Video: Google Maps – The Australian Co-Inventor, Noel Gordon

Google Maps – The Australian Co-Inventor, Noel Gordon


Co-Inventor of Google Maps – Noel Gordon Full Interview

Here is the long interview.


For my big assignment this year in Year 6, I had to choose a great Australian. I interviewed Australian Noel Gordon, who is the co-inventor of Google Maps. He is an incredibly inspiring person who has made a huge difference to our world. Imagine a world without Google Maps, what would it be like? I don’t know because I have had Google Maps my whole life.

I have done a lot of research and I know maps have advanced so much in just 50 years. It went from paper maps, to navigators like the TomTom, to websites that took 10 minutes to load, to what we have now. Google Maps today is so awesome and fast and it came from four great people, Noel Gordon, Stephen Ma and the brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen.

For this assignment, I interviewed two of the four inventors, Noel Gordon and Lars Rasmussen.

Noel explained to me that we did not always have maps like we do today for free on our laptops and mobile phones. Just before I was born 11 years ago, people had to deal with a slow reality of going to a PC and entering your navigation details, making yourself a cup of coffee, then coming back to your computer only to find you have another 5 minutes of waiting for your next map to load.

When I found some images of some old maps I assumed they had been exaggerated to make them look worse then they really were.
When I found images of some old maps, I assumed they had been exaggerated to make them look worse then they really were!

My favourite quote from my interview with Noel was:

“If you have tenacity and if you have self-belief, it’s amazing what you can achieve.”
Noel Gordon

I love that quote because it is so incredibly inspirational. If you put your heart and soul into whatever you are doing, if you believe in yourself and if you have tenacity, then you can achieve so much. Even if you don’t succeed, you learn from your mistakes and you can try again.

After the interview Noel told me of a special moment that happened just before he and Lars decided to start the business. He and Lars were walking around Newtown, Sydney, having another conversation about if he should quit work and do their mapping startup, when they read a quote someone had written in chalk on the footpath:
When people say you are going to fail and give you the reasons why, just ignore them and go on and do it regardless.
They looked at each and said “Let’s do it”. If only the chalk writer could know the impact of their words.
There are many great videos about Lars on youtube, that I watched.
There are many great videos about Lars on youtube, that I watched.
There we no videos about our Australian Noel Gordon on youtube. How terrible is that?
There are no videos about our Australian Noel Gordon on youtube. I am going to fix that 🙂 
Meeting Noel Gordon outside the Google Office in Sydney
Google Street View is not always done by cars!
Noel and I on the top floor balcony of the Google Building in Pyrmont, Sydney
The Google Offices are so cool!
I hope you like my videos!

Later on I will post my other Skype interview with Lars.



anya hohnbaum says:

Dear Ruby,
Great doco on Noel Gordon. Really well produced!
I am working in television production here in Sydney. I am working for a production company called Australian Innovation Productions, recently formed by accomplished producers, Elissa McKeand and Debbie Cuell.

We’ve got an exciting documentary series in development at the moment, celebrating the history Australia’s innovating heroes across a wide range of fields, in science, technology and engineering. Noel’s work on Google Maps, is one such invention that we would love to explore. I was wondering if perhaps you could pass on an email address for him so that we could get in touch as part of our research?

Thanks so much Ruby 🙂

Anya Hohnbaum
Development Associate Producer

Harshad. says:

Loved your composure and style. Your questions were smart and to the point. Well presented.

Very very well done.

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