‘400 million Google Earth users. Really?’

A very nice reality check by Stefan Geens over at Ogle Earth.  My favorite? “..a whole lot of people sucking Earth through a 56kbps straw.”  Never a truer word.

“In his Geoweb 2008 keynote speech, Michael Jones mentioned that among the 1 billion online, there are “400 million Google Earth users”, and that this “constituency” is bigger than the number of Americans.

Time for a reality check. That number for “Google Earth users” can’t be unique users. Downloads, sure, but not users. Just think about it: Let’s even allow 1.4 billion online people in 2008; less than a quarter of them have access to broadband, according to Gartner. And among broadband users, businesses are over-represented — businesses where a program like Google Earth is less likely to be downloaded. To get to the total of 400 million users, every computer on the planet connected to broadband would have to have Google Earth installed, plus a whole lot of people sucking Earth through a 56kbps straw.”

Read on…

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