Google woos federal agencies

Google hosts sales meeting for military, federal agencies and contractors as Google builds its federal business, announces Google Earth venture with Lockheed.

Google is looking for federal business with a two-day sales meeting for 200 federal contractors, engineers and uniformed military members to learn more about its technology offerings, reports the Washington Post.

Google has ramped up its sales force in the Washington area in the past year to adapt its technology products to the needs of the military, civilian agencies and the intelligence community. Already, agencies use enhanced versions of Google's 3-D mapping product, Google Earth, to display information for the military on the ground in Iraq and to track airplanes that fight forest fires across the country.

The company aims to sell three key products to government agencies: enhanced versions of Google Earth; search engines that can be used internally by agencies; and a new suite of e-mail, document and spreadsheet products similar to Microsoft Office but hosted on Google's servers.

While still very small, Google's business has quadrupled from $73,000 in 2005 to $312,000 in 2006.

"Most federal agencies have trouble with information technology. They don't really talk about it very openly," said Stephen E. Arnold, a technology analyst and the author of "The Google Legacy." "Google is in a unique position to do these large-scale, back-office functions. . . . That's really what they're up to."

Yesterday, Google's partner, Lockheed Martin, demonstrated a Google Earth product that it helped design for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's work in Iraq. These included displays of key regions of the country and outlined Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, as well as U.S. and Iraqi military bases in the city. Neither Lockheed nor Google would say how the geospatial agency uses the data.


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