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Google Maps daddy defects for Facebook

Rasmussen out on a Wave

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Lars Rasmussen—– who built the original Google Maps alongside his brother Jens before helming the ill-fated Google Wave — has parted ways with Google. And according to one report, he's bound for Facebook.

Rasmussen revealed his departure from Google on his Facebook page.

Lars and Jens Rasmussen joined Google in 2004, after the company gobbled their tiny online mapping startup, Where 2 Tech. Once Google Maps was released, they left the project to start a new web-based app codenamed Walkabout, and after more than two years of work Down Under, they released a preview version of this email–meets–IM-meets–document-sharing tool to four thousand developers at Google's 2009 developer conference.

The app was dubbed Google Wave. Rasmussen's ninety-minute demo — yes, 90 minutes — received a standing ovation from those four thousand, with many hailing Wave as the future of communications. But within the year, Google killed the thing — and now, just a few months after the project's demise, Rasmussen is moving on.

There's no word on Jens. But judging from the symbiotic relationship the two appear to have — they remind us of Penn and Teller, with Lars doing all the talking — we imagine both will end up at Facebook, where so many Googlers have migrated. It's TechCrunch that points to Facebook as Lars' destination, and the Silicon Valley bloggy thing points out that Facebook CTO Bret Taylor played a large role in the launch of Google Maps. ®

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