February 25th, 2008 | Published in Google Public Policy
The nation's governors converged on Washington this weekend for their '08 winter meeting, making it a good time for us to take stock of some of our ongoing partnerships with state governments throughout the country. We've partnered with seven states so far to help them open up their government websites to outside search engines, and through the Climate Savers Computing Initiative we've taken a leading role in helping states to reduce energy consumption.
One of our most gratifying and exciting ventures, however, has been our work helping state governments to address some of their most pressing emergency management and homeland security needs with Google Earth Enterprise.
In recognition of our efforts, yesterday the National Governors Association presented Google with its second annual Public-Private Partnership Award, which recognizes companies that have partnered with a governor's office to implement a project that positively affects a state's citizens. Google was nominated by Governor Bob Riley for our work in partnership with the state of Alabama on the Virtual Alabama project.
The first system of its kind in the country, Virtual Alabama combines the technology of Google Earth Enterprise with the state's aerial photography, imagery, and other data, providing government employees across the state with the common operational picture necessary for emergency preparedness and disaster management operations. Or, as Alabama Department of Homeland Security Director Jim Walker put it, "This tool is going to save a firefighter's life in Alabama."