Saturday, June 4, 2011

[G] Our Runners vs. Cyclists Flagstaff Challenge, in 3D

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Google LatLong: Our Runners vs. Cyclists Flagstaff Challenge, in 3D


Most office rivalries rise to a boil at conference tables and water coolers. At Google’s Boulder office, our grudge matches play out across topo lines. Last week, our third annual “Flagstaff Challenge” blasted off up Flagstaff Road, Boulder, Colorado’s signature hill-climb. Over 1,500 feet of elevation gain, the Flagstaff Challenge (mapped below) attempts to answer our office’s ultimate water cooler question – what’s really faster: two wheels or two feet?

Bloggers in the office fired up Google’s KML Embed Gadget to cook up an embedded Google Earth course map (if the map below is not in 3D, try installing the Google Earth plug-in, then start embedding KML’s on your own site!).



As our route map shows, Flagstaff’s paved switchbacks criss-cross its running trail all the way up to the finish point, making this slice of topography perfect for an office grudge match between cyclists and runners.

While there was a good bit of trash-talking over GMail and in the halls leading up to the Challenge, Googlers generally prefer to let data speak for itself. Minutes after our team returned to the office, folks were already using Google Earth’s GPS tools to visualize tracks and dissect elevation profiles recorded on their My Tracks app or fitness units.

And yes, a few folks from the Docs team even fired up spreadsheets to run statistical analyses on the finish times. After accounting for outliers (those un-named Geo folks who actually got lost!), it turns out that there was no statistically significant difference between the cyclists and the runners. That just means our office feud will have to simmer for another year; enough time to sharpen our fitness and also the Geo tools we use to share and analyze our weekday warrior exploits!



Posted by Mark Harrison, Geo Community Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/06/our-runners-vs-cyclists-flagstaff.html

[G] Map Maker mapping workshop and competition

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Google LatLong: Map Maker mapping workshop and competition


On May 21 and 22, 2011, we hosted a series of Google Map Maker events in Rabat, Morocco. The events included presentations at the g|Maghreb developer days, and a mapping workshop which took place at the nearby Fondation Mohamed VI. The same evening, we launched a one-week online mapping competition (read on for the results!).


This year’s mapping workshop in Rabat built on the success of a similar event, which took place last year in Casablanca. It was organized by Amine, Mounir and Zohir, official Map Maker advocates from Morocco, in partnership with Evans and Jannine, Googlers working in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

The objective of the event was to introduce Map Maker to new users and illustrate that many Moroccans all over the world are helping to improve Google Maps through Google Map Maker. The audience was comprised of over 130 attendees - mostly students, young professionals and developers. They learned how anyone can use Google Map Maker to add to and update maps in over 180 countries and regions. The result is more comprehensive and accurate local maps for millions of people to see in Google Maps and Google Earth. These amazing time-lapse videos of Rabat, Casablanca and Fes show the impressive progress of mappers in Morocco.


The day kicked off with an introduction from Evans. He welcomed the audience and introduced our official advocates, who then took the stage. They engaged the audience with powerful stories of how they got involved with Map Maker and became top mappers. Their passion and enthusiasm was clearly infectious. They also led a demonstration with the audience participating actively, asking and answering questions. We also recognized major contributions made by some of the power mappers in the audience by honoring them on stage.

“I was astonished to discover that my city is not mapped. There was only its name, so I felt a little bit sad and excited at the same time, because I will get the chance to contribute in making my city known around the world.” - Siham K.

Before ending the day, we announced a one-week online competition open exclusively to attendees of the mapping workshop. It concluded just a couple of days ago with impressive results. We are thrilled to announce the winners -- congratulations to Jalal L. in first place, Ilyasse M. in second place, and Mohammed Y. in third place!


It is not too late to register for and participate in another online Map Maker competition focused on mapping Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria (click here for more information and to register).

Congratulations again to our winners! Thanks again to everyone involved in this event -- please stay tuned for more about Map Maker and future mapping workshops in the region. You can view more photos here and find more information at mappingmorocco.com or on Twitter.

We invite you to join a local Map Your World community forum and start mapping at google.com/mapmaker. Happy Mapping!


Posted by Jannine Versi, Product Marketing Manager

URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/06/map-maker-mapping-workshop-and.html

[G] Run Anywhere in the World With iFit Live Powered By Google Maps

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Google LatLong: Run Anywhere in the World With iFit Live Powered By Google Maps


(Cross-posted from the Google Enterprise Blog)

Editor’s note: From time to time we like to showcase how our customers are building fun and innovative products with Google Maps. Colleen Logan, VP of Marketing for Icon Health & Fitness, explains how a Google Maps API Premier powered treadmill helps exercisers reach personal fitness goals.

Most people use Google Maps for reasons of pure function: Where is that new restaurant? How do I get there? How long will it take? We thought Google Maps could be used for an entirely different purpose – as entertainment while working out on the NordicTrack home fitness equipment.

People buy fitness equipment for a range of reasons – train for a race, lose weight or simply stay in shape – but a universal challenge for most is staying motivated and finding the time to exercise. In order to reach their goals, more people are turning to technology for time-saving, motivating exercise. We thought the visuals provided by Google Maps, combined with our fitness products and iFit website might be so compelling, consumers would have more fun and stay on track. Even if the only time you can squeeze in exercise is in the evenings when kids are asleep in or in the early, snowy mornings of winter before a long day at work, the iFit exercise equipment can bring the experience of exercising on varied terrain into your home.



For example, if you wanted to experience a run through San Francisco’s hilly terrain, you can go to the iFit website and draw a running route on Google Maps. When you get on one of our treadmills, such as the NordicTrack Elite 9500 Pro, the treadmill pulls up Google Maps on the screen with the newly drawn running route. The treadmill mimics the incline of the real world route you are running, thanks to the elevation service of the Google Maps API. The runner experiences a real life running route by seeing the runner’s location move about Google Maps with Street View images flying by a she reaches new personal records.

Posted by Natasha Wyatt, Google Earth and Maps Enterprise Team

URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/06/run-anywhere-in-world-with-ifit-live.html

[G] Europe’s best kept secret revealed in 3D

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Google LatLong: Europe’s best kept secret revealed in 3D

Brussels is one of Europe’s best kept secrets. As Belgium’s charming capital city, many have enjoyed living there, ranging from Victor Hugo and Karl Marx to Jean-Claude Van Damme. Now, you can discover the riches of Brussels in a virtual 3D visit with Google Earth.



Several thousands of 3D buildings have been added to the city’s map. Using Google Maps with Earth view or Google Earth’s “3D Buildings” layer, you can now visit the city to experience its rich architectural history. See the KML tour in the Google Earth Gallery to take a virtual tour of the 3D landmarks for yourself.

The place to start is the Grand Place / Grote Market, Brussels' central square. Its 17th century landmark guild houses are richly decorated with sculptures, gables and gold patterns and are said to hold the secret formula of alchemy engraved in its facades.


From there, you are only a virtual stones-throw away from the Royal Palace and its neo-classical Place Royale, which was built upon the ruins of Charles Quint’s palace and housed the famous Order of the Golden Fleece's treasure. Today, you’ll find the Magritte museum there, beautifully presenting the life and work of one of the world’s best-known surrealists.


Swivel around to see the impressive Palace of Justice, Brussels’ law courts which presides over the city skyline.


En route you will pass the Notre-Dame-du-Sablon church, one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the city.

The next stop is the Cinquantenaire Jubilee Park with its arch built in 1880 to celebrate the 50 years of independence. The large warehouses you see next to the arch used to hold the Mundaneum: the largest historical attempt to categorize and organize the world’s knowledge and make its accessible to all, back in 1900.


Perhaps the most well-known landmark in Brussels is the Atomium, an all-metal building built in 1958, in the shape of an iron atom magnified 165 billion times. From the Atomium, turn around and look back for the best panoramic view on Brussels.


Before leaving Brussels, stop by the European Parliament where 27 nations are slowly but surely morphing into a prosperous and peaceful union. Google Belgium’s office is located nearby, can you spot it?


When you’re finished touring Brussels in Google Earth, head north to Antwerp, where citizens are actively modeling their city with free 3D tools from Google.

You think this is cool? If you’d like to get started modeling your town, you can get started quickly with Google Building Maker (where available).

Enjoy the tour!

Posted by Julien Blanchez, Country Marketing Manager Belgium
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/06/europes-best-kept-secret-revealed-in-3d.html

[G] Updating the Maps of France, Monaco, and Luxembourg

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Google LatLong: Updating the Maps of France, Monaco, and Luxembourg

The only constant is change, and today we’re proud to announce further progress in our ongoing effort to build a map that can reflect the changes that occur in the real world. Just as we’ve started using map data from a wide range of authoritative sources in the US, Canada, and a number of other countries, we have now updated the base map data for France, Monaco and Luxembourg.

You'll notice improvements in all of our Google Maps products and services for those three countries, such as more comprehensive maps of cities and hillsides. Integrating specialized map data from highly respected organizations like the Institut Geographique National will help both locals and visitors more quickly and easily navigate these unique places.

What’s more, starting today you can share your direct feedback about the maps for France, Monaco and Luxembourg. When you’re zoomed in to any of these regions, you’ll now see the "Report a Problem" tool in the lower right corner of the map. So if you want to tell us about any updates you think need to be made - like a street becoming one-way, or a new housing development in your area - let us know and we’ll do our best to update the map quickly, often within just a few days.

Posted by Ashesh Bakshi, Software Engineer
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/05/updating-maps-of-france-monaco-and.html

[G] Updated Help Center for Google Map Maker

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Google LatLong: Updated Help Center for Google Map Maker


As part of our ongoing effort to answer your questions about Google Map Maker, we’re introducing a newly designed Help Center. In the new Help Center, you can find clearly documented policies and information about how to make edits and review others’ edits.

This Help Center, available in 20 languages thus far, includes tips and tricks to help ensure that your edits get approved quickly. Where possible, we also provide a rationale for why you’re asked to fill certain attributes or make edits in a particular way.

In addition, we’ve organized the Help Center into five guides, each addressing a key aspect of Map Maker:
Each user guide article follows a consistent format so that you can easily find and skip information with which you’re already familiar. Links to related articles are also provided where appropriate.

Please let us know if you have feedback about the new Help Center on the Map Your World forum, as that will help form our next round of improvements. Your tips and best practices for Map Maker are also most welcome.

You can get to the new help center via the Help link at the top right corner of Map Maker or visit http://www.google.com/support/mapmaker.

Posted by Nadeem Ahmed, Map Maker Community Team Lead
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/05/updated-help-center-for-google-map.html

[G] Google Map Maker Visits Chicago

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Google LatLong: Google Map Maker Visits Chicago

(Cross-posted from the Google Student Blog)

The Google Map Maker campus tour recently visited the Windy City to talk to students about how they can use Map Maker to map their campuses and make updates to places they care about on Google Maps. While in town, we also hosted a Map Maker event at the Google Chicago office to share the tool with folks working in the public sector. We had a great time meeting so many enthusiastic mappers from the area, and look forward to seeing how they put Chicago on the map.

Our first stop was the University of Chicago campus, a beautifully historic area with architectural gems galore. Students who attended this event were excited to map not only their campus, but neighborhoods near the university, showing the diversity and development of the population and culture.

Our second stop was Northwestern University, where a packed room of students learned about mapping while sampling some traditional Chicago style deep dish pizza. Delicious! Students were particularly interested in adding details to their campus, naming the buildings, adding locations of the sororities and fraternities, and marking the building outlines or footprints of their favorite restaurants and stores nearby.



Our Google Map Maker team loved partnering with Google Student Ambassadors from these campuses, who creatively and passionately helped plan these events. You guys did an amazing job! The Google Student Ambassadors from Northwestern University had this to say about the Map Maker visit:

“Our event brought together over 120 Northwestern students who were eager and excited to learn about how they could make an impact by adding to Google Maps using Map Maker … Map Maker was a welcome product that put the power to shape the map in our hands. All in all, it was an incredibly fun and engaging experience!”

-Sourya and Minjae, Google Student Ambassadors at Northwestern University


The last event—a meeting with public sector officials at the Google office in Chicago—gave us some great insights about how Map Maker can be used for large metropolitan areas. University educators, Department of Transportation employees, Census Bureau representatives, Chicago Health Department folks, and many more shared how they would like to see Map Maker applied to what they do. We really appreciate all their feedback and suggestions, as well as their enthusiasm for how this tool can help them share their work with each other and the public.

Chicago and the surrounding areas were such enjoyable places to visit, full of vibrant and passionate people. We look forward to visiting other campuses in the fall, but don’t wait until then to leave your mark on your campus!

Posted by Catherine Moats, Program Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/05/google-map-maker-visits-chicago.html

[G] Congratulations to Tine Valencic, the 2011 National Geographic Bee Champion

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Google LatLong: Congratulations to Tine Valencic, the 2011 National Geographic Bee Champion

After preparing for months and working their way through a field of several million participating students, the top 10 geographic student masters, met in Washington D.C. today at National Geographic headquarters to compete in the National Geographic Bee. After 124 questions (including the championship round), Tine Valencic from Texas answered this one correctly to take the championship crown:

Question: Thousands of mountain climbers and trekkers rely on Sherpas to aid their ascent of Mount Everest. The southern part of Mount Everest is located in which Nepalese national park?
Answer: Sagarmatha National Park

Google is proud to support National Geographic Bee, for the 3rd year in a row. National Geographic and Google share the same passion for inspiring and encouraging our future generation of leaders and innovators to learn about and explore the world around them. Being geographically literate and understanding the world is a vital skill for students of all ages. Technology, like Google Earth, has helped make the world a more accessible place and students need geographic skills to be prepared for a global future.


Students who participate in the National Geographic Bee finals are fourth through eighth-graders from every state, the District of Columbia, Atlantic Territories, Pacific Territories, and Department of Defense Dependents Schools. They won their school Bees that were held in thousands of schools across the US. These school winners then took a written qualifying test, which was scored by the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. From the school winners, the top scorers in each state are eligible to participate in the State Bees. You can learn more about the students who won their State Bees using the interactive Google Maps gadget on the National Geographic YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/nationalgeographic.

The first-place winner, Tine Valencic, won a $25,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society, and a trip to the Galápagos Islands. The second-place winner and recipient of a $15,000 college scholarship was Georgia's Nilai Sarda and third place and a $10,000 college scholarship went to Kansas' Stefan Petrović. The seven other finalists, who won $500, were Andrew Hull, of Alaska: Luke Hellum, of Arizona; Tuvya Bergson-Michelson, of California; Kevin Mi, of Indiana; Karthik Karnik, of Massachusetts; Alex Kimn, of South Dakota; and Anthony Cheng, of Utah.


The top 10 national finalists from both 2011 and 2010 are eligible to be selected for the three-person U.S. team at the National Geographic World Championship to be held at various locales in the San Francisco area in July 2011, with the finals taking place at Google headquarters in Mountain View.

Congratulations to Tine Valencic and to all of the students who participated in this year’s National Geographic Bee. We look forward to following all of you as you continue to explore the world and we expect to see some of you at Google after you have earned your degrees.

Posted by Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps and Earth
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/05/congratulations-to-tine-valencic-2011.html

[G] Check-ins and rating places get easier with Google Maps 5.5 for Android

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Google LatLong: Check-ins and rating places get easier with Google Maps 5.5 for Android

(Cross posted from Google Mobile Blog)

We’ve made it easier to check in and out of places, rate various locations, and get transit information with Google Maps 5.5 for Android. This release adds ‘check in’ and ‘rate and review’ buttons to Place pages, the option to edit your home/work address for Latitude, and redesigned transit station pages.

Read below for more details about the new features, which we hope will improve your user experience, a topic we take very seriously as there are now more than 200 million users of Google Maps for mobile across platforms and devices worldwide.

New check-in and rating buttons added to Place pages

Now when you open a Place page from your mobile device, you can check in to places with Google Latitude or submit a rating or review by clicking on two new buttons at the top of the listing.

This past week I had the chance to explore the Computer History Museum during my visit to San Francisco from across the pond in London. Once nearby, I could quickly open the museum’s Place page and check in.

When I was ready to leave and head to lunch, in a few seconds I could go back to the Place page and rate the museum – which certainly earned the 5 star rating it received from me.

Update home and work address for your Latitude Location History

Last month we released the Location History dashboard for Latitude which estimates how much time you spend at home, work, and everywhere else. If your home or work address changes, or you’d rather set a different address to represent ‘home’ and ‘work,’ you can now edit these addresses within Latitude.

Change home/work location from Location History dashboard

View the redesigned transit station pages

It’s been about two years since we added transit directions in Google Maps for Android. Since then, we’ve increased the coverage from 250 cities to more than 440 and counting - the most recent being Washington, D.C. To make it easier to plan your transit route, we updated the transit station pages in this release to better organize the information you need.

Each page now includes a list of upcoming scheduled departures for different lines, all the transit lines serving the station, and links to nearby transit stations.


Download Google Maps 5.5 for Android here to try out the new check-in and rating buttons, update your Latitude Location History home/work address, check out a transit station in a nearby city, or just make sure you have the latest version of Google Maps for Android. This update requires an Android OS 1.6+ device anywhere Google Maps is currently available. Learn more in our help center.

Posted by Luis Sigal, Software Engineer
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/05/check-ins-and-rating-places-get-easier.html

Friday, June 3, 2011

[G] This week's Trends: twisters, drive-thrus, and backflips

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YouTube Blog: This week's Trends: twisters, drive-thrus, and backflips

Each weekday, we at YouTube Trends take a look at the most interesting videos and cultural phenomena on YouTube as they develop. We want take a moment to highlight some of what we've come across this week:







Check back every day for the latest about what's trending on YouTube at: www.YouTube.com/Trends



Kevin Allocca, YouTube Trends Manager, recently watched "Thumbs Up for Rock and Roll!."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/Qm7FRt5KqEk/this-weeks-trends-twisters-drive-thrus.html

[G] Run Anywhere in the World With iFit Live Powered By Google Maps

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Run Anywhere in the World With iFit Live Powered By Google Maps

Posted by Natasha Wyatt, Google Earth and Maps Enterprise Team

Editor’s note: From time to time we like to showcase how our customers are building fun and innovative products with Google Maps. Colleen Logan, VP of Marketing for Icon Health & Fitness, explains how a Google Maps API Premier powered treadmill helps exercisers reach personal fitness goals.

Most people use Google Maps for reasons of pure function: Where is that new restaurant? How do I get there? How long will it take? We thought Google Maps could be used for an entirely different purpose – as entertainment while working out on the NordicTrack home fitness equipment.

People buy fitness equipment for a range of reasons – train for a race, lose weight or simply stay in shape – but a universal challenge for most is staying motivated and finding the time to exercise. In order to reach their goals, more people are turning to technology for time-saving, motivating exercise. We thought the visuals provided by Google Maps, combined with our fitness products and iFit website might be so compelling, consumers would have more fun and stay on track. Even if the only time you can squeeze in exercise is in the evenings when kids are asleep in or in the early, snowy mornings of winter before a long day at work, the iFit exercise equipment can bring the experience of exercising on varied terrain into your home.



For example, if you wanted to experience a run through San Francisco’s hilly terrain, you can go to the iFit website and draw a running route on Google Maps. When you get on one of our treadmills, such as the NordicTrack Elite 9500 Pro, the treadmill pulls up Google Maps on the screen with the newly drawn running route. The treadmill mimics the incline of the real world route you are running, thanks to the elevation service of the Google Maps API. The runner experiences a real life running route by seeing the runner’s location move about Google Maps with Street View images flying by a she reaches new personal records.



To learn more about the Google Maps powered “smart fitness” treadmills visit the website of NordicTrack.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2011/06/run-anywhere-in-world-with-ifit-live.html

[G] Share your Google Docs product ideas with our team

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Share your Google Docs product ideas with our team

Posted by Teresa Wu, Community Manager

(Cross-posted from the Google Docs Blog.)

You make Google products what they are -- and the feedback you share with us every day helps shape the future of our products. We’re always listening to your requests via blogs, Twitter, our forum, and other channels, and for the next two weeks, we’re bringing back a more structured way to get your input on Google Docs by opening up our Product Ideas page.

On this page, you can submit your ideas, read other users’ suggestions, and vote up your favorites. We’ll use the top ideas to help us prioritize our development in the coming months. After the two-week period, we'll follow up with a blog post summarizing the results. While we may not work on all of the top ideas immediately, we’ll let you know which of the ideas we’re working on.

We hope you’ll use this as an opportunity to help us prioritize the Google Docs features which are important to you -- for your business, in the classroom, or at home. Start submitting your ideas, big or small -- we look forward to hearing what you have to say!

Editors note: We’re specifically looking to hear your Google Docs product ideas and suggestions. If you’re seeking help, please post your support questions to the Help Forum. Off topic submissions may be removed.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2011/06/share-your-google-docs-product-ideas.html

[G] The curious guide to browsers and the web: now in 15 languages and open-sourced

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Google Chrome Blog: The curious guide to browsers and the web: now in 15 languages and open-sourced

When we published the illustrated HTML5 web book, 20 Things I Learned about Browsers and the Web, late last year, we were excited by the positive response from teachers, web developers and many of you who shared in the joy of rediscovering how the web works.

Today, we've made this web book available in 15 languages, including Bahasa Indonesia, Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Spanish, and Tagalog. If you have family members and friends around the world who speak these languages, you can point them to the translated guidebook at www.20thingsilearned.com, where illustrator Christoph Niemann brings to life topics ranging from 什麼是網際網路? (“What is the Internet?) to so schützen moderne browser vor malware und phishing (“How modern browsers protect you from malware and phishing”) and otevřený zdrojový kód a prohlížeč (“Open source and browsers”).



For those of you who want to tinker with the code and build your own web books, you can now dive into the HTML5, JavaScript and CSS used to build 20 Things I Learned with the fully open-sourced code. In developing this web experience, we took inspiration from the things we love about books and extended them to the world of bits and bytes with the capabilities of modern web technologies. We paid special attention to finding the right balance and weight in the cover and page flips; making the book available offline, easily searchable, as well as bookmarkable by allowing you to pick up where you previously left off; and implementing a "lights-off" mode to simulate reading with a flashlight under the covers.

20 Things I Learned was celebrated this year as an Official Honoree at the 15th Annual Webby Awards in the categories of Education, Best Visual Design (Function) and Best Practices. To learn more about the technical details behind some of the most-loved features of the book, see our post on the Google Code Blog.



We hope you’ll continue to find this curious guide to browsers and the web useful and informative. 20 Things I Learned is best experienced in Chrome or any up-to-date, HTML5-compliant modern browser. For those of you who’ve previously read this web book, don’t forget to hit refresh on your browser to see the new language options.


Posted by Cory Ferreria, Localization Lead and Min Li Chan, Product Marketing Manager
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2011/06/curious-guide-to-browsers-and-web-now.html

Thursday, June 2, 2011

[G] Practical steps towards a greener, energy-efficient cloud

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Official Google Blog: Practical steps towards a greener, energy-efficient cloud

(Cross-posted from the European Public Policy Blog)

Data centers are very important to us—they’re critical to the cloud services we deliver. Over the last 12 years, we’ve put a lot of effort into minimizing the amount of energy, water and other resources we use—because it makes financial sense, and because it’s good for the environment too. That work means that today, we use half the energy of a typical industry data center.

Last week, we brought together more than 150 industry professionals in Zürich, Switzerland for our second conference on data center efficiency. Since our first conference two years ago in the U.S., the industry’s come a long way, with large operators now very focused on energy efficiency.



With “free cooling” we can dramatically reduce energy consumption by using the local environment to cool servers, instead of energy-intensive chillers. In our data centers we use both air cooling and evaporative cooling—and we revealed the details of the seawater cooling system we’ve custom-engineered for our new data center in Hamina, Finland.



Google is lucky enough to have the resources and experts to continually improve efficiency. But around 70% of the world’s data centers are operated by companies that probably don’t.

That’s why we shared five simple and low-cost steps that any company, large or small, can use. These include using plastic meat locker curtains to separate hot and cold air, or welding your own air-conditioning chimney out of cheap sheet metal. These techniques are proven to increase energy efficiency, reduce electricity consumption and improve environmental footprint.

We also announced that we’re now participating in the European Commission’s Code of Conduct for Data Centres, a framework for designing and operating data centers efficiently. It ties in closely with the way we build and run our facilities, and has a robust checklist of efficiency best practices that are well worth trying out.

The main take-away was that there is no magic in data center efficiency. With the right information and a bit of creativity, anyone can make their computing infrastructure efficient. If you operate a data center or server room, please visit our website and make use of the techniques we’ve outlined. Videos of all the presentations from the Summit will be available on the site next week.

Posted by Urs Hoelzle, Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/practical-steps-towards-greener-energy.html

[G] The curious guide to browsers and the web: now in 15 languages and open-sourced

| More

Official Google Blog: The curious guide to browsers and the web: now in 15 languages and open-sourced

When we published the illustrated HTML5 web book, 20 Things I Learned about Browsers and the Web, late last year, we were excited by the positive response from teachers, web developers and many of you who shared in the joy of rediscovering how the web works.

Today, we've made this web book available in 15 languages, including Bahasa Indonesia, Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Spanish, and Tagalog. If you have family members and friends around the world who speak these languages, you can point them to the translated guidebook at www.20thingsilearned.com, where illustrator Christoph Niemann brings to life topics ranging from 什麼是網際網路? (“what is the Internet?) to so schützen moderne browser vor malware und phishing (“how modern browsers protect you from malware and phishing”) and otevřený zdrojový kód a prohlížeč (“open source and browsers”).


For those of you who want to tinker with the code and build your own web books, you can now dive into the HTML5, JavaScript and CSS used to build 20 Things I Learned with the fully open-sourced code. In developing this web experience, we took inspiration from the things we love about books and extended them to the world of bits and bytes with the capabilities of modern web technologies. We paid special attention to finding the right balance and weight in the cover and page flips; making the book available offline, easily searchable, as well as bookmarkable by allowing you to pick up where you previously left off; and implementing a "lights-off" mode to simulate reading with a flashlight under the covers.

20 Things I Learned was celebrated this year as an Official Honoree at the 15th Annual Webby Awards in the categories of Education, Best Visual Design (Function) and Best Practices. To learn more about the technical details behind some of the most-loved features of the book, see our post on the Google Code blog.


We hope you’ll continue to find this curious guide to browsers and the web useful and informative. 20 Things I Learned is best experienced in Chrome or any up-to-date, HTML5-compliant modern browser. For those of you who’ve previously read this web book, don’t forget to hit refresh on your browser to see the new language options.

Posted by Cory Ferreria, Localization Lead, Google Chrome Team
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/curious-guide-to-browsers-and-web-now.html

[G] Introducing schema.org: Search engines come together for a richer web

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Official Google Blog: Introducing schema.org: Search engines come together for a richer web

(Cross-posted on the Inside Search Blog)

Today we’re announcing schema.org, a new initiative from Google, Bing and Yahoo! to create and support a common vocabulary for structured data markup on web pages. With schema.org, site owners and developers can learn about structured data and improve how their sites appear in major search engines. The site aims to be a one stop resource for webmasters looking to add markup to their pages.

Search engines have been working independently to support structured markup for a few years now. We introduced rich snippets to Google search in 2009 to help people find better summaries of reviews and people, and since that time we’ve expanded to new kinds of rich snippets, including recipes and events. We’ve been thrilled to see content creators across the web—from stubhub.com to allrecipes.com—add markup to their pages, and today we’re able to show rich snippets in search results more than 10 times as often as when we started two years ago.

We want to continue making the open web richer and more useful. We know that it takes time and effort for webmasters to add this markup to their pages, and adding markup is much harder if every search engine asks for data in a different way. That’s why we’ve come together with other search engines to support a common set of schemas, just as we came together to support a common standard for sitemaps in 2006. With schema.org, site owners can improve how their sites appear in search results not only on Google, but on Bing, Yahoo! and potentially other search engines as well in the future.

In addition to consolidating the schemas for the categories we already support, schema.org also introduces schemas for more than a hundred new categories, including movies, music, organizations, TV shows, products, places and more. As webmasters add this markup to their sites, search engines can develop richer search experiences. With webmaster feedback, we’ll be able to regularly publish new schemas for sites to use and, in turn, expand the list of queries with rich results. For webmasters who have already added microformats or RDFa currently supported by rich snippets, their sites will still appear with rich snippets on Google. You can learn more on our Webmaster Central Blog, Help Center and on schema.org.

Schema.org provides a wide variety of vocabularies webmasters can use to mark up their pages.

While this collaborative initiative is new, we draw heavily from the decades of work in the database and knowledge representation communities, from projects such as Jim Gray’s SDSS Skyserver, Cyc and from ongoing efforts such as dbpedia.org and linked data. We feel privileged to build upon this great work.

We look forward to seeing structured markup continue to grow on the web, powering richer search results and new kinds of applications.

Posted by Ramanathan Guha, Google Fellow
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/introducing-schemaorg-search-engines.html

[G] The X Factor U.S. talent search comes to YouTube

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YouTube Blog: The X Factor U.S. talent search comes to YouTube

Simon Cowell, the man who has made many an aspiring pop star’s dream, is coming to YouTube in search of new talent.

Future singing superstars in the U.S. take note: you have one week, starting today until 11:59pm ET on June 9, to submit your X Factor audition video for a chance to compete on the show for a $5 million recording contract.



Here’s the fine print. You can audition either as a solo artist or as a group, but you must keep your submission to two minutes or less and be sure to include a brief introduction (around 30 seconds) stating the name of your act and everyone in your group. Also, you must be living in the U.S. and all video submissions must have been created in the past two months, or you risk disqualification. Full rules and regulations can be found here.

If things go well, you could be performing in front of Simon Cowell, The X Factor judges and millions of viewers this Fall.

We know how much talent there is on YouTube — you’ve been showing us for years — and we’re excited to be partnering with The X Factor to bring you more opportunities to shine.

Sara Pollack, Entertainment Marketing Lead, recently watched “3-Way (The Golden Rule) (feat. Justin Timberlake & Lady Gaga).


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/7YSU-sl6rig/x-factor-us-talent-search-comes-to.html

[G] Share your Google Docs product ideas with our team

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Docs Blog: Share your Google Docs product ideas with our team

(Cross-posted to the Enterprise blog)

You make Google products what they are -- and the feedback you share with us every day helps shape the future of our products. We’re always listening to your requests via blogs, Twitter, our forum, and other channels, and for the next two weeks, we’re bringing back a more structured way to get your input by opening up our Product Ideas page.

On this page, you can submit your ideas, read other users’ suggestions, and vote up your favorites. We’ll use the top ideas to help us prioritize our development in the coming months. After the two-week period, we'll follow up with a blog post summarizing the results. While we may not work on all of the top ideas immediately, we’ll let you know which of the ideas we’re working on.

We hope you’ll use this as an opportunity to help us prioritize the features that are important to you -- for your business, in the classroom, or at home. Start submitting your ideas, big or small -- we look forward to hearing what you have to say!

Note: We’re specifically looking to hear your product ideas and suggestions. If you’re seeking help, please post your support questions to the Help Forum. Off topic submissions may be removed.

Posted by: Teresa Wu, Community Manager
URL: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2011/06/share-your-google-docs-product-ideas.html