April 16, 2015

Innovator of the Month: Lars Rasmussen

Digital map innovator Lars Rasmussen gives a lecture in front of a blue presentation screen.

Who is Lars Rasmussen?

Lars has been a map enthusiast since 2003, when he co-founded Where 2 Technologies, a mapping startup in Sydney, Australia. After his company was bought by Google in 2004, Lars worked with an entire engineering team to create a tool that most of us use today: Google Maps. Though he left Google in 2010 to work for Facebook, he is still remembered as the top innovator for Google Maps technology.

After Google acquired Where 2 Technologies, they decided to make Google Maps an online platform that anyone could use. Between 2004 and 2010, Google continued to add other features to Google Maps, such as Street View, public transit routes, traffic information, and more.

Fun Facts About Lars

Lars wanted to be a veterinarian when he grew up.

Before Lars built Where 2 Technologies, he had no savings except for just 16 dollars between him and his brother, Jens Rasmussen.

When asked in an interview what it was like to be an innovator, Lars said, “Most people, before they go on a journey, they look on a map and make sure they know how to get there. But if you’re an explorer, you have to be willing to let that go because there is no map of uncharted territory.”

Why He Will Go Into the Google Maps History Books

If Lars hadn’t created Where 2 Technologies with his brother, he would have never been acquired by Google, and hypothetically, there might have been no be a Google Maps. Lars is now working at Facebook, helping to implement Graph Search, a tool that helps users to search the trillions of connections between all of Facebook’s users. After all of these years, he’s still using his creativity to help launch new innovations and collaborate with techie bigwigs on exciting, new projects.

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