Update 1/6/09 5:10 pm EST
Google’s folks got right back to me with answers (Thanks!), so here you go:
As I understand it, you are not just putting some data on the mobile deployment, you are putting the whole server and all the data on it?
That’s correct. The mobile drive would have a Google Earth server plus the customer’s data. One thing to point out - what differentiates Google Earth Enterprise from the publicly available Google Earth is that, in the Enterprise version, the customer utilizes only their own data (which is the case with this portable technology).
Can you put a subset of data on the mobile hardware?
Yes. In fact, one use case is for customers to pre-load different USB drives with different data sets (i.e. different parts of a country) that would be readily available for use in the field.
Is this in fact the entire server code base (which I guess is pretty big) or a “trimmed down” version?
It’s the exact Earth Server software that runs on server racks, but it is lightweight enough to run on a portable device
Is this basically a new “licensing option” or is it really new software?
It’s a different way to deploy the Google Earth Enterprise software.
—- original post——-
Google just contacted us about portable version of our Google Earth Enterprise Server (GEES); it was announced yesterday. Recall that GEES is the version of GE that an organization can buy and run internally, typically with its own data. I dug up from the product page how the portable version works:
The Google Earth Enterprise Portable is loaded on a customer supplied USB drive or a large partition on a user’s laptop using VMWare. Options are available for single- or multiple-user access to the portable software.
I agree with the e-mail that suggests there are situations where a “field version” of the data may be useful, including during disasters were connectivity to the “mother ship” is not available. Still, there are some questions not answered: Do you take the whole server platform? Must you take all the data? Is this a licensing option rather than new software? I’ve posed those questions back to Google and will let you know what I learn.