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Lars Rasmussen, the Sydney-based co-creator of Google Maps and the less-successful Google Wave collaboration project, has left the company, according to US reports.

Lars Rasmussen, the Sydney-based co-creator of Google Maps and the less-successful Google Wave collaboration project, has left the company, according to US reports.

According to US Web site TechCrunch, Rasmussen has been lured to work for US social networking site Facebook

Rasmussen – pictured – confirmed his departure on his Facebook page on Friday, though he did not spell out his plans, other than to say he’d be “a whole big ocean closer”, suggesting a move to the USA.

Also departing the Google Australia scene is the local head of the YouTube subsidiary, Kate Vale. According to a spokesman quoted by Delimiter Web site: “Kate Vale has decided to take on new challenges and a new career direction outside of Google – we wish her all the best, and thank her for her enormous contribution in building Google Australia.”

Danish-born Lars Rasmussen, his brother Jens and co-workers Noel Gordon and Stephen Ma independently invented the Google Maps concept some years ago and sold the idea to Google, with the Rasmussens going on to join the company.

Its image has been badly tarnished this year after the StreetView cars used to capture views of city streets were also found to have been illegally capturing private Wi-Fi transmissions.
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