Jump to content

Jens Eilstrup Rasmussen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jens Eilstrup Rasmussen
Rasmussen in 2014
Alma materAarhus University
Known forGoogle Maps
Google Wave
Google Maps pin

Jens Eilstrup Rasmussen is a Danish software engineer, technology executive, and co-founder of Where 2 Technologies which led to Google Maps.

Early life[edit]

After graduating from Høje-Taastrup Amtsgymnasium in 1986,[1] Rasmussen enrolled at the University of Aarhus to study Computer Science and Mathematics.[1]

Digital Fountain[edit]

From July 1999 to November 2002, Rasmussen was a senior engineer at Digital Fountain in California.[2][3][4] Digital Fountain used forward error correction to deliver files and stream on-demand content over dynamic mobile, internet and private network environments. Rasmussen developed several new services while employed by Digital Fountain.[5]

Where 2 Technologies and Google Maps[edit]

In early 2003, Rasmussen and his brother Lars started Where 2 Technologies, a mapping project that developed the prototype of their mapping application called Expedition. Google acquired Where 2 Technologies in October 2004, and the Rasmussen brothers led the team that launched Google Maps in early 2005.[6][7]

Google Wave[edit]

Rasmussen invented Google Wave in 2004, while the brothers were in talks with Google about selling Where 2 Technologies to Google.[6] The Rasmussen brothers started working on Google Wave in 2006, and in 2007 Jens moved to Sydney, Australia, where he continued working with Lars and a small team on the Google Wave idea, under the project name Walkabout. Google Wave was an open source code internet application launched in 2009 and discontinued in 2012.[8]

Google described Wave as an application which "lets you communicate and collaborate in real time." Wave made it possible for several people to edit a document at the same time and to conduct a group discussion at the same time. Waves could also be used as forums or just for emails and instant messaging between two or more people.[6]

Google Maps Pin[edit]

Rasmussen designed the Google Maps pin while he was employed by Google.[9] The pin is a simple pointer with a bubble top which tapers to a narrow point with a drop shadow. A Google spokesperson told the New York Times that Rasmussen avoided using a star or dot on the map, because they would obscure too much of the map. The Google Maps Pin touches the map only at the exact point of the location.[10]

In 2014, Museum of Modern Art in New York City acquired a representation of the Google Maps Pin for its permanent collection.[11][12]


Rasmussen holds patents on thirty-five software services and applications.[13]


Google Maps won two Webby Awards in 2006, one in the General Website Services category and another in the Best Practices category.[14][15]

In 2010, the Pearcey Foundation named the Rasmussen brothers New South Wales ICT Entrepreneurs of the Year and inducted them into the foundation's hall of fame. The foundation noted that the Rasmussens had positioned Australia "as a global leader in online services" and brought many technology jobs to Australia.[16]

In 2011, the Rasmussen brothers won the Inaugural 2011 Benson Entrepreneur Award. The Pearcey Foundation notes that the invention of Google maps motivated Google to start a research and development team in Sydney, Australia.[17]


  1. ^ a b In Danish, Kraks Blå Bog, 2012–2013, p. 1119, Gads Forlag (Gad's Publishers) [1] Archived 2009-05-22 at the Wayback Machine, Kraks Blå Bog[dead link]
  2. ^ "US 7,240,358 B2" (PDF). Jul 3, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 30, 2022.
  3. ^ "US 2002/0107968 A1" (PDF). Aug 8, 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on Apr 15, 2022.
  4. ^ "US 7,249,291 B2" (PDF). Jul 24, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 30, 2022.
  5. ^ Gavin B. Horn; Per Knudsgaard; Soren B. Lassen; Michael Luby; Jens Eilstrup Rasmussen (Sep 2001). "A Scalable and Reliable Paradigm for Media on Demand". Computer. 34 (9): 40–45. doi:10.1109/2.947088.
  6. ^ a b c Sutter, John D. (October 27, 2009). "The genius brothers behind Google Wave". CNN. Archived from the original on 2012-09-30.
  7. ^ Lowe, David (2005). Web Engineering: 5th International Conference, ICWE 2005, Sydney, Australia. Google Books: International Conference on Web Engineering. p. 7. ISBN 9783540279969.
  8. ^ Webster, Andrew (30 April 2012). "Google wave is officially dead starting today". Web. TheVerge.com. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  9. ^ US patent D620,950S, Jens E. Rasmussen, "Display screen of a communications terminal with teardrop-shaped marker icon", assigned to Google Inc. 
  10. ^ Greenbaum, Hilary (18 April 2011). "Who made Google's map pin?". New York Times. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  11. ^ "Moma's permanent collection: the Google Maps Pin". 02/26/2014.
  12. ^ "Exhibit featuring Rasmussen's Google Maps Pin design". Retrieved 2014-02-26.
  13. ^ "Patents by Inventor Jens Eilstrup Rasmussen". Justia Patents. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  14. ^ "Webby Award Winners, 2006". Archived from the original on 2014-03-02. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
  15. ^ "Webby Award Winners, 2006". Archived from the original on 2014-04-11. Retrieved 2014-02-26.
  16. ^ Press Release – Jens and Lars Rasmussen Win 2010 NSW Entrepreneur Award and 9 Entrepreneurs Inducted into Hall of Fame Archived 2013-10-05 at the Wayback Machine, The Pearcey Foundation, 19 October 2010.
  17. ^ "Benson Award Winners, 2011". Retrieved 2014-02-26.