Feature StoryMeet Your Haas Network
John Hanke, MBA 96
Google Earth, Google Local & Google Maps
Mountain View, Calif.
Think soaring over the earth and homing in on your city, neighborhood, and house is just the stuff of science fiction? Then check out earth.google.com on the web, where users can instantly access satellite imagery, maps, and search engines to view in 3-D detail any location on the planet.
The man who’s put the world at the fingertips of governments, city planners, realtors, and regular folks, is Haas alumnus John Hanke, MBA 96, who founded Keyhole in 2000, the first company to make complicated virtual models of the planet easily accessible. In October 2004, Google snapped up Keyhole (and Hanke), which provides the foundation for Google Earth.
Hanke’s built hi-tech companies from scratch since his Haas School days, when, as president of what’s now the Entrepreneur’s Association, he partnered with classmate Steve Sellers, MBA 96, to form Archetype Interactive, creator of the first Internet multiplayer game. After 3DO bought Archetype, the duo started the Java-based online game company Big Network, which was acquired by eUniverse. Hanke peeled off to establish Keyhole, eventually hiring classmates Ed Ruben, MBA 96, and Noah Doyle, MBA 96.
“Since I moved from the East Coast to Berkeley to get my MBA, my entire network in the Bay Area stems from Haas,” he says. “I have relied on my classmates for advice, contacts, and collaborators from my first day at Haas until now.”
Keyhole first garnered national attention when CNN used it to zoom over the lands of ancient Mesopotamia at the start of the Iraq war in 2002. Since then, people’s concept of what a map can do has changed. “My son, Evan (7), has grown up zooming down in Keyhole/Google Earth to places around the world ... He thinks this is how maps work. What will amaze him when he is an adult? I can’t even imagine.”