2013 Walker Prize Recipient

Michael T. Jones

Chief Technology Advocate, Google

“The major change in mapping in the past decade, as opposed to in the previous 6,000 to 10,000 years, is that mapping has become personal. ...a map has gone from a static, stylized portrait of the Earth to a dynamic, interactive conversation about your use of the Earth.”

Technology innovator, inventor, programmer, public speaker, engineering executive—Michael Jones’ achievements embody the agility of the digital age. As Google’s chief technology advocate, Jones is charged with improving technology to organize the world’s information and in a universally accessible and useful way. Expert at explaining complicated ideas with simple analogies and informal delivery, Michael travels the globe to speak with governments, businesses, citizens, and students to advance global technological literacy.

Michael’s passion for programming took root in the 4th grade, serving him well as he evolved to become Google’s chief technologist, leading the teams in developing Google Earth, Maps, and Local Search. His intent is for this technology to be a universal reference work “not to show geographical information but to show the world information geographically.”

A prolific inventor, Michael has developed scientific and interactive computer graphics software, and is an avid reader, traveler, and amateur photographer who uses a home-built four-gigapixel camera made with parts from a U2/SR71 aircraft.