Thursday, November 08, 2007
Recently, a group of Chicago Googlers who are passionate about sports came together to find ways to support Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. We got in touch with folks from World Sport Chicago, who had recently agreed to organize the AIBA World Boxing Championships, and asked them how Google technology could help support this local event with global reach. Together, we came up with an idea to educate fans about the boxers and their home countries through an information overlay on Google Earth, embedding select information about each boxer and their sponsoring country in pop-up windows across the globe.
Then we took this idea further by matching up our software with Accenture's Interactive Wall Technology to make the information even more lively. The Accenture Interactive Wall literally put the power of Google Earth at one's fingertips, so that people could manipulate the globe using their hands. Thousands of fans visited this display during the championships and we're pleased we could play a part in developing this learning tool for them.
When members of the Mongolian boxing team visited and asked how it worked, a volunteer helped them learn the controls, and they were quickly off to explore the planet. In a few seconds, they made their way to Mongolia, and were able to locate the gym back home where they had trained in for these very championships. They were amazed at the technology and the ease of use in finding their homes.
Chris Lobdell, one of our customer solutions engineers, worked closely with Bruno Bowden from the Google Earth team to build this interactive mashup. Using boxer profile information provided by the USOC, Chris merged the profile for each boxer and coach with data about the represented country (population, land mass and currency).
Googlers love a challenge, and this was an interesting one, especially considering the short timeframe in which it needed to be done, the massive information overlay development, and the integration with Accenture's display.