Saturday, December 10, 2011

[G] New Cities in 3D - Rome, Seville, Las Vegas, and more.

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Google LatLong: New Cities in 3D - Rome, Seville, Las Vegas, and more.


Google Maps continuously works to bring you real-life 3D representations of your favorite cities from around the world. Google Maps in 3D combines a functional map with stunning visuals. You can tour an increasing number of cities in 3D and experience the streets and sights right from your computer or Android device.

Since embarking on our 3D mapping efforts, we have amassed a collection of cities that allows you to feel like a jet-setter. We have recently expanded and improved this collection to include more cities in Europe and the US, to name a few. You can experience a few cities below.

Hop on your scooter and take a romantic tour through Rome, Italy.


Tour Seville, the artistic, historic, and cultural capital of southern Spain.


Or take a look at the casino resorts that dot the Las Vegas Strip which has also been updated with 45 degree satellite imagery as well.


New 3D maps coverage is available in:

US: Foster City, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Norfolk,Palo Alto, Portland, Redwood City, Riverside, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego, Santa Cruz, Sunnyvale.
Europe: Rome, IT, Rotterdam, NL; Seville, ES; Stuttgart, DE, Amsterdam, NL

Posted by Brian Brewington, Google Maps
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/12/new-cities-in-3d-rome-seville-las-vegas.html

[G] Google Currents is hot off the press

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Inside Google Books: Google Currents is hot off the press

Posted by Mussie Shore, Product Manager, and Sami Shalabi, Technical Lead

The following launch announcement is cross-posted from the Google Mobile blog, and comes from Google Currents, a new app that makes reading magazine and news articles on mobile devices a clean and elegant experience.

We strive to give you beautiful and simple ways to experience all the content the web has to offer, such as sharing photos on Google+, watching YouTube videos and discovering books, movies and music from Android Market. Today we’re expanding our content offering with the introduction of Google Currents, a new application for Android devices, iPads and iPhones that lets you explore online magazines and other content with the swipe of a finger.




Ready for consumers
We’ve worked with more than 150 publishing partners to offer full-length articles from more than 180 editions including CNET, AllThingsD, Forbes, Saveur, PBS, Huffington Post, Fast Company and more. Content is optimized for smartphones and tablets, allowing you to intuitively navigate between words, pictures and video on large and small screens alike, even if you’re offline.

To get started, simply download the app and choose the publications you want to subscribe to for free. You can also add RSS, video and photo feeds, public Google+ streams and Google Reader subscriptions you’re already following. In addition to consuming your favorite media, you can also use the trending tab to discover related content that matches your tastes.

Ready for publishers
Alongside Google Currents, we’re also launching a self-service platform that gives publishers the flexibility to design, brand and customize their web content. For example, if you’re a small regional news outlet, a non-profit organization without access to a mobile development team, or a national TV network with web content, you can effortlessly create hands-on digital publications for Google Currents.


Great content needs a great audience, which is why Google Currents is integrated with Google+ so users can share articles or videos they’ve enjoyed with their circles. Publishers can also associate their account with Google Analytics in order to increase their awareness of consumers’ content preferences, device use and geographic distribution.

Google Currents is now available for download in Android Market and the Apple App Store for US users. Whether you’re a reader or a publisher, we hope that Google Currents helps you easily experience the best content on the web. Try it here now and stay tuned for more to come.
URL: http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2011/12/google-currents-is-hot-off-press.html

[G] Take Note(s): Highlighting your Google eBooks

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Inside Google Books: Take Note(s): Highlighting your Google eBooks

Posted by Xinxing Gu, Google Books Product Manager


Like many of you, we love to highlight and mark up our books, capturing insights, important notes to remember, or even gathering opinions to later share with our favorite authors. Starting today, you'll also be able to break out the colored highlighters and pens with Google eBooks in the Web Reader.


To start adding notes, first open your web browser and find your Google eBooks in your My eBooks bookshelf (make sure you are signed into your account at the top right hand corner of your screen). If you don’t have any ebooks yet, you can start your collection with a free classic from Best of the Free bookshelf, or purchase an ebook from our eBookstore. Then, click on the book to open it in the Web Reader.

You should be able to select the text you want to comment on by dragging or double-clicking with your mouse. A context menu will appear, and you can then click on "Add Note".


A notepad will be displayed where you can write down your notes and pick a highlight color too. In addition, you can add multiple lines of notes, and format them with bold or italic font style. To make text bold, place the text between two asterisks (*), and to italicize text, place it between two underscores (_). For instance:


When you click the "Save" button, you will create a new note. Then, when you bring that note up, it will display the formatting you specified:



You can also just pick a color from the bottom of the original context menu to highlight the text, without adding notes:


After adding notes, you can conveniently see all your notes in the ebook by clicking on the "Margin Notes" icon at the top right of the Reader. The menu will show you all the text you've highlighted text and the notes you've made on them. You can click on each result to go to the corresponding page in the book.


To edit or delete a note, hover your mouse over the highlighted text until a pop-up menu appears. Then click on the "Edit" or "Delete" button to make the change.

These new features are currently only enabled for ebooks available in "flowing text mode", and highlights or notes can't be added to ebook samples. We are also working hard on bringing these features to your mobile devices and eReaders, so stay tuned!
URL: http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2011/12/take-notes-highlighting-your-google.html

[G] This week's Trends: wind, tears, and sailors

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YouTube Blog: This week's Trends: wind, tears, and sailors

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:

  • We looked at how a recent ad from candidate Rick Perry has stirred up lots of interest and parodies.



  • We saw on-the-scene footage from some wild windstorms in Scotland.



  • We tracked rising searches around tent monsters in "Occupy Australia."



  • We reflected on how children football fans deal with defeat: very very poorly.



  • We collected popular college videos from across the United States.



  • We measured how Justin Bieber's finding a sizeable audience for his holiday videos.



  • And even Mariah Carey herself declared this "the best thing I've ever seen":






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 "Why Men and Women Cant be friends."


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/BGjbQ_bUheM/this-weeks-trends-wind-tears-and.html

[G] Helping Implement America Invents Act

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Google Public Policy Blog: Helping Implement America Invents Act

Posted by Suzanne Michel, Senior Patent Counsel

In passing and signing the America Invents Act, Congress and President Obama recognized the high costs and harms to innovation posed by invalid patents. To help combat the problem, the law creates three new programs that allow the public to ask the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (or PTO for short) to reconsider the validity of issued patents based on new evidence and arguments: inter partes review, post-grant review, and a transitional program for review of business method patents.

To contribute to the dialog around how to implement these changes, we have submitted three comments to the PTO (two jointly with Cisco and Verizon) making suggestions on regulations that the PTO could issue to help these three programs achieve Congress’ goal, including:
  • The creation of procedures and rules that allow patent challengers a full opportunity to develop invalidity arguments so that the PTO will have the information it needs to make an informed decision;
  • Allowing companies harmed by threats of infringement (not just lawsuits) to use the new business method transitional program, including the definition of a broad category of eligible business method patents; and,
  • Continued protection of prior user rights under the first-to-file patent system, without which companies would be forced to file patents on trade secrets and minor improvements so a later patentee could not stop them from using their own inventions.
You can view these submitted comments in their entirety on the PTO’s site.
URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2011/12/helping-implement-america-invents-act.html

[G] Think With Google’s December Adventure: Mobile Tips Recap

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Inside AdWords: Think With Google’s December Adventure: Mobile Tips Recap

Think With Google’s December Adventure continued this week with a focus on mobile.

Here are the four mobile-related insights and tips we covered this week (and a fun factoid):
Click on the titles to view the original posts and comments.

#1 Monday: Search from mobile devices up 5x in the past two years!
  • Capture the mobile opportunity with separate campaigns targeting mobile devices only. Advertisers with mobile-optimized sites and mobile-targeted campaigns have seen an average 11.5% increase in mobile CTR.
#2 Tuesday: 59% of users visit a business and 40%+ make a purchase after using their smartphones to find local information
  • Use AdWords location extensions to showcase key business information, including your address, phone number and driving directions.
#3 Wednesday: 65% of tablet owners use their tablets at least one hour per day
  • Target tablet devices as part of your AdWords campaigns and, if you have tablet specific products or services, create tablet-only campaigns.
#4 Thursday: 51% of consumers are more likely to purchase from mobile-optimized websites
  • Get best practices and personalized tips on how to make your website more mobile-friendly at www.HowToGoMo.com.
#5. Friday Fun Factoid: One, Two, Dial my Smartphone
  • Sign of the times: We agree with this article and predict that more kids will know how to use a smartphone than know how to tie their shoes. Watch endearing video on the post to see just how important it will be to market your content to the four screens: mobile, tablet, laptop and TV.
To learn more, follow Think with Google on Google+ or add this helpful holiday calendar to automatically see these tips on your Google Calendar.


Posted by Andrew Truong, Inside AdWords Crew
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/12/think-with-googles-december-adventure_09.html

[G] The Tablet Generation

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Official Google CPG Blog: The Tablet Generation

Just think about it...in just a few years these kids are going to be your consumers. If you don't have a tablet search and display strategy, you're not just missing today's shoppers, you're also missing tomorrow's.

URL: http://google-cpg.blogspot.com/2011/12/tablet-generation.html

[G] How to make a great first impression for your Channel

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YouTube Blog: How to make a great first impression for your Channel

With YouTube’s new homepage and Channels layouts it’s easier than ever to find and subscribe to Channels, but what’s the best way to have viewers find you? Here are some tips to help your Channel stand out in the crowd:



Channel metadata and visuals help viewers find and subscribe to your Channel


  • Use the new Channel branding and tell people your posting schedule

  • Create a relevant, short text description of your Channel. This will have prominent placement around YouTube that helps drive new subscriptions.

  • Avatars are important! Avatars are like thumbnails promoting your Channel, and the same tips apply for creating thumbnails and avatars in the YouTube Creator Playbook.


Make your Channel preview on the homepage count


  • Uploading regularly engages your subscribers and also helps attract new ones. In the Channels preview pane, potential subscribers can see how often you upload so they know what to expect. Here’s what the preview pane looks like:









  • The main video in the preview is pulled from featured video on your Channel, so make sure you have a good introductory video that catches the audience.


Once you attract new subscribers, focus on creating the best Channel experience possible


  • Remember that it’s not all about what you upload—use playlists to organize your Channel, and like/favorite videos to surface new content to your subscribers.

  • If you can’t be the Channel that uploads great videos, you can be the Channel that finds great videos!


To learn more about using Channel promotion and other strategies to make your shiny new channel even shinier, check out the YouTube Creator Playbook.



Andres Palmiter, Audience Development Strategist, recently watched the video “SOUNDS.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/uE1KebfcaHI/how-to-make-great-first-impression-for.html

[G] Androidify yourself with new winter gear

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Androidify yourself with new winter gear

Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year and Androidify yourself with a bunch of new winter gear. Dress up your Android with candy canes, mittens, skis, antlers, sweaters and more! (Did someone say 2012 party glasses?) Head over to Android Market to get the latest Androidify update and make your Android ready for the season!




Posted by Thomas Gayno, Marketing Manager, Creative Lab
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2011/12/androidify-yourself-with-new-winter.html

[G] Try Google presentations. No login required.

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The Google Apps Blog: Try Google presentations. No login required.

We recently launched a new version of Google presentations with many new features to help you create beautiful presentations together. We’ve added the new editor to our Docs demos to make it easier to test drive your presentation building skills.

Check out the new animations and transitions, get artsy with drawings, and show off your masterpiece to a friend or colleague. You can share the link in the demo with others and work on the same presentation together. No login required. No Google account needed. Just go to docs.google.com/demo to take it for a spin.


The new Google presentations continues to gradually roll out to all users. You can try it in the demo and if you like it, you can enable it in your Docs settings.

Posted by: Sarah Cooper, User Experience Designer
URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GoogleAppsBlog/~3/C5SGCro0ebE/try-google-presentations-no-login.html

[G] Check out the new Video Manager

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YouTube Blog: Check out the new Video Manager

You put a lot of work into your videos, so we’re putting a lot of work into making sure they look their best on YouTube. Today we’re rolling out an updated Video Manager with some new features that’ll help you handle all your videos. To try out the new design, go to the Video Manager and click “try it now.”



Highlights of the new Video Manager are:


  • Simplified top and left navigation bars to help you get to the tools you need more quickly

  • Icons to indicate privacy status, if monetization is enabled and scheduled publish status

  • Badges to indicate whether videos are HD, Creative Commons and/or captioned

  • A new look that’s consistent with our fresh coat of digital paint







We also cleaned up our suite of editing tools and improved the navigation used to get between these tools:







To learn more, watch this video walkthrough or check out our Help Center.



Have feedback? On the left side of the page click the “send feedback” button, where we’ll be reviewing all of your comments on the design. We’re planning on fully releasing this interface early next year, so submit your ideas before then. You can also share your thoughts in our forum.



Dan Auclair, Web Developer, recently watched “Halloween Light Show 2011 - Party Rock Anthem.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/sDFkjXRwFG4/check-out-new-video-manager.html

[G] Easier copyright management on YouTube

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YouTube Blog: Easier copyright management on YouTube

From Justin Bieber to The Gregory Brothers, YouTube is a platform for anyone with a passion for performing to showcase their musical talents and get noticed across the web. Smart copyright management is an important part of this online video service—it helps songwriters and performers to be appropriately compensated for their works, while also allowing for those works to be used in new ways.



YouTube has had a longstanding commitment to solving the really tough challenges around online copyright—how to manage content rights in a quickly evolving technology world. We’ve already invested tens of millions of dollars in content management technology such as Content ID and, with over 3,000 major media companies using it, we’ve come a long way in just a few years. But we want to keep pushing things forward.



Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve acquired RightsFlow, a New York-based company that helps songwriters, recording artists, record labels, distributors and online music services manage music rights. As new ways of consuming music have emerged, RightsFlow has been at the forefront of solving the complex issues of licensing and royalty payment management. We couldn’t think of a better team to bring on board to further YouTube’s support of the creative community.



By combining RightsFlow’s expertise and technology with YouTube’s platform, we hope to more rapidly and efficiently license music on YouTube, meaning more music for you all to enjoy, and more money for the talented people producing the music. From music videos to live-streamed concerts, YouTube has become a launch-pad for both aspiring musicians and more established independent artists—which is why we have and will continue to invest in tools that make it easier for copyright owners to manage their content online.



David King, Product Manager, recently watched "Danny Macaskill - Industrial Revolutions.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/MG6F1YqX_4I/easier-copyright-management-on-youtube.html

[G] Now playing: Faster movie search on Android and iPhone

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Now playing: Faster movie search on Android and iPhone

(Cross-posted on the Inside Search blog)

With the December movie season in full swing, we’ve just made it even faster and easier to discover movies, showtimes and theaters, all from your smartphone. Now when you search for [movies] or your favorite theater like [century san francisco] on Google.com from your phone, you’ll see interactive results for movies in a new swipeable ribbon, with the most relevant information displayed at the top of the page.

For each movie, you’ll see the movie poster, a short summary, ratings and the nearest theaters and showtimes. Designed to help you quickly browse what’s playing in theaters now, this information instantly updates as you slide through the movie posters -- no need to wait for a page to load or to use the back button.




To learn more about a movie, tap the movie title to find details like the cast and a full summary. And if you see a play button on the movie poster, you can tap to view the official trailer. You can even buy tickets directly from your smartphone by tapping on underlined showtimes -- and skip past those long holiday box office lines!




So the next time you head out to see sagas of vampires, the world’s biggest Muppets fan, dancing penguins or nearly impossible heists, try the new interactive results for movies by visiting Google.com on your iOS or Android phone’s browser and searching for [movies], [theaters] or a movie title. This feature is available in English, in the US.

Posted by Toshi Tajima, Software Engineer
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2011/12/now-playing-faster-movie-search-on.html

[G] Google Currents is hot off the press

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Google Currents is hot off the press

We strive to give you beautiful and simple ways to experience all the content the web has to offer, such as sharing photos on Google+, watching YouTube videos and discovering books, movies and music from Android Market. Today we’re expanding our content offering with the introduction of Google Currents, a new application for Android devices, iPads and iPhones that lets you explore online magazines and other content with the swipe of a finger.



Ready for consumers
We’ve worked with more than 150 publishing partners to offer full-length articles from more than 180 editions including CNET, AllThingsD, Forbes, Saveur, PBS, Huffington Post, Fast Company and more. Content is optimized for smartphones and tablets, allowing you to intuitively navigate between words, pictures and video on large and small screens alike, even if you’re offline.

To get started, simply download the app and choose the publications you want to subscribe to for free. You can also add RSS, video and photo feeds, public Google+ streams and Google Reader subscriptions you’re already following. In addition to consuming your favorite media, you can also use the trending tab to discover related content that matches your tastes.

Ready for publishers
Alongside Google Currents, we’re also launching a self-service platform that gives publishers the flexibility to design, brand and customize their web content. For example, if you’re a small regional news outlet, a non-profit organization without access to a mobile development team, or a national TV network with web content, you can effortlessly create hands-on digital publications for Google Currents.


Great content needs a great audience, which is why Google Currents is integrated with Google+ so users can share articles or videos they’ve enjoyed with their circles. Publishers can also associate their account with Google Analytics in order to increase their awareness of consumers’ content preferences, device use and geographic distribution.

Google Currents is now available for download in Android Market and the Apple App Store for US users. Whether you’re a reader or a publisher, we hope that Google Currents helps you easily experience the best content on the web. Try it here now and stay tuned for more to come.

Posted by Mussie Shore, Product Manager, and Sami Shalabi, Technical Lead
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2011/12/google-currents-is-hot-off-press.html

[G] Tablet image results in new carousel view

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Official Google Mobile Blog: Tablet image results in new carousel view

(Cross-posted on the Inside Search blog)

In July, we started to evolve the Google design and experience on Android and iOS tablets by updating features like larger touch targets and enhanced image viewing to make searching faster and easier. Today, we’re building on that foundation by adding a new image carousel for viewing large image results within a few swipes.

As someone who enjoys being outdoors, I like exploring beautiful images of nature. With the new image carousel, I can discover photos of bright sea anemones or colorful lorikeet birds on my tablet in a more interactive and immersive way. Now when I tap on an image result, it’ll expand in the carousel view and I can swipe through the search results. To learn more about an image, a tap on the web page preview, title, description or URL will take me directly to the webpage. See how you can take the image carousel for a spin:





Try out the new image carousel by going to Google on your iOS or Android tablet’s browser and searching for your favorite images. This feature is currently available in over 40 languages.

I hope you enjoy searching for beautiful images in this new view.

Posted by Nathan Beach, Product Manager
URL: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2011/12/tablet-image-results-in-new-carousel.html

[G] Try Google presentations. No login required.

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Docs Blog: Try Google presentations. No login required.

We recently launched a new version of Google presentations with many new features to help you create beautiful presentations together. We’ve added the new editor to our Docs demos to make it easier to test drive your presentation building skills.

Check out the new animations and transitions, get artsy with drawings, and show off your masterpiece to a friend or colleague. You can share the link in the demo with others and work on the same presentation together. No login required. No Google account needed. Just go to docs.google.com/demo to take it for a spin.


The new Google presentations continues to gradually roll out to all users. You can try it in the demo and if you like it, you can enable it in your Docs settings.

Posted by: Sarah Cooper, User Experience Designer
URL: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2011/12/try-google-presentations-no-login.html

[G] Measuring Ad Effectiveness Using Geo Experiments

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Research Blog: Measuring Ad Effectiveness Using Geo Experiments

Posted by Lizzy Van Alstine and Jon Vaver, Quantitative Anaylsis Team

Advertisers want to be able to measure the effectiveness of their advertising. Many methods have been used to address this need, but the most rigorous and trusted of these are randomized experiments, which involve randomly assigning experimental units to control and test conditions. At Google, we have found that randomized geo experiments are a powerful approach to measuring the effectiveness of advertising.

Many advertising platforms allow advertising to be targeted by geographical region. In these experiments, we first assign geographic regions to test or control conditions and employ AdWords’ geo-targeted advertising capabilities to increase or decrease the regional advertising spend accordingly. The use of randomized assignments guards against potential hidden test/control biases that could impact the measurements. Our approach also accounts for seasonal changes that impact the volume and cost of advertising across the length of the experiment.

In this paper, we describe the application of geo experiments for measuring the impact of advertising on consumer behavior (e.g. clicks, conversions, downloads, etc.). This description includes the results of a geo experiment that our research team ran for a Google advertiser.
URL: http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2011/12/measuring-ad-effectiveness-using-geo.html

Friday, December 9, 2011

[G] Updating the Maps of the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland and Sweden

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Google LatLong: Updating the Maps of the United Kingdom, Germany, Finland and Sweden


As always, our team continues to work hard to provide up-to-date and accurate base map data for places around the world. Today, we are happy to announce updated maps for the UK, Germany, Finland and Sweden.

You may notice many improvements to Google Maps in these countries, such as improved water bodies and more comprehensive local park coverage. Many of these and other changes are the result of us working directly with a variety of organizations, agencies and data providers. For example, Germany's Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie) supplied us harmonized data from surveying and mapping agencies of all 16 federal states (Länder). And in the case of Finland, we acquired water body data directly from the National Land Survey. We're thankful to these and other data providers for helping us ensure that our digital maps accurately reflect real life.

We’d also like to thank all our users who report problems and help make Google Maps better for everyone. Starting today, the “Report a Problem” tool will appear in the lower right corner of the map for the UK, Germany, Finland and Sweden. So, if you see anything amiss, do let us know and we’ll do our best to update the map as quickly as possible, sometimes within just a few days!




Posted by Valient Gough, Software Engineer
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/12/updating-maps-of-united-kingdom-germany.html

[G] Exploring ancient ruins in 3D with Google Earth

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Google LatLong: Exploring ancient ruins in 3D with Google Earth


(Cross-posted on the Inside Search Blog)

Searches can become stories. Some inspire us, others change the way we see the world or just make us smile. This is the latest in a series of videos about people who have used Google to discover or do something extraordinary.

The field of archaeology has changed much over the years. New modes of transportation have made even the most remote sites accessible, while cameras simplify how a historical record is created and shared with the world.

Spurred on by these innovations, researchers are also embracing technology as a creative way to aid their research and explore ancient sites. To conduct archaeological studies in the Middle East, Professor David Kennedy of the University of Western Australia turned to Google Earth.

From his office chair in Perth, Professor Kennedy has remotely identified thousands of archaeological sites without having to step foot on Saudi Arabian or Yemeni soil. Historically it has been difficult to undertake ground surveys and aerial photographs of these areas are seldom available for research, making the countries some of the least explored archaeologically. By carefully studying satellite imagery of the Arabian peninsula in Google Earth, Professor Kennedy has unearthed an enormous record of archaeological sites, from ancient geoglyphs to stone Wheels to Pendant-shaped tombs and animal traps called kites that could be up to 9,000 years old.

Watch Professor Kennedy’s Search Story video to see how Google Earth aided his search for these ancient sites across the Middle East.



Professor Kennedy isn’t the only archaeologist to discover the potential in using satellite imagery to aid traditional field methods. Visit www.OneWorldManyStories.com to discover how the scientific community has used Google Earth to uncover ancient relics, find a new hominid ancestor, identify hidden forests, and put craters on the map.

Do you have a great Google Earth story? Share it with us.

Posted by Vicky Homan, Google Earth Product Marketing
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2011/12/exploring-ancient-ruins-in-3d-with.html