXXX M:(XXX)XXX-XXXX F:(XXX)XXX-XXXX
Explore Google Earth! Site: Community:

» Gaia-Website

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