Saturday, June 25, 2011

[G] Think with Google: ‘Word of Mouth’ study shows Google directly informs 146 million brand conversations a day

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Official Google CPG Blog: Think with Google: ‘Word of Mouth’ study shows Google directly informs 146 million brand conversations a day

There are more than 2.4 billion conversations about brands every day, according to our latest ‘Word of Mouth’ study with Keller Fay. More than half of consumers involved in these conversation say they’re likely to make a purchase based on what they talk about. We wanted to know more about how media and the Internet play into all this conversation so we took a look at what effect the Internet and search has on a word of mouth. The study shows how media and marketing channels provided content before, during and after consumer conversations by surveying 3,000 adults across 12 categories.
It turns out that while most people still talk about brands face to face, their conversations are informed by the Internet more than any other media source. And, when they’re online, users go to search sites more than any other. This is even more true after conversations, especially those sparked by TV. People follow up by searching for more information and prices more than any other online activity including social media.

Check out this video or here on Think Insights for more information on the full study!


[G] Big(ger) mail on campus

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Big(ger) mail on campus

Posted by Eric Edens, Apps Edu Team

Around here, our mantra is “think big.” That’s why when we first released Gmail on April 1, 2004 we offered 1GB of free storage—more than 100 times what most other free webmail services offered at the time. No wonder people thought it was an April Fool’s joke! So you can imagine the laughs when we launched Google Apps for Education in early 2006 with 2GB of email storage, which in some cases was hundreds of times more than what schools were traditionally offering their students and staff. We continued adding more storage, and today we offer over 7GB of free email space for everyone using Google Apps for Education.

Now it’s time to think bigger yet again. Starting next week, new schools that migrate to Google Apps for Education will see 25GB mailboxes. Existing customers will see their mailboxes grow over the course of the next few weeks.

To celebrate 25GB inboxes, we’d like to recognize 25 of the schools that have recently gone Google:
  1. Amarillo College
  2. Anaheim City School District
  3. Ann Arbor Public Schools
  4. Boston University
  5. Buffalo State College
  6. Chaminade University
  7. College of Lake County
  8. College of New Jersey
  9. College of the Holy Cross
  10. Corning Community College
  11. Fall River Public Schools
  12. Harvey Mudd College
  13. HEC Paris
  14. Instituto de Empresa Business School
  15. Nebo School District
  16. New Haven Unified School District
  17. New York University, Stern School of Business
  18. Oshkosh Area School District
  19. Queen Anne’s County Public Schools
  20. Spring Independent School District
  21. University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science - Center Administration
  22. University of Maryland in Baltimore
  23. University of Northern Iowa
  24. University of Salzburg
  25. University of Richmond
We know students and teachers are really busy. There’s no reason they should spend their time sifting through spam and deleting email to stay under quota. We hope bigger inboxes might offer the first step to helping today’s students think bigger.

If you’re interested in bringing Google Apps to your school, let us know.

[G] The State of Wyoming may be the first state to go Google, but Wyomingites across the state have already gone Google.

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: The State of Wyoming may be the first state to go Google, but Wyomingites across the state have already gone Google.

Posted by: Jay Garg, Google Apps Team

Yesterday we announced that Wyoming became the first state to go Google. With the help of Google Apps implementation partner Tempus Nova, Wyoming moved 10,000 state employees to Google Apps in less than eight months, saving the state approximately $1 million a year. But, state employees aren’t the only ones in Wyoming using Google Apps. Today we’ll hear from other organizations in Wyoming that have gone Google.

Dubois Youth Activities - Dubois, WY
Dubois Youth Activities is a nonprofit that offers a variety of programs and activities for kids up to 18 years old. “We chose Google Apps because it was simple, and it made it easy to transfer job responsibilities from one employee to another. We also thought it would be easy to use for the parents and the teachers in our town. With Google Apps, we were able to create documents and surveys that all employees could easily access. We were also able to participate in conference calls and webinars together with Google Talk. I really love how user friendly it is.”
(Amanda Verheul, Manager)

Alpine Family Medical Clinic - Alpine, WY
Alpine Family Medical Clinic is a clinic of just 3 people, including a doctor, medical assistant, and office manager. “It was difficult to update and make changes to our lab forms, so we started using Google Apps. Now when parameters on our lab forms change, we can easily go into Google Docs and make changes. We can keep track of medication expiration dates, our inventory of crash-carts, and other types of equipment.”
(Wayne Noffsinger, Medical Assistant)

Tetra 4D - Cheyenne, WY
Tetra 4D helps support Adobe’s existing customers using 3D PDF technology, which allows 3D data to be converted into interactive PDF documents. “In 2010, Adobe asked us to form a new company that would be ready to take orders and provide customer service in less than four months. This never would have been possible without Google Apps. With Google Apps we were able to register our domain and set up email and a document management solution in a matter of minutes. Google Apps allowed us to launch our business quickly and begin taking orders from customers all over the world.”
(Greg Baker, General Manager)

[G] America's Dairyland schools moooove to the cloud

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: America's Dairyland schools moooove to the cloud

Posted by Julia Stiglitz, Google Apps for Education Team

When it comes to education, Wisconsinites have always been on the cutting edge. The very first kindergarten in the US was founded more than 150 years ago in the town of Watertown, WI. In higher education, the University of Wisconsin-Madison awarded the first Ph.D. in chemical engineering ever granted in 1905. Continuing the trend of advancing education in the state, K-12 schools in Wisconsin are going Google.

Thanks to a collaboration between the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and the 12 Cooperative Educational Services Agencies (CESAs), over 850,000 students and 55,000 teachers across Wisconsin will have access to Google Apps for Education, professional development and technical deployment support.

"It’s fantastic to have such support for public education from Google, an outstanding leader in the business and information systems world," says Wisconsin State Superintendent Tony Evers. "I’m glad we were able to dedicate resources to help schools take advantage of this opportunity. Schools need to save time and money, and students need to learn collaboration and technology skills so they will graduate ready for higher education and the workforce. "

One of the reasons Wisconsin decided to bring Google Apps to the state was the overwhelming support from individual school districts. In fact, 81% of educators polled in an exploratory survey were already using or strongly considering Google Apps for Education. Many school districts who had gone Google offered to share their experiences to help the state make an informed decision.

Jon Tanner, Technology Director of Oregon School District in southern Wisconsin, moved to Google Apps in 2007 and found that "by choosing Google Apps, the Oregon School District has saved tens of thousands of dollars, improved the reliability of our email systems, enabled easier collaboration for staff and students, and provided students with experience on the kinds of web-based, collaborative software that they will use in the workplace."

40 miles south, teachers in the Janesville School District have been using Google Apps for the past 2 years to create paperless classrooms. Franklin Middle School uses Google Sites to distribute the school's newspaper. Third grade teacher Nicole Andresen has gone paperless by relying on Gmail and Google Docs to distribute assignments. "I can create comprehension questions, surveys and other assignments for my students to answer from their email using Google Forms," she said, "and it's so much easier for me to grade since I don't need to remember to bring worksheets home."

Kathy Boguszewski, Library Media & Instructional Technology Coordinator in Janesville, is excited for other Wisconsin schools to join the 12 million students and teachers that have gone Google worldwide. "Google Apps is changing how we work and teach," she said, "and we are loving it!"

[G] Automatic mobile rendering for Google Sites

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Automatic mobile rendering for Google Sites

Posted by Luciano Cheng, Software Engineer

(Cross-posted from the Docs Blog.)

As the dramatic growth of the mobile web changes the way people consume content, it’s becoming increasingly important for publishers to provide a good mobile experience. With this in mind, we just added automatic mobile rendering in Google Sites for iOS 3.0+ and Android 2.2+ devices, and a mobile version of the Google Sites lists.

By going to General settings under More actions > Manage site and clicking on Automatically adjust site for mobile phones, your Google site will be automatically adjusted whenever it’s viewed from an iOS or Android 2.2+ device:


The most noticeable automatic adjustments include:
  • Aligning the header layout and top bar
  • Fitting the width of the site to match the device’s width
  • Smart handling of sidebars, horizontal navigation, and dropdown links
After you’ve enabled this feature, you can preview the page from your computer as a mobile viewer using More actions > Preview as viewer then select Mobile from the yellow Preview page as viewer (Mobile | Desktop) box at the top of the page.

You can also choose to hide some of the links in your site’s footer to save vertical space.
After you’ve enabled this feature, you can preview the page from your c
omputer as a mobile viewer using More actions > Preview as viewer then select Mobile from the yellow Preview page as viewer (Mobile | Desktop) box at the top of the page.

It’s also important for you to be able to access and search your own sites on the go, which is why we’ve also added mobile versions of the site list, sites search, and browse sites categories.

Just navigate to from any iOS 3.0+ or Android 2.2+ device for quick access to your sites.

As more people unplug from their desks and interact with content on the go, new doors are opening for everyone. We hope these tools will empower you to meet the challenges of publishing in a mobile world using Google Sites.

[G] Businesses innovate and scale faster on Google App Engine

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Businesses innovate and scale faster on Google App Engine

Posted by Gregory D'alesandre, Sr. Product Manager, Google App Engine team

It was another exciting year at Google I/O for Google App Engine, with more than a dozen businesses participating in the Developer Sandbox showcasing the innovative apps they are building on Google App Engine. We had a chance to hear feedback from our customers on our new version of App Engine, our future plans and our new pricing model. People were excited about the changes and eager to share with us how important App Engine has been to their businesses.

In the Sandbox, we took some time to catch up with Dan Murray, founder and managing director at WebFilings, to learn how building on App Engine has given them the speed, reliability and scale to secure major Fortune 500 clients including Valero, eBay, United Airlines, and Dish Network.

We also talked with Jessica Stanton from Evite about how it leveraged App Engine to build a technology that serves billions of pageviews a month. Evite did all of this with a team of only five developers, something it couldn't have done without the easy management and scalability App Engine provides.

And finally we heard from Gary Koelling from Best Buy, who explained to us:
“Our experience with Google App Engine really changed how we do things. We can use far fewer developers, and we don’t have to spend any time doing system administration or setting up servers, which allows us to focus on the development and testing new ideas.”
Google App Engine was discussed in more than 24 sessions at I/O this year, all of which you can view on the Google I/O site. If you’re interested in reading more about App Engine from the people who built it, check out our I/O recap post on the App Engine blog. We look forward continuing to improve App Engine for businesses and have an exciting year ahead.

[G] Wyoming adds another first - now the first to go Google

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Wyoming adds another first - now the first to go Google

Posted by Governor Matt Mead, State of Wyoming

Editors note: Today Wyoming Governor Matt Mead is announcing the completion of the migration of all 10,000 state government employees to Google Apps for Government. State employees now have a unified communications system that makes it easier for them to find & collaborate with one another. View the live stream of the Governor’s announcement starting at 8:00am MT.

Hello from the great State of Wyoming. We have some exciting news: our entire state government has gone Google. Wyoming is the first state in the country to make this transition. I am extremely proud to say that we are early adopters and this continues a long tradition of Wyoming firsts -- where Wyoming leads the way. Wyoming was the first state in the country where women voted. We also have the first National Park, Yellowstone, and first National Monument, Devils Tower. We had the first woman governor too. Join us online today at 8:00am MT/7:00am PT to view the live event as we make the announcement.

Wyoming and Google finalized the agreement in October of last year and so in less than 9 months we have moved 10,000 state employees over to Google Apps for Government. This is a sign of the adaptability and flexibility of our state government -- another source of pride for us.

Not only has Wyoming cut the cord and gone to cloud-based computing, allowing more mobility for and collaboration between employees, this is also the first time all of our employees have been on a shared email platform. This means greater efficiency and it will almost certainly lead to better service to the public. It also saves money in costs related to servers, licensing and staff. In addition, compared to what we would have spent for equivalent features in our previous system, we anticipate dramatic savings associated with email storage and overall security.

My office was in the first wave to transition to Google Apps, and I am pleased to say it has already made a big difference. Among its many features, Google Apps has provided efficiencies for scheduling and for keeping the office running smoothly. Our pioneer spirit is alive and well, which means great things for the state of Wyoming!


Friday, June 24, 2011

[G] Google Apps highlights – 6/24/2011

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Official Google Blog: Google Apps highlights – 6/24/2011

This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label “Google Apps highlights" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

There’s no slowing down as we head into summer. In the last couple weeks, we made improvements to Google Sync for iOS devices, streamlined collaboration in Microsoft ® Office files, added mobile display options for Google Sites and welcomed many big organizations, including the state of Wyoming, onto Google Apps.

Search all email from iOS devices, and more
Google Sync brings your email, calendar and contacts to four popular phone platforms. Last Wednesday, we improved Google Sync for iOS devices in three ways. One, you can now search all of your Gmail from your iPhone or iPad, beyond just the messages stored on your phone. Two, you can accept, decline and edit calendar events from your device, and three, you can send email from a custom email address if you use Gmail’s “Send mail as” feature. This is useful if you like to manage email in Gmail, but want emails you sent to look like they’re coming from a school or business email address.

Paste images into Gmail messages
As of Monday, if you use the latest version of Chrome, you can now paste images into Gmail’s compose window right from your clipboard. If you copy an image from the web or another email, it’s a cinch to paste it directly into a message.

Improvements to Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office
With Google Cloud Connect, you can collaborate with others simultaneously through Google’s cloud in Word, Excel and PowerPoint files without sending attachments back and forth. People told us they wanted a faster way to open files with Google Cloud Connect so on Tuesday we streamlined that process. Now you can open native Office files saved in Google Docs right from Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Mobile rendering for Google Sites
It’s important that you can be just as productive on your phone’s small screen as on a full computer display, so yesterday we made Google Sites work even better on mobile devices. You can now configure your sites to automatically render for smaller screens on Android and iOS devices, making the content much easier to read and navigate. In addition, you can also browse and search the sites that you manage through an interface that’s also been optimized for a mobile device’s smaller screen.

Who’s gone Google?
It’s been another bumper couple weeks with tens of thousands more organizations moving to Google Apps. This week, the State of Wyoming became the first to move all state government employees to Google Apps. Matt Mead, Governor of Wyoming, was on-hand for a “cable cutting” ceremony to celebrate the 10,000 user transition to the cloud, which was managed smoothly by deployment partner Tempus Nova.

In the private sector, all 8,400 employees at The McClatchy Company are “going Google” across the business’ 30 newspapers. The company is anticipating a stack of benefits from Google Apps, including standardization on a single email solution, simpler shared calendaring, improved collaboration even when mobile, significant cost savings and a level of service that they weren’t seeing from their historical provider, not to mention great employee enthusiasm for the IT group’s decision.

Even though it’s summer vacation, we saw many schools keeping busy by moving to Google’s cloud. A warm welcome goes out to the Wisconsin K-12 school system (900,000 users), CSU Monterey Bay (10,000 users) and the Indian Youth Congress (28,000 users). Schools will be able to enjoy even more Gmail storage now too; we’re bumping up the quota to 25GB for all education accounts!

I hope these product updates and customer stories help you and your organization get even more from Google Apps. For more details and the latest news, check out the Google Apps Blog.

Posted by Jeremy Milo, Google Apps Marketing Manager

[G] An update on Google Health and Google PowerMeter

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Official Google Blog: An update on Google Health and Google PowerMeter

In the coming months, we’re going to retire two products that didn’t catch on the way we would have hoped, but did serve as influential models: Google Health (retiring January 1, 2012; data available for download through January 1, 2013) and Google PowerMeter (retiring September 16, 2011). Both were based on the idea that with more and better information, people can make smarter choices, whether in regard to managing personal health and wellness, or saving money and conserving energy at home. While they didn't scale as we had hoped, we believe they did highlight the importance of access to information in areas where it’s traditionally been difficult.

We’re making this announcement well in advance to give you plenty of time to download the information you might have stored in either product or to transfer it to another service, and we’re making it easy for you to do it in a variety of formats. More on how that works below.

More broadly, we remain committed as always to helping people around the world access and use information pertinent to them. We’ll continue to pursue this goal and to encourage government and industry to do the same.

Google Health
When we launched Google Health, our goal was to create a service that would give people access to their personal health and wellness information. We wanted to translate our successful consumer-centered approach from other domains to healthcare and have a real impact on the day-to-day health experiences of millions of our users.

Now, with a few years of experience, we’ve observed that Google Health is not having the broad impact that we hoped it would. There has been adoption among certain groups of users like tech-savvy patients and their caregivers, and more recently fitness and wellness enthusiasts. But we haven’t found a way to translate that limited usage into widespread adoption in the daily health routines of millions of people. That’s why we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue the Google Health service. We’ll continue to operate the Google Health site as usual through January 1, 2012, and we’ll provide an ongoing way for people to download their health data for an additional year beyond that, through January 1, 2013. Any data that remains in Google Health after that point will be permanently deleted.

If you’re a Google Health user, we’ve made it easy for you to retrieve your data from Google Health any time before January 1, 2013. Just go to the site to download your information in any of several formats: you can print and save it, or transfer it to other services that support industry-standard data formats. Available formats include:
  • Printable PDF including all the records in your Google Health profile
  • Industry-standard Continuity of Care Record (CCR) XML that can be imported into other personal health tools such as Microsoft® HealthVault™
  • Comma-separated value (CSV) files that can be imported into spreadsheets and database programs for ongoing tracking and graphing
  • HTML and XML versions of the original “data notices” sent to your Google Health profile by linked data providers
  • A unified ZIP archive that includes all files you’ve uploaded to your profile, plus all of the formats above
Over the coming weeks we’ll also be adding the ability to directly transfer your health data to other services that support the Direct Project protocol, an emerging open standard for efficient health data exchange. And while we’ll discontinue the Google Health service at the beginning of 2012, we’ll keep these download options available for one more year, through the start of 2013. This approach to download and transfer capability is part of Google’s strong commitment to data liberation principles: providing free and easy ways for users to maintain control of their data and move it out of Google’s services at any time.

In the end, while we weren’t able to create the impact we wanted with Google Health, we hope it has raised the visibility of the role of the empowered consumer in their own care. We continue to be strong believers in the role information plays in healthcare and in improving the way people manage their health, and we’re always working to improve our search quality for the millions of users who come to Google every day to get answers to their health and wellness queries.

Google PowerMeter
We first launched Google PowerMeter as a project to raise awareness about the importance of giving people access to data surrounding their energy usage. Studies show that having simple access to such information helps consumers reduce their energy use by up to 15%; of course, even broader access to this information could help reduce energy use worldwide.

Since our launch, there’s been more attention given to this notion of people easily accessing their energy data. The installation of smart meters and other home energy devices is picking up steam, and states like California and Texas are moving forward to finalize policies and programs in this area. Earlier this month, the White House announced a goal of giving all consumers access to their energy usage in computer-friendly formats as part of a national plan for modernizing the electricity grid.

We’re pleased that PowerMeter has helped demonstrate the importance of this access and created something of a model. However, our efforts have not scaled as quickly as we would like, so we are retiring the service. PowerMeter users will have access to the tool until September 16, 2011. We have made it easy for you to download your data: simply log in to your account and go to "Account Settings” to export to a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file. We will be contacting users directly with more information on this process.

Momentum is building toward making energy information more readily accessible, and it’s exciting to see others drive innovation and pursue opportunities in this important new market. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished with PowerMeter and look forward to what will develop next in this space.

By helping people make more informed decisions through greater access to more information, we believe Google Health and PowerMeter have been trailblazers in their respective categories. Ultimately though, we want to satisfy the most pressing needs for the greatest number of people. In the case of these two products, our inability to scale has led us to focus our priorities elsewhere.

As always, we welcome your feedback; please share your thoughts and opinions with us at or We won’t be able to respond to every email, but we promise we’ll listen.

Posted by Aaron Brown, Senior Product Manager, Google Health and Bill Weihl, Green Energy Czar

[G] Supporting choice, ensuring economic opportunity

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Official Google Blog: Supporting choice, ensuring economic opportunity

At Google, we’ve always focused on putting the user first. We aim to provide relevant answers as quickly as possible—and our product innovation and engineering talent have delivered results that users seem to like, in a world where the competition is only one click away. Still, we recognize that our success has led to greater scrutiny. Yesterday, we received formal notification from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that it has begun a review of our business. We respect the FTC’s process and will be working with them (as we have with other agencies) over the coming months to answer questions about Google and our services.

It’s still unclear exactly what the FTC’s concerns are, but we’re clear about where we stand. Since the beginning, we have been guided by the idea that, if we focus on the user, all else will follow. No matter what you’re looking for—buying a movie ticket, finding the best burger nearby, or watching a royal wedding—we want to get you the information you want as quickly as possible. Sometimes the best result is a link to another website. Other times it’s a news article, sports score, stock quote, a video or a map.

Instant answers. New sources of knowledge. Powerful tools—all for free. In just 13 years we’ve built a model that has changed the way people find answers and helped businesses both large and small create jobs and connect with new customers.

Search helps you go anywhere and discover anything, on an open Internet. Using Google is a choice—and there are lots of other choices available to you for getting information: other general-interest search engines, specialized search engines, direct navigation to websites, mobile applications, social networks, and more.

Because of the many choices available to you, we work constantly on making search better, and will continue to follow the principles that have guided us from the beginning:
  • Do what’s best for the user. We make hundreds of changes to our algorithms every year to improve your search experience. Not every website can come out at the top of the page, or even appear on the first page of our search results.
  • Provide the most relevant answers as quickly as possible. Today, when you type “weather in Chicago” or “how many feet in a mile” into our search box, you get the answers directly—often before you hit “enter”. And we’re always trying to figure out new ways to answer even more complicated questions just as clearly and quickly. Advertisements offer useful information, too, which is why we also work hard to ensure that our ads are relevant to you.
  • Label advertisements clearly. Google always distinguishes advertisements from our organic search results. As we experiment with new ad formats and new types of content, we will continue to be transparent about what is an ad and what isn’t.
  • Loyalty, not lock-in. We firmly believe you control your data, so we have a team of engineers whose only goal is to help you take your information with you. We want you to stay with us because we’re innovating and making our products better—not because you’re locked in.
These are the principles that guide us, and we know they’ll stand up to scrutiny. We’re committed to giving you choices, ensuring that businesses can grow and create jobs, and, ultimately, fostering an Internet that benefits us all.

To learn more about our business, please visit

Posted by Amit Singhal, Google Fellow

[G] This week's Trends: cones, onions, and hedgehogs

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YouTube Blog: This week's Trends: cones, onions, and hedgehogs

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:

Kevin Allocca, YouTube Trends Manager, recently watched "Hang on Woody!."


[G] Mapping in the Midwest

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Google LatLong: Mapping in the Midwest

During one of the Map Maker Community team’s recent college campus events in Chicago, we had the pleasure of meeting Phil Swanson, an international studies and business student, who travelled nearly 200 miles to join our mapping event at the University of Chicago.

As soon as we started talking with Phil, his passion for mapping and computers came shining through, so we were excited to learn more about what drives him to add to, edit, and create using Google Map Maker.

According to Phil, it all started with retrofitting an interactive campus map when he was a web developer at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville. There was an existing version that utilized the Google Maps API, which he further developed, resulting in this useful campus map. Phil says about the project, “I love to make simple things for people to use, and I've always been interested in maps, so that project definitely created an interest in maps and mapping in general.”

Once Phil realized the positive impact his mapping could have on the university, he continued using Google Map Maker to ensure all of the campus details were correct. He began seeing his edits appear not only in Google Maps, but also on Google Maps for mobile on his phone when he searched maps near the university. “Seeing edits transition from Map Maker to Google Maps on mobile and filling in the details make maps that much more useful for me and the world,” Phil said about mapping his town and the campus.

What aspect of the maps does Phil enjoy most? "I love mapping buildings. Seeing the buildings from my University show up on my phone is the best.” Phil has developed a handy system of finding what needs to be fixed on the map, going out with his phone to take pictures, then adding those photos to a web album which he can then include with his edits in Map Maker. “This is especially useful for buildings . . . . It might sound obvious, but I find that my edits are much more likely to get approved if I describe what I'm doing and link to a photo for a more complex edit.” What a helpful technique to use during the review process!

We want to thank Phil for taking the time to hang out with us in Chicago, and also for sharing with us what excites him about mapping. We look forward to seeing more great mapping from Phil, and hope other students are inspired to make the maps of their own colleges and universities more comprehensive and detailed!

For more useful tips like Phil’s, visit the Map Your World Community forum to see what others are doing.

Posted by Catherine Moats, Geo Project Manager

[G] Applauding the 2011 Knight News Challenge winners

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Google News Blog: Applauding the 2011 Knight News Challenge winners

(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog and the Google Public Policy Blog)

Over the past few months, we’ve announced $5 million in grants to be distributed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the International Press Institute—two non-profit organizations developing new approaches to journalism in the digital age—and we’re pleased to congratulate the first initiatives that have been selected as part of that funding.

Today at M.I.T., the Knight Foundation showcased 16 projects selected as the winners of the 2011 Knight News Challenge. Now in its fifth year, this media-innovation contest included $1 million in support from Google. As you’ll see in the full list of winners, these initiatives come from organizations large and small and are reminders that entrepreneurship can be sparked anywhere. Here are just a few examples of the creative ways the journalism community around the world is merging traditional skills with an online landscape:

  • At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, OpenBlock Rural will use its seed money to work with local governments and community newspapers across the state to collect, aggregate and publish data.

  • In Virginia, the Miller Center Foundation’s State Decoded will serve as a platform to display state codes, court decisions and information from legislative tracking services to make government more understandable to the average citizen.

  • The Chicago Tribune will collaborate with the Investigative Editors & Reporters organization and The Spokesman-Review on a set of open-source, web-based tools that make it easier for journalists to use and analyze data.

  • Liverpool, U.K.-based ScraperWiki will bring its experiences with public data to journalism camps in 12 U.S. states.

  • Chile’s El Mostrador will develop an editorial and crowdsourced database to bring greater transparency to potential conflicts of interest.

  • Ushahidi will build off its past crisis efforts to improve information-verification across email, Twitter, web feeds and text messages.

Other winning proposals tell rich multimedia stories, bridge the gap between traditional and citizen media and further improve the utility of data to journalists. Our sister program in partnership with the International Press Institute is also well underway. The entries in that competition are now in and the winners will be announced later this summer. We look forward to seeing the impacts these initiatives have on digital journalism and hope they encourage continued experimentation and innovation at the grassroots level.

Posted by Jim Gerber, Director, Strategic Partnerships, News

[G] The perfect ad and the next phase of the display advertising revolution: Interview with Neal Mohan

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: The perfect ad and the next phase of the display advertising revolution: Interview with Neal Mohan

(Cross-posted from the Google Agency Blog)

Following his keynote address titled "There's a Perfect Ad for Everyone" at New York's IAB Innovation Days @ Internet Week, Neal Mohan, our VP of Display Advertising was interviewed by Willow Duttge.

In his interview, Neal shed further insight into the new user revolution taking place in digital media and what it means for advertisers and publishers. Here are a few key takeaways from the interview:

  • There’s a big opportunity for advertisers and publishers to deliver an enhanced user experience by employing dynamic rich media formats, delivering ads customized for each user, adopting user-centric metrics to measure campaign success, and offering users much more control over their advertising they see.
  • Initial steps publishers and advertisers can take today toward this user-centric goal include looking closely at and listening to their audiences and experimenting with new formats and user experiences.
  • The mobile revolution presents new opportunities for advertisers and publishers looking to connect with users in new and more meaningful ways.

And if you missed the livestream of Neal's keynote, watch it here.

Posted by the Google Display Team


[G] Video: Learn how real-time bidding is defined and trends in RTB in under one hour

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DoubleClick Publisher Blog: Video: Learn how real-time bidding is defined and trends in RTB in under one hour

(Cross posted from the DoubleClick Advertisers Blog)

Last week, we participated in an IAB Interactive Insights Webinar titled, “The Arrival of Real-Time Bidding.” In this webinar, Scott Spencer, Director of Product Management for DoubleClick Ad Exchange joined guests from Forrester Research, Inc. to define real-time bidding (RTB) and walk attendees through its impact on the marketplace for online ad inventory. Joining from Forrester Research, Inc. were Senior Analyst Joanna O’Connell and Analyst Michael Greene. Joanna explored how advertisers view the RTB trend and Michael explored how publishers view it. Scott, our foremost expert on RTB, discussed how Google works with advertisers and publishers on RTB.

For those of you who missed the webinar, we’ve posted the full recording here:

Posted by Sally Cole, Product Marketing Manager


[G] Automatic mobile rendering for Google Sites

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The Google Apps Blog: Automatic mobile rendering for Google Sites

(Cross-posted to the Enterprise blog)

As the dramatic growth of the mobile web changes the way people consume content, it’s becoming increasingly important for publishers to provide a good mobile experience. With this in mind, we just added automatic mobile rendering in Google Sites for iOS 3.0+ and Android 2.2+ devices, and a mobile version of the Google Sites lists.

By going to General settings under More actions > Manage site and clicking on Automatically adjust site for mobile phones, your Google site will be automatically adjusted whenever it’s viewed from an iOS or Android 2.2+ device:


The most noticeable automatic adjustments include:
  • Aligning the header layout and top bar
  • Fitting the width of the site to match the device’s width
  • Smart handling of sidebars, horizontal navigation, and dropdown links
After you’ve enabled this feature, you can preview the page from your computer as a mobile viewer using More actions > Preview as viewer (Mobile).

You can also choose to hide some of the links in your site’s footer to save vertical space.

It’s also important for you to be able to access and search your own sites on the go, which is why we’ve also added mobile versions of the site list, sites search, and browse sites categories.

Just navigate to from any iOS 3.0+ or Android 2.2+ device for quick access to your sites.

As more people unplug from their desks and interact with content on the go, new doors are opening for everyone. We hope these tools will empower you to meet the challenges of publishing in a mobile world using Google Sites.

Posted by: Luciano Cheng, Software Engineer

[G] Google Translate welcomes you to the Indic web

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Google Research Blog: Google Translate welcomes you to the Indic web

Posted by Ashish Venugopal, Research Scientist

(Cross-posted on the Translate Blog and the Official Google Blog)


Beginning today, you can explore the linguistic diversity of the Indian sub-continent with Google Translate, which now supports five new experimental alpha languages: Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. In India and Bangladesh alone, more than 500 million people speak these five languages. Since 2009, we’ve launched a total of 11 alpha languages, bringing the current number of languages supported by Google Translate to 63.

Indic languages differ from English in many ways, presenting several exciting challenges when developing their respective translation systems. Indian languages often use the Subject Object Verb (SOV) ordering to form sentences, unlike English, which uses Subject Verb Object (SVO) ordering. This difference in sentence structure makes it harder to produce fluent translations; the more words that need to be reordered, the more chance there is to make mistakes when moving them. Tamil, Telugu and Kannada are also highly agglutinative, meaning a single word often includes affixes that represent additional meaning, like tense or number. Fortunately, our research to improve Japanese (an SOV language) translation helped us with the word order challenge, while our work translating languages like German, Turkish and Russian provided insight into the agglutination problem.

You can expect translations for these new alpha languages to be less fluent and include many more untranslated words than some of our more mature languages—like Spanish or Chinese—which have much more of the web content that powers our statistical machine translation approach. Despite these challenges, we release alpha languages when we believe that they help people better access the multilingual web. If you notice incorrect or missing translations for any of our languages, please correct us; we enjoy learning from our mistakes and your feedback helps us graduate new languages from alpha status. If you’re a translator, you’ll also be able to take advantage of our machine translated output when using the Google Translator Toolkit.

Since these languages each have their own unique scripts, we’ve enabled a transliterated input method for those of you without Indian language keyboards. For example, if you type in the word “nandri,” it will generate the Tamil word நன்றி (see what it means). To see all these beautiful scripts in action, you’ll need to install fonts* for each language.

We hope that the launch of these new alpha languages will help you better understand the Indic web and encourage the publication of new content in Indic languages, taking us five alpha steps closer to a web without language barriers.

*Download the fonts for each language: Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati and Kannada.