Google Earth, Maps, and Street View

John Hanke, MBA 96, brings the world into view

Stock illustration of a generic online map, showing a start line marked by an arrow, a red line traversing three streets, and a finish line marked with a location icon.
John Hanke, MBA 96, is the man who brought the globe to your web browser. He led the development of Google Earth, whose 3D views of satellite and streetscape imagery are consulted by diverse users ranging from motorists and military leadership seeking directions and topography information to scientists predicting disease outbreaks. Google Earth is the world’s most widely used geographic information system (GIS) service, with more than a billion people using its products, including Google Maps and Google Street View, every month. These days, Hanke is indulging his other passion: video games. He led Niantic Labs, Google’s in-house augmented reality gaming unit, then guided a split from the parent company and developed the game sensation Pokémon Go. Read on for his success story.


Hanke co-founds Keyhole, a geospatial data visualization firm, where he develops an “earth browser” designed to be the “ultimate geographic reference platform.”


The war in Iraq puts Keyhole on the map—with media coverage by CBS, 60 Minutes, Forbes, and more—for its ability to provide fluid 3D digital images, including close-ups of Baghdad. Keyhole now has more than 12,000 customers in sectors like real estate, engineering and architecture, media, and government. Investments come from Sony, Nvidia, and In-Q-Tel.


Google acquires Keyhole for $35 million. As VP of product management for Google’s Geo division, Hanke leads the development of Keyhole into Google Earth a year later.


Driving to your destination goes high tech, as Google Maps, a component of Google Earth, uses satellite imagery and aerial photography—along with real-time traffic conditions—to direct terrestrial travelers along the streetscape.


A feature of both Google Maps and Google Earth, Street View is introduced to provide interactive panoramas of neighborhoods and throughways from across the planet. Images are collected using an innovative six-lens camera, usually mounted on a tripod atop a vehicle, capable of snapping 360-
degree photos.


Hanke founds a skunkworks gaming division within Google called Niantic Labs.


The seventh version of Google Earth includes 3D imagery and a tour guide who shows users famous landmarks. It’s the last update before the company makes the service free.


Hanke spins off Niantic Labs from Google, taking the company independent.


Pokémon Go is released. By 2023, it will have generated more than $4.2 billion in revenue. As for Google Earth, it launches in virtual reality, allowing users with a VR headset to stand atop Mount Kilimanjaro, fly like their favorite superhero over the Grand Canyon, or wander the streets of Tokyo.

Caroline Yeh, EMBA 15
Co-founder & Co-owner, TSUMo Snacks

Headshot of Caroline Yeh, EMBA 15.It was a cookie that changed the career path of Caroline Yeh. As a Haas student visiting and researching Seattle-based companies, some of her classmates brought Yeh a cannabis cookie from a dispensary, sparking an interest in improving the snack. With years in consumer-packaged goods, Yeh used her experience to investigate her new interest in cannabis edibles.

After graduation, Yeh landed her first position in the edible industry. On the eve of cannabis legalization in California, it appeared that the industry would grow exponentially. But regulations, high tax rates, the cost of compliance, product saturation, and the illicit market continue to severely impact the industry. Nevertheless, Yeh enjoys the challenge. “Getting to help build an industry from scratch, it’s not something that often happens in a lifetime,” she says.

In 2021, Yeh co-founded TSUMo Snacks, introducing one of the first savory cannabis treats. TSUMo has garnered much attention, in part due to its notable partnerships with Snoop Dogg—who co-founded the VC firm that led TSUMo’s $4M seed round—and celebrity chef Roy Choi, who created some of TSUMo’s most popular items, including Choi’s Spicy Cheesy Ramen Curls.

Yeh reflects on the impact of the moment: “Right now, we’re running partnerships with a few other Asian-owned cannabis brands to offer a bundle that benefits Asian Americans for Cannabis Education. It’s great that I get to use my position to invest in my community and things that I care about.”

Yoav Gilat, BCEMBA 05
Founder & CEO, Share a Splash Wine Co.

Headshot of Yoav Gilat, BCEMBA 05.After working for a few years as an attorney, Yoav Gilat realized his interests lay elsewhere. So he changed course and joined the wine industry. “There’s something magical about wine that brings people together,” Gilat says. “Wine is like pixie dust that creates uplifting experiences. You don’t find that in other industries.”

While at Haas, Gilat did a case study on Bonny Doon Vineyard and met John Williams, owner and winemaker of Frog’s Leap. Those experiences helped clarify his own path forward.

In 2006, he founded Cannonball Wine Company. Rather than buying a vineyard, Gilat outsourced that part of the business and hired a talented winemaker to work closely with growers. “Even though we don’t own the vineyards, we have input in the way the vines are grown,” he says.

His initial vision was to create a delicious cabernet sauvignon priced under $20, a gap in the market, as he saw it. Cannonball released its first 5,000 cases in 2007. The next year, the recession hit. This could have been disastrous for the company, but the attractive price tag—around $15—made it an affordable luxury and instead marked the beginning of exceptional growth. Since then, the company has expanded to produce a selection of wines under different labels—including Angels & Cowboys and Atelier—and has partnered with New Zealand and Portuguese wineries, all under the parent name Share a Splash Wine Co.

Berkeley M.E.T. launches a pre-collegiate summer camp

A group of high school students with arms around each other in front of a Berkeley MET sign
The M.E.T.ia summer program is for rising high school juniors and seniors with an aptitude for math and science. (Photo by Adam Lau/Berkeley Engineering)

The UC Berkeley M.E.T. (Management Entrepreneurship and Technology) Program this summer launched a pre-collegiate program that brings high school students to campus to explore how engineering and business intersect.

Fifty rising juniors and seniors in the new M.E.T. Innovation Academy (M.E.T.ia) took residence on the Berkeley campus for two weeks in July for the program, which is designed to provide real-world experience in solving business and technology challenges.

The program is designed to provide real-world experience in solving business and technology challenges.

Students visited world-renowned corporations and organizations, interacted with successful entrepreneurs from the heart of Silicon Valley, and met Berkeley M.E.T. student entrepreneurs. M.E.T. is a dual degree program launched in 2017 by the Haas School of Business and the College of Engineering at UC Berkeley. The program, designed for students with a strong aptitude for math and science, was held July 17-28.

“As a school we are mission-driven to change society for the better—and the Innovation Academy gives us a chance to expose a diverse group of students to new ideas that could potentially change the world,” said Saikat Chaudhuri, faculty director of the undergraduate M.E.T. program. 

Students in the M.E.T.ia summer program pitched during a Shark Tank style session at UC Berkeley’s Blum Hall over the summer. (Photo by Adam Lau/Berkeley Engineering)

The group participated in interactive workshops focused on topics such as how to think like an entrepreneur; self-driving and energy-saving cars; developing business plans and resumes; accessing venture capital, and launching startups. 

The students also headed off campus for visits to Berkeley-based Ambi Robotics, an AI-powered robotics company with UC Berkeley roots, and to San Francisco-based audiovisual company Dolby. 

The program wrapped up with a Shark Tank-style pitch session, with student teams presenting their capstone projects to a panel of judges. Judges included serial entrepreneur Nilesh Bhandari; Sibyl Chen, general manager at UC Berkeley SkyDeck; and Darren Cooke, executive director of the UC Berkeley Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Center.

Sahil Puranik, a rising high school senior from Fremont, California, pitched an idea to turn food waste into energy.  Pitching during the program helped boost his confidence in presenting and collaborating, he said. “Before, I never really had the confidence to talk to people I didn’t know,” he said. “But after this program, I found it a lot easier to just reach out to people who have shared interests.” drew 50 students who lived on campus for two weeks while participating in the new program. (Photo by Adam Lau/Berkeley Engineering)

“Not only has this program shown me the importance of learning from others, but also about passing down what I have learned from my experiences—skills and lessons that I hope to teach to others,” student Jay Ananth added.

Another program highlight was an IPO simulation led by Michael Grimes, BS 87, EECS,  the head of Global Technology Investment Banking at Morgan Stanley and the M.E.T. program’s founder. The session taught students about how an IPO works in the real world. “It was fascinating to see the different forces manipulate the price, but all within a set of rules,” M.E.T.ia student Kaelen Cazzell said.

Due to strong interest in the program, next year’s M.E.T. class size will increase to 70. Chaudhuri said he looks forward to what the students will accomplish.

“There are so many existential challenges right now,” Chaudhuri said. “There’s climate change, geopolitical tensions, transportation that needs to be disrupted, and healthcare that isn’t covering everybody. I think there are incredible opportunities for students to affect change.”

The need to embrace change: How to integrate cottage industries for inclusive development 

DesiHangover artisans (Photo credit: Hitesh Kenjale/DesiHangover)

This spring, I embarked on an in-depth study of the captivating realm of cottage industries around the world. I was driven by my desire to understand how cottage industries can be integrated  into a country’s economic development. Take the example of India as a developing country. As India shifts from a largely agrarian to an industry-driven economy, it will face formidable challenges. The crux of addressing this transformation lies in understanding and effectively managing the process, attentively considering the heterogeneous necessities and historical legacies of the populace, rather than resorting to mere mechanization of traditional industries.

Surprisingly,  about 60% of India’s population relies on agriculture as their primary source of livelihood, particularly in rural enclaves. As the economy develops, India must address the question of what is next for agrarian workers. In this context, cottage industries or handicrafts emerge as indispensable facets, exemplified by the exquisite hand-knotted rugs handcrafted by artisans in Jaipur. These industries serve as crucial pillars, supporting the livelihoods of myriad Indians, with an estimated 200 million individuals (equivalent to the entire population of Brazil!) deriving their sustenance from the intricate tapestry of cottage industries. Consequently, the pressing inquiry emerges: How can these industries be seamlessly assimilated into the future trajectory of economic growth without merely advocating for wholesale mechanization?

Preserving the essence

The beauty of cottage industries lies in their traditional methods. They bring a unique characteristic and value to their products that can’t be replicated through modern means. Imagine a painting made by a machine versus one crafted by a passionate artist. The artist’s creativity and personal touch make it priceless. So, as we look to the future, we must find ways to preserve and uplift these traditional skills and values.

Boosting productivity and modernization

To integrate cottage industries into the speed of the modern economy, we need to focus on enhancing productivity and modernizing certain aspects of these industries. Often, traditional processes lack certain efficiency and modernization elements that can assist in better integration with modern markets. By leveraging technology and innovative processes, we can eliminate unnecessary manual labor and allow artisans to focus on the activities that truly add value. This shift can transform the way work is done, positively impacting everyday tasks and income generation.

Streamlining the value chain

Let’s not forget the importance of the entire value chain in this integration process. Many cottage industries face challenges in terms of inefficient systems that hinder their products from reaching the right places. By creating avenues that deploy modern business practices, we can revolutionize the way these industries operate. Imagine more professional and passionate individuals working to solve these pressing problems. Together, we can unlock the full potential of cottage industries and pave the way for inclusive development.

Embracing change for a better future

In a rapidly changing world, we must avoid creating a social imbalance by merely mechanizing cottage industries. Instead, let’s focus on integrating them into new business models and approaches that consider the preservation of traditional value while embracing productivity enhancements and modernization. By doing so, we can foster a balanced and inclusive economic development in India.

A dynamic journey

Let’s remember that the journey towards progress and development is a dynamic one. It requires us to find ways to embrace change while honoring the rich heritage of our cottage industries. Through innovative thinking, skillful integration, and a passionate commitment to inclusive development, we can build a future where cottage industries thrive, traditional skills are valued, and social imbalance is avoided. Together, let’s pave the way for a brighter and more sustainable world!

Read the full research paper:

For-Profit Social Entrepreneurship for Art and Craft Ecosystems in India

Hitesh Kenjale, MBA 23, is a graduate of the full-time MBA program. He is the founder of DesiHangover, a venture focused on driving grassroots supply-chain innovation to enable legacy artisans to bring authentic crafts to formal markets.