Brian McClendon (born 1964) is an American software designer, developer and engineer. He was a co-founder and angel investor in Keyhole, Inc., a geospatial data visualization company that was purchased by Google in 2004 to produce Google Earth. Keyhole itself was spun off from another company called Intrinsic Graphics, of which McClendon was also a founder. He was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2015.
McClendon grew up in Lawrence, Kansas (his childhood home, Meadowbrook Apartments in Lawrence, is the default center point of Google Earth). He graduated from Lawrence High School in 1982 and from the University of Kansas in 1986 with a degree in electrical engineering. He spent 8 years with Silicon Graphics developing high-end workstation 3D graphics including GT, GTX, RealityEngine, and InfiniteReality, and then was Engineering Director with @Home Network.
McClendon holds twelve issued patents, including seven relating to KML, the XML-based language schema for expressing geographic annotation and visualization in two-dimensional maps and three-dimensional Earth browsers. KML became an open standard for GIS data in 2008.
McClendon was a Vice President with Google before joining Uber in June 2015 to work on mapping. Although he lives in California, he maintains close ties with his alma mater, the University of Kansas, serving on advisory boards for both the School of Engineering and the Department of Electrical Engineering and computer science. He and his wife Beth Ellyn McClendon established the University of Kansas McClendon Engineering Scholarship in 2007, donated computer tablets for electrical engineering and computer science students, and provided a Google Liquid Galaxy interactive display at the University's Eaton Hall. In 2013, he served as Grand Marshal of the University's homecoming parade.
- "Google Acquires Keyhole Corp," Google Corp., 27 Oct 2004
- "Google Buys Digital Mapping Company," PC World, 27 Oct 2004
- "Lawrence pinpointed as center of Google Earth," Lawrence Journal World, 21 Dec 2005
- U.S. Patent Database Search, "McClendon, Brian"
- U.S. Patent Database Search, "McClendon, Brian" and "Keyhole Markup Language"
- OGC® Approves KML as Open Standard | OGC(R)
- "Uber Hires Google’s Former Head of Maps to Oversee Location Technology, Pittsburgh Center" re code, June 16, 2015
- "Google’s Brian McClendon to serve as grand marshal for KU Homecoming parade," Lawrence Journal World, Oct 3 2013