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Andrew Kirmse
Works at Google
Attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Andrew Kirmse

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Brokeoff Mountain, California county high point #50! I hauled 25 pounds of water to the top of this as practice for an upcoming attempt on Mt. Rainier.
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Andrew Kirmse

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Google Earth launched 10 years ago today!  I had the honor of doing much of the service's configuration and performing the actual launch process in 2005.  At the time, Google knew how to serve lots of small requests (i.e. searches), but images, not so much.  Google Earth quickly became Google's biggest user of bandwidth, and we had a few close calls during the first week where we nearly overwhelmed the network hardware.  I was not popular with the production team for quite awhile.

My favorite Earth feature is historical imagery, which I helped design along with +Reuel Nash  who did most of the work.  There was a great story about some farmers in India who used historical imagery to receive compensation for their land when a new highway was being built.  The government claimed that the land was not under cultivation when the highway was planned, but Earth's historical imagery showed otherwise!

There were so many other great launches in Earth: Sky, Moon, and Mars, Ocean, the Web plugin, the flight simulator (which I opposed and nearly cut), camera tours, Street View, and the Android and iOS versions.  It was even ported to some high-end cars.

Congratulations to everyone who has kept Earth going all these years, and especially the Keyhole team who dreamed up and built the original product on a shoestring budget.
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"Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from the outside, is available, a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose." - Sir Fred Hoyle, 1948
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Blue Angels Peak, high point of Imperial County, California, is very close to the Mexican border.  Here's border marker #231.

We encountered a Border Patrol agent on the way down who said that these mountains are highly trafficked for illegal entry.  He had caught one person from a group of five who entered this way the previous day.  He said there are sensors in the ground to detect footsteps---is that why he found us?
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A trip to Caliente Mountain, highest point of San Luis Obispo County.  My first county high point using a mountain bike.
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I rented this time to see how it would work out.  It was fun but I don't know that it will become a regular occurrence.  The high point of Santa Barbara County is a 31 mile trip and I'll need to bring a bike for that.
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Andrew Kirmse

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This a work of art.  The color online is somewhat miss leading, but since it is online that is to be expected.  Thank you for sharing.
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Andrew Kirmse

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Meridian 59 German livestream video!  Features a background of the map that shipped with the original game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOzLUD0fC8I&feature=youtu.be
 ·  Translate
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Very cool! Did that guy really talk non-stop for more than 43 minutes?
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Mt. Eddy (9025', Trinity County), Bear Mountain (6411', Del Norte County), and Salmon Mountain (6956', Humboldt County), California county high points 47 through 49 on three consecutive days.

Bear Mountain lived up to its name and was the second most difficult high point so far, after Mt. Shasta.
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Gorgeous! 
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Andrew Kirmse

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40+ mile hike/mountain bike ride to the summit of Big Pine Mountain, the highest point in Santa Barbara County.  The road was blocked by rocks 4 miles before the usual trailhead, and it was 90 degrees out, providing some (unneeded) extra challenge.

This was my 46th California county high point (out of 58 total).
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Go Andrew! I can only imagine how difficult this hike was. I admire (but cannot emulate) your determination!
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County high points from first principles: legal definitions of every county boundary in the U.S.

Inspired by the following oddity in boundaries on USGS topo maps, which has led people to attempt to reach a very dangerous point on Mt. Jefferson, OR.  Turns out it's not necessary.

http://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=44.68135,-121.87328&z=15&b=t
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Climb of Harquahala Mountain, my first Arizona county high point.  11 miles round-trip.  Warm, but not too bad with an early start.  There is a trail all the way to the top that was formerly used to supply the Smithsonian observation area at the summit.
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A conman from Waco named "Indian Joe" Thompson took my dad and a geologist on a helicopter up into those mountains to look at a site for a copper mine. Dad had been entrusted by several investers to check out the guy's story.

I don't think they found anything.
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Andrew Kirmse

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Today was my last day at Google!  Over the last 11 years, I got to work on the first versions of Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google Desktop, and create Google Now.  I feel like I was at the right place at the right time.
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Will keep an eye out for you in the Trader Joe's line - great working with you, Andrew.
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On the way up to Pine Mountain, Big Basin Redwoods State Park
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Majestic 
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Work
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  • Google
    present
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  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    1990 - 1995
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We just had a great team offsite here. Our guides Ed and Tyler brought us on a tour of Arches, and later in the day some of us went on a short hike closer to the ranch. In November the weather was cool and we had the whole place to ourselves.
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reviewed a year ago
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