Saturday, March 10, 2012

[G] Geek Time with Andrew Tridgell

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Google Open Source Blog: Geek Time with Andrew Tridgell

Andrew Tridgell is a creator of Samba and rsync. Jeremy Allison, Samba co-creator and part of the Google Open Source Programs Office interviewed Andrew at the SambaXP 2011 conference for some quality Geek Time. The two have known each other for many years so there was plenty to talk about. Here are some highlights:

Jeremy asks Andrew how he feels as they approach 20 years of Samba. (0:38)

Andrew discusses what to expect from Samba 4. (1:58)

Andrew chats about the key focus of Samba in recent years. (3:05)

Jeremy asks Andrew to give highlights from his talk at Linux Conf Australia where he talked about the danger software patents pose to free software projects. (6:15)

Andrew talks about how he'd like to see a public forum for the free software community to talk about patent issues. (9:05)

Jeremy asks Andrew to discuss his transition from regular student to free software icon and how he recommends other developers get started in the free software community and become valuable contributors. (10:40)

Jeremy asks why not get started just by reading other people's code? (14:05)

Thanks to Fabian Scherschel of Sixgun Productions for operating the camera.

By Stephanie Taylor, Google Open Source Programs

[G] Providing a springboard for women entrepreneurs in India

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Official Google Blog: Providing a springboard for women entrepreneurs in India

Meghana Musunuri was a typical female entrepreneur in India. Born and brought up in Medak, she received a good education and spent time abroad both studying and working. Eventually, she decided to return to India and make a difference in her native country. After teaching in London for more than eight years, Meghana opened the Fountainhead School in Hyderabad in 2009. Meghana was smart, driven and passionate, but like many of her contemporaries in India, she needed guidance on how to use the web to broaden her business and her education mission. To help Meghana and the many other women entrepreneurs like her, we recently launched Women Entrepreneurs on the Web (WEOW).

Women Entrepreneurs on the Web teaches participants how to use web-based technologies to improve and grow their businesses. WEOW is divided into five different units or “circles,” all designed for women entrepreneurs with varied degrees of online presence and expertise. Entrepreneurs at various stages in their startups can enter the program through any of these circles.
  1. Building an online presence: creating a website, a YouTube channel, and a business page on a social network like Google+
  2. Collaborating effectively: tools like Gmail, Calendar and Docs
  3. Connecting with customers: hosting Google+ Hangouts, creating and distributing targeted offers and discounts
  4. Promoting your organization: online product demos, creating viral videos on YouTube, advertising through AdWords and AdSense
  5. Tracking and optimizing your online presence: Google Analytics, Google Alerts, ripples on Google+, the +1 button, webmaster tools
Meghana completed all five circles of the program and today, her school is completely online. She’s hosted several Google+ Hangouts for students and parents from the Fountainhead School’s Google+ page and is also using the page to post news, resources and recaps of in-person workshops. There’s more from Meghana on what she learned from the WEOW program in this video.

Rupa Aurangabadkar, another WEOW participant, recently launched a design company, Colorquill. She’s now working on a series of digital videos that will showcase each step of creating a mural and will distribute them via her YouTube channel. Archana Doshi of Archanas Kitchen has started offering cooking classes online via Google+ Hangouts. She also plans to have guest chefs sign up to offer culinary lessons via her website.

As part of our launch event at Google Hyderabad, Yolanda Mangolini, our head of diversity and inclusion, spent time with 30 women entrepreneurs. During this meet-and-greet, she highlighted company initiatives that focus on female empowerment, like the Google Anita Borg India Memorial Scholarships, Grace Hopper Celebrations and several outreach programs run by the Women@Google employee group. She also talked about our goal to build an organization that reflects its globally diverse users. Watch the highlights in the video below:

For updates on WEOW India, visit our website and YouTube channel. To date, we’ve had more than 300 women sign up for WEOW, and we plan to roll out WEOW to more offices and countries in the future.

Posted by Keerthana Mohan, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Asia-Pacific

[G] Exploring 1938 San Francisco through aerial photography in Google Earth

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Google Lat Long: Exploring 1938 San Francisco through aerial photography in Google Earth

Editors Note: Today’s guest author is David Rumsey, President of Cartography Associates and founder of the David Rumsey Map Collection, an online archive of historical maps and cartographic materials. Additional pieces from this collection can be viewed in Google Earth by browsing the Rumsey Historical Maps layer.

In August of 1938, a pioneer of aerial photography, Harrison Ryker, worked with pilots out of Oakland Airport to create a series of high resolution images of San Francisco. Each pilot flew from north to south, completing about 12 passes to create a group of vertical black-and-white photographs, overlapping each other by approximately 30 to 50 percent. The result was 164 large prints covering the entire city at about 1 meter resolution. Residents of San Francisco can enjoy these magnificent photographs by visiting the San Francisco Public Library. But if you don’t happen to be visiting the Bay Area anytime soon, you can also enjoy the entire collection online, courtesy of the David Rumsey Map Collection.

While cataloging these historic images, our team geo-referenced each photo to create a mosaic of all the images, corrected for terrain variation, lens distortion, and variance of angle. This was a challenging task because we did not have any records of the project’s camera calibration report, lens used, or any other specifics on how the original photos were produced. Rather, we had to rely on placing ground control points in the correct places to get the desired accuracy. Glenn Bachmann of the Rumsey Map Collection led this project, the results of which allow the 1938 imagery to be overlaid on current satellite views of the city in Google Earth when you turn on historical imagery for San Francisco. You can also view these historic photos in geographic context online in the Rumsey Historical Maps online gallery using the Google Earth plug-in

Composite of 1938 aerial photos of San Francisco

The individual aerial photos that make up the mosaic above of the entire city of San Francisco are each 50 cm high and 60 cm wide, with an effective scale of 1:2,000. The prints are in very good condition with high contrast and sharp detail, as you can see in the example below of the area around the Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street.

Aerial Photograph 18, area around the Ferry Building in San Francisco, 1938

It is endlessly fascinating to compare the city in 1938 to the current landscape. The area around the old Mission Bay has undergone a huge transformation: you can see the old Southern Pacific Railroad round house, which is now transforming into the University of California’s Mission Bay Campus.

Detail of Aerial Photograph 14, Mission Bay Railroad Yards, Southern Pacific Round House, San Francisco, 1938
Another part of the city that has experienced tremendous growth are the sand dunes of the Outer Sunset district, now filled in with the Doelger housing developments of the 1940’s.

Aerial Photograph 148, Sand dunes in the outer Sunset District, San Francisco, 1938

Some of the images show parts of the cities that are no longer part of the modern landscape. Below you can see the cemeteries around Lone Mountain that were moved to Colma in the 1940’s.

Aerial Photograph 85, Calvary and Laurel Hill Cemeteries, San Francisco, 1938
Learning more about the creator of this historical archive proved to be nearly as much of a challenge as geo-referencing and cataloging his work. After much sleuthing, Dan Holmes of the Rumsey Map Collection was able to uncover more detail about Harrison Ryker’s life and work online. You can read more about Mr. Ryker in our blog post about the aerial photographs on the David Rumsey Map Collection website.

We are grateful to the San Francisco Public Library and Susan Goldstein of the library’s San Francisco History Center for making these amazing photographs available to the public, and for saving and preserving them for the past 74 years! 
This is an exciting time for historical aerial photography. New technology creates a platform for these images to be scanned, georectified, mosaicked and enjoyed by people all over the globe. Google Earth and Google Maps give new life to these images, pulling them out of the archives and encouraging comparison to present-day imagery. These photographs combine the best aspects of photographic veracity and immediacy with the scale, artistry, and cartographic tools of mapping. It is like combining a photograph and a map of the same place, together. We hope that more of these aerial photographs will be scanned and geo-referenced, covering all parts of our globe, helping us to see in detail how the world looked from above, long ago. 

Posted by David Rumsey, founder of the David Rumsey Map Collection

[G] Better insights with Multi-Channel Funnels: Product update

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Google Analytics Blog: Better insights with Multi-Channel Funnels: Product update

Since we launched Multi-Channel Funnels, we’ve seen marketers gain new insight into how marketing channels are working together to bring valuable customers to your site. For example, Technologia, a leading business training company in Montreal, recently partnered with online strategy firm Adviso and used Multi-Channel Funnels to understand the full path to conversion and improve their marketing efforts; read this customer story here.

Last week we released an update to Multi-Channel Funnels to help you more easily understand the impact of your marketing channels. We have expanded the Basic Channel Grouping dimension to more closely match the range of online channels used by the majority of marketers. Specifically, we replaced the previous Paid Advertising channel with three new channels: Display, Paid Search, and Other Advertising (see the updated channel definitions). You’ll find these updated channels reflected in the Multi-Channel Visualizer, and in reports such as Top Conversion Paths and Assisted Conversions, where you’ll now be able to see the interaction between these channels at a glance.

We also updated the Social Network channel to include a longer list of referral domains (more than 400) that will be classified as social. 

Of course you can still create your own Custom Channel Groupings, either creating one from scratch, or by copying and modifying the Basic Channel Grouping template. Some of the most valuable custom groupings you can create include breaking out branded and generic search, and identifying a group for affiliates. These types of custom groupings can help you better understand the roles played by different channels in driving conversions.

As you use Multi-Channel Funnels to measure your marketing campaigns, we’d love to hear about your insights and analysis. You can share them with us using this form.

Posted by Bill Kee, Google Analytics team


[G] Tornadoes in the U.S. Midwest, Super Tuesday, Elections in Russia

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YouTube Blog: Tornadoes in the U.S. Midwest, Super Tuesday, Elections in Russia

Everyday on the CitizenTube channel (and @CitizenTube on Twitter), along with our curation partners @storyful, we look at how the top news stories are covered on YouTube. Each week we post a weekly recap of the top news stories of the week, as seen through the lens of both citizen-reported footage and professional news coverage.

Come back next week to see the news unfold on YouTube.

Olivia Ma, YouTube News and Politics, recently watched "Two massive solar flares erupt from the sun."


Friday, March 9, 2012

[G] Our approach to free expression and controversial content

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Official Google Blog: Our approach to free expression and controversial content

Four years ago we first outlined our approach to removing content from Google products and services. Nothing has changed since then, but given World Day Against Cyber-Censorship is coming up on Monday, March 12, we figured now was a good time for a refresher. Here goes.

At Google, we have a bias in favor of free expression—not just because it’s a key tenet of free societies, but also because more information generally means more choice, more power, more economic opportunity and more freedom for people. As Article 19 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

That said, we recognize that there are limits. In some areas it’s obvious where to draw the line. For example, we have an all-product ban on child pornography. But in other areas, like extremism, it gets complicated because our products are available in numerous countries with widely varying laws and cultures.

For Search—where we are simply indexing content—we take down as little as possible because helping people find information goes to the heart of our mission. We remove webpages from our search index when required by law, and we post a notice to Chilling Effects when we do so. For example, if we’re notified about specific pages that glorify Nazism, which is prohibited by German law, then we remove those specific pages from (our German domain).

For products like Blogger, orkut, Google+ and YouTube—where we host the content—we encourage users to express themselves freely, but we also want to ensure that people behave responsibly, so we set guidelines covering the use of our different services. For example, no hate speech, no copyright-infringing content, no death threats, no incitement to violence. And when we’re notified about content that either violates those guidelines or breaks the law—for example, we receive a court order—we will remove it, or restrict it in the country where it’s illegal. Earlier this year, for example, we removed a number of specific webpages from Google properties in India after a court ruled that they violated Indian law.

One final point—none of this is simple. Dealing with controversial content is, well…controversial. It’s why we always start from the principle that more information is better, and why we’ve worked hard to be transparent about the removals we make.

Posted by Rachel Whetstone, Senior Vice President, Global Communications and Public Policy

[G] Helping entrepreneurs in the Crescent City

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Official Google Blog: Helping entrepreneurs in the Crescent City

I made my first visit to the Gulf Coast as a Red Cross shelter manager six weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. What I witnessed there made me believe in the potential for individuals and businesses to come together to rebuild a community devastated by disaster. Every year since, I’ve returned to New Orleans to engage in and lead much of Google’s commitment to the area, which has included the direct use of Google Earth to aid in rescue efforts, search tools to help during the aftermath and many service hours put in by Google volunteers.

Almost seven years later, I find myself amazed at the recovery and revitalization of the entire region, specifically in New Orleans. The city has come to embody a spirit of perseverance and evolved into a model for economic and community redevelopment. In 2010, Google provided $102 million of economic activity for Louisiana businesses, website publishers and nonprofits—and there’s still more work to do. Next week, we’re heading back to NOLA once again, this time to serve as the Premier Partner for the fourth annual New Orleans Entrepreneurship Week (NOEW).

Our support for NOEW is diverse and wide-ranging. Among other activities, we’re providing seed grants to up-and-coming educational entrepreneurs in the Education Entrepreneurship Challenge, as well as hosting “Google 101” (and 201) workshops for entrepreneurs and one-on-one Google Office Hours for small business owners. On Saturday, March 10, we’ll be working with Brad Pitt’s foundation, Make It Right, to help the organization engage with supporters globally during their NOEW charity event. At 8:00pm ET the Make It Right Google+ Page will host a live hangout with Brad Pitt and special guests Ellen DeGeneres, Randy Jackson and Aziz Ansari. Following the hangout, real time updates from the evening will be posted exclusively on the Google+ page, and visitors can view photos, ask questions of celebrity guests and watch videos from the evening.

Our sponsorship of NOEW 2012 is one piece of our ongoing work supporting entrepreneurship in New Orleans. Other support includes bringing a major partner, Startup Weekend, to NOLA as well as increasing Accelerate with Google in the region. We look forward to contributing to the entrepreneurship ecosystem to provide real economic opportunities for the New Orleans community, its people and its businesses.

I look at the week ahead as a celebration of the potential that one person has to make a difference—one volunteer, one business owner, one celebrity, even you. What I know for sure is that this one person is looking forward to returning to a city that has captured her heart through its people, its spirit, its music and ah yes, most definitely the food. Hope to see y’all there soon!

Posted by Tara Canobbio, Google New Orleans Outreach Lead

[G] Re-imagining classic ads for the modern web

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Official Google Blog: Re-imagining classic ads for the modern web

This year, digital advertising turns 18. Over nearly two decades, waves of innovation have transformed the medium—it’s come a long way since the blinking banner ads of the early Internet. But we think the most exciting changes are still to come, as marketers and agencies increasingly embrace technology to enable new types of creativity, and build online ads that don’t simply inform, but delight and engage their audience.

For example, what if an online ad could bring together two strangers on opposite sides of the globe? Or let you follow a real-life adventure as it unfolds? We wanted to find out. So we started an experiment, both to celebrate 18 years of online innovation, and to link advertising’s digital future to its storied past: Project Re: Brief.

We started with four iconic ad campaigns from the 1960s and ‘70s from Alka-Seltzer, Avis, Coca-Cola and Volvo, each considered groundbreaking in its day. The advertising legends who made the original ads then came out of retirement to rethink their original “brief,” this time, using the full range of technological tools at their disposal, to reach consumers in today’s digitally connected world.

Here are previews of two of the re-imagined ads:

Original Art Director: Harvey Gabor

A Coca-Cola can connect people. This was the idea behind a 1971 ad in which young people from all over the world stood on a hilltop singing, “I’d like to buy the world a Coke, and keep it company.” But imagine being able to walk past a vending machine in New York and finding out that a stranger in Tokyo actually sent you a free Coke. Technology can make this possible by linking online ads to real-world devices, like vending machines, in real time. The new ads let you record a video or text message and send it, along with a free Coke, to special vending machines in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Capetown, South Africa; New York, NY; and Mountain View, Calif. The recipient can also record a message from the machine and send it right back. To see how this ad was brought to life, watch this short film.

Original Art Director: Amil Gargano
A Volvo is so durable, you can “Drive it Like You Hate It,” according to a 1962 series of print and TV ads. The re-imagined ads center on the durability of one particular Volvo—that of Irv Gordon, who has had his car since 1966 and put a world-record 2.9 million miles on it, so far. In these ads, you can join Irv on his journey to reach 3 million miles. Starting with colorful stories from his past and a live feed of his car’s odometer, you can interact with him through Google+, and recreate some of Irv’s favorite routes throughout the U.S. on Google Maps. Watch the behind-the-scenes story in this short documentary.

We’ll have more to share from this experiment soon. In the meantime, these are just a few examples of how agencies and brand marketers are harnessing technology to rethink what ads can be and make the web work for them (not the other way around). To learn more about the project, visit And if you’re planning on attending SXSW, stop by the Discovery House at the Google Village to see demos of these campaigns, or attend a talk.

Posted by Jim Lecinski, Vice President, U.S. Sales and Brad Bender, Director, Product Management

[G] Meet Australian AdSense publishers Tim and Victoria van Brugge

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Inside AdSense: Meet Australian AdSense publishers Tim and Victoria van Brugge

Husband and wife team Tim and Victoria van Brugge run, an Australian wedding directory. Their original business plan was to sell diamonds online, but in creating the wedding directory to build an audience of potential customers they discovered that media and advertising was an easier business model, and they've never looked back. Recently we sat down with Victoria and Tim to learn about how they use AdSense on their website. Watch this video to learn more.

Posted by Amelia Walkley, Strategic Partner Manager


Thursday, March 8, 2012

[G] Remembering Colossus, the world’s first programmable electronic computer

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Official Google Blog: Remembering Colossus, the world’s first programmable electronic computer

It’s no secret we have a special fondness for Bletchley Park. The pioneering work carried out there didn’t just crack codes—it laid the foundations for the computer age.

Today, we’d like to pay homage to a lesser-known contributor—Tommy Flowers. Bletchley Park’s breakthroughs were the product of theoretical mathematical brilliance combined with dazzling feats of engineering—none more so than Flowers’ creation of Colossus, the world’s first programmable, electronic computer.

Photo of Dr. Thomas “Tommy” Flowers. Reproduced with kind permission of the Flowers family

By 1942 the hardest task facing Bletchley Park’s wartime codebreakers was deciphering messages encrypted by Lorenz, used by Germany for their most top-secret communications. Initially Lorenz messages were broken by hand, using ingenious but time-consuming techniques. To speed things up, it was decided to build a machine to automate parts of the decoding process. This part-mechanical, part-electronic device was called Heath Robinson, but although it helped, it was unreliable and still too slow.

Tommy Flowers was an expert in the use of relays and thermionic valves for switching, thanks to his research developing telephone systems. Initially, he was summoned to Bletchley Park to help improve Heath Robinson, but his concerns with its design were so great he came up with an entirely new solution—an electronic machine, later christened Colossus.

When Flowers proposed the idea for Colossus in February 1943, Bletchley Park management feared that, with around 1,600 thermionic valves, it would be unreliable. Drawing on his pre-war research, Flowers was eventually able to persuade them otherwise, with proof that valves were reliable provided the machine they were used in was never turned off. Despite this, however, Bletchley Park’s experts were still skeptical that a new machine could be ready quickly enough and declined to pursue it further.

Fortunately Flowers was undeterred, and convinced the U.K.’s Post Office research centre at Dollis Hill in London to approve the project instead. Working around the clock, and partially funding it out of his own pocket, Flowers and his team completed a prototype Colossus in just 10 months.

Photo of the rebuilt Colossus which you can visit at The National Museum of Computing in the U.K. 
 Reproduced with kind permission of The National Museum of Computing.

The first Colossus came into operation at Bletchley Park in January 1944. It exceeded all expectations and was able to derive many of the Lorenz settings for each message within a few hours, compared to weeks previously. This was followed in June 1944 by a 2,400-valve Mark 2 version which was even more powerful, and which provided vital information to aid the D-Day landings. By the end of the war there were 10 Colossus computers at Bletchley Park working 24/7.

Once war was over, all mention of Colossus was forbidden by the Official Secrets Act. Eight of the machines were dismantled, while the remaining two were sent to London where they purportedly were used for intelligence purposes until 1960. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that Colossus could begin to claim its rightful crown at the forefront of computing history.

Tommy Flowers passed away in 1998, but we were privileged recently to catch up with some on his team who helped build and maintain Colossus.

This week heralds the opening of a new gallery dedicated to Colossus at the U.K.’s National Museum of Computing, based at Bletchley Park. The rebuilt Colossus is on show, and over the coming weeks it will be joined by interactive exhibits and displays. Bletchley Park is less than an hour from Central London, and makes a fitting pilgrimage for anyone interested in computing.

Posted by Lynette Webb, Senior Manager, External Relations

(Cross-posted on the European Public Policy Blog)

[G] Colorado is the newest state to go Google

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Colorado is the newest state to go Google

Posted by Scott McIntyre, Director of State and Local Government, Google

What does the State of Colorado have in common with neighboring states Wyoming and Utah? For one, they are the only three states in the United States with no natural borders. Their boundaries are defined solely by lines of latitude and longitude. Now, these three states also share a common cloud. Colorado announced today it will migrate more than 26,000 Executive Branch state employees to Google Apps for Government, joining its neighbors as one of the first states to make the move.

Under the leadership of Secretary of Technology and State Chief Information Officer Kristin D. Russell, Colorado’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) has six priorities: customer success, innovation, information security, people, service excellence, and trusted partnership. The decision to migrate to Google Apps is closely aligned with these priorities. By bringing 15 siloed and disparate email systems together into one unified communications platform, the state will save approximately $2 million a year, cutting the cost of maintaining current email systems by nearly half. It will also allow employees across departments to find co-workers and communicate more effectively with one another. In addition, giving employees modern collaboration tools and better mobile access will help them deliver better citizen services. OIT completed thorough testing and analysis of multiple product solutions, including an independent third-party comparison,­­­ before selecting Google Apps. As part of this evaluation, the state reviewed the security controls used by Google Apps and found them to comply with or exceed state standards. OIT will work closely with Google Apps Premier Reseller Tempus Nova to bring Google Apps to Colorado employees.

The State Government of Colorado is not alone. Local agencies like Larimer County and Eagle County have already used Google Apps to help modernize their technology while realizing significant savings. Also in summer 2010, Colorado announced a statewide agreement to allow schools and districts to use Google Apps for Education. Some of Colorado’s largest education institutions have already switched to Google Apps, including Colorado State University, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Jeffco Public Schools, and Douglas County School District.

We welcome the State of Colorado to the Google Cloud.

[G] Opportunities for sitelinks

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Inside AdWords: Opportunities for sitelinks

A fast, simple way to increase your AdWords performance is adding sitelinks to your campaigns. If your campaign is eligible to show sitelinks but it doesn’t have them them up yet, it’s probably missing a good opportunity. To help out, we're adding sitelinks to the AdWords Opportunities tab

Now, when we detect that your campaign is performing well enough to show ad sitelinks, but does not yet have them set up, we’ll show you that idea in the Opportunities tab. You'll also get a personalized estimate of the impact on clicks and cost if sitelinks were implemented, based on your last week’s campaign stats.

Here are two tips to keep in mind when you're setting up ad sitelinks:
  1. Our systems automatically determine which sitelinks perform best and show them more frequently. So adding more than the minimum number of suggested sitelinks can boost your performance.
  2. Sitelinks can appear with any of the ads in your campaign. So choose website destinations and sitelink text that make sense across all of your ads.
To learn more about the Opportunities tab, visit the AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Mark Martel, AdWords Product Marketing

[G] Make Google Maps yours at SXSW

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Google Lat Long: Make Google Maps yours at SXSW

If you’re heading to South By Southwest (SXSW) this year, make Google Maps your tour guide to everything and everywhere you need to go.

First, we’re powering the map in the official SXSW GO mobile app so you can find your way around the concerts, films, sessions, and events.

Second, as part of the Google Village, we have our very own Google Maps house! Within the house, we’ll showcase the latest features on Google Maps for Android including navigation and indoor maps, as well as show you how to add your local knowledge and improve Google Maps for your fellow users with Google Map Maker. We’ll also be hosting Schemer - a new way to help people discover and share stuff to do. To get schedule and times visit our webpage.


Like any tour guide should, we always give the best recommendations on where to eat, shop and play -- all at a good price. For those attending, we have happy hours hosted by Zagat to give you a taste of Austin and by Google Offers with a few “sweet” deals to experience.

 Not to be missed:
For a full schedule of Google Village events, visit:  

If you can’t make it to SXSW, look out for the Hangouts we will be hosting so you can always come visit us virtually!When you see the giant Google Maps pin with a Street View car in front of it - you’ve arrived.

See you in Austin!

Posted by David Kim, Product Marketing Manager, Google Maps

[G] New 45° imagery available for 56 cities

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Google Lat Long: New 45° imagery available for 56 cities

The latest 45° imagery update in Google Maps is a big one; it features new imagery for 23 U.S. and 33 international locations. This also marks the first time we're publishing 45° data for the Czech Republic and Slovakia.Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia. Due its location along the Austrian-Hungarian border, the city has been visibly influenced by several cultures. The imagery below features the beautiful Grassalkovich Palace, a Baroque-style summer residence which is now the residence of the Slovakian president.

View Larger Map

As the former capital of the Roman Empire, Rome is one of the most famous cities in the world. Historically attracting the best artists, sculptors and architects, Rome was a cradle of western civilisation. Now, its extraordinary monuments and museums make it among the world's most visited tourist destinations. The map below shows the Colosseum that was erected in about 80 AD as a theatre for public events like gladiator fights.

View Larger Map

Innsbruck, located in the Austrian Alps, was a former residence of the Habsburgian emperor, Maximilian I. Several buildings, like the Hofkirche and the Goldenes Dachl, that date back to that era still stand. Today, Innsbruck is a popular winter resort that has hosted the Winter Olympics twice.

View Larger Map

Milwaukee, Wisconsin originated as a French trading post in 1785. In the nineteenth century, German immigrants played a key role in defining Milwaukee's unique character by establishing infrastructures like a freely accessible lakeshore and a system of public transport. These days, Milwaukee has many major attractions including the Milwaukee Riverwalk, Miller Park, and the internationally renowned Milwaukee Art Museum.

View Larger Map

Have fun exploring the new sites!

Below is the full list of updated cities:

US:Athens, AL; Augusta, GA; Belen, NM; Fairfield-Travis Air Force Base, CA; Fort Myers, FL; Graniteville, SC; Jackson, MS; Lakeside FL; Lakewood, WA; Liberty, KS; Lillian, FL; Livermore, CA; Magna, UT; Manteca, CA; Midland, TX; Milwaukee, WI; Moores Mill, AL; Prattville, AL; Shreveport, LA; Summerville, SC; Waco, TX; Yukon, OK; Yuma, AZ

Austria:Innsbruck; Wiener Neustadt

Czech Republic:Brno; Frýdek-Místek; Hradec Králové; Jihlava; Karlovy Vary; Liberec; Most; Olomouc; Pardubice; Plzen; Praha; Teplice; Ústí nad Labem; Zlin

Italy:Napoli; Roma


Spain:Alicante; Aranjuez; Cabo Roig; Ciudad Real; Elche; Huesca; Iruña de Oca; Jaen; Las Rozas; Logroño; Salamanca; Segovia; Vitoria


Posted by Bernd Steinert, Geo Data Specialist

[G] Share your custom reports, advanced segments and dashboards

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Google Analytics Blog: Share your custom reports, advanced segments and dashboards

We are excited to announce more ways you can share insights through Google Analytics. We have upgraded the existing custom report sharing, plus added the ability for you to share advanced segments and dashboards with other Analytics users.

To try this out, look for the Share button in any of these sections:

  • Custom Report: In the Actions menu on the table that lists your reports.

  • Dashboard: In the top-left corner over your dashboard.

  • Advanced Segment: Visit the Admin tab in the top right corner of your account, then select Advanced Segments to enable sharing.

The button will bring up a URL that you can send to anyone you’d like or publish on your blog.

Sharing this link will only share a template, not the data about your site traffic. So for example sharing a dashboard will provide a user with the dashboard name, widgets and data fields to be populated with data from their Analytics account.

Important Tip: Links to all shared templates are permanent snapshots. That means after you have shared the link, you can safely change or even delete a dashboard in your account and it will not change the experience for anyone using the previously shared link.

When you or someone else opens the link, they will be prompted to choose a profile in which to import the custom report, advanced segment or dashboard. They will also have the option to change the name. After that is complete they will see the template populated with data from their account.

To get you started, here are a few templates from Google Analytics Advocate Justin Cutroni, to try in your account:

  • Basic blog dashboard: If you’re a blogger you can use this dashboard to keep tabs on where your readers come from and what they do on your site.

  • Mobile ecommerce dashboard: If you’re getting into mobile commerce use this dashboard to get an end-to-end view of your customer experience.

  • Site Performance dashboard: How about a report for the IT team? This dashboard contains various speed metrics to help identify issues with your pages or servers.

  • Engaged Traffic advanced segment: This advanced segment measures traffic that views at least three pages AND spends more than three minutes on your site. Why do these people love you so much? Find out!

  • Daily Ecommerce report: Use this report to keep tabs on all parts of the ecommerce lifecycle: acquisition, engagement and conversion in one single table.

As always, please let us know what you think about this new feature. We can’t wait to see all the new and creative customizations you will share.

- Gilles Roux, Google Analytics team


[G] Help our March “On The Rise” nominees reach the homepage

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YouTube Blog: Help our March “On The Rise” nominees reach the homepage

Each month, we identify four YouTube partners whose Channels have experienced significant growth and are on the cusp of really taking off for our On The Rise program. This March, our nominees include a chef, an artist, a prankster and producers. We’re excited to bring you some fledgling partners who still have a ways to go to hit the 100,000 subscriber mark - even if you haven’t heard of them yet, we think you’ll enjoy what they bring to the YouTube table.

And you can help them reach their growth goals, starting with the opportunity for one of these partners to be featured on the YouTube homepage. Check out their videos below and vote for your favorite in the top right corner of this blog. In addition to your votes, each Channel will be evaluated on criteria such as viewer engagement and Channel optimization techniques to decide which partner will be featured on the homepage, Google+, Facebook and Twitter at the end of the month.

In past months, partners like CaliforniaTravelTips and marydoodles have gained many subscribers thanks to your support. The poll will be open until March 15th at 5pm PT, so don’t forget to vote for your favorite Channel. Check back to see who secured the homepage feature on March 29th.


Dani is a self-proclaimed health conscious foodie who focuses on creating nutritious and flavorful recipes that are simple to make. She’s also a certified nutrition counselor and fitness trainer. Check out her channel to learn how to make baked sweet potato fries, pan-seared tilapia, roasted chickpeas and more!


Banzchan is managed by Robert de Jesus, a long-time anime manga fan who’s spent years perfecting his illustration, animation, and writing skills. His videos feature real-time drawings of your favorite anime (and YouTube partner!) stars.


Garrett of Overboardhumor is a prankster who has come up with some crazy ways to take people by surprise. He has driven a couch through a drive through and handed out pieces of birthday cake to strangers. Check out his videos for a good laugh.


Anyone But Me is an acclaimed web series centered around common teenage concerns like fighting stereotypes and doing the right thing. Though it’s just about to wrap up after three seasons, you can get an introduction to this award-winning drama and even watch the complete series on the ABM YouTube Channel.

If you’re interested in checking out more rising YouTube Partners, visit our On The Rise Channel, which features nominees, trending partners and monthly blog winners.

Devon Storbeck and Christine Wang, YouTube Partner Support, recently watched “'Fresh Guacamole' - PES - YouTube.”


[G] The importance of community policing

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Google Affiliate Network: The importance of community policing

Google Affiliate Network works hard to ensure a high quality network for advertisers, publishers, and users. In addition to our integration with AdSense and the safety net you get with Google’s cross-product security and fraud prevention efforts, advertisers and publishers must adhere to our terms of service and program policies.

We also get a lot of great input from the affiliate community via our help forum and other feedback channels. We believe that community policing is an important part of a healthy, high-quality network and review every entry that comes in through our ‘Report a Violation’ form. We encourage you to use this form to report abusive or suspicious publishers who may be in violation of our program policies or terms of service around site content, traffic sources, or our software guidelines.

Posted by Matt Dougherty, Network Quality

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

[G] Birds of a Feather Flocking Together: Google Apps Regional Groups

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: Birds of a Feather Flocking Together: Google Apps Regional Groups

Posted by Jordan Pedraza, Google Apps for Education Community Manager

In 2010, Northwestern University, Brady Corporation, and Motorola Mobility came together as organizations using Google Apps for Education or Business to share best practices, showcase custom solutions with Apps Script and APIs, and discuss common issues. The initial meeting was so successful, these customers formed the Google Apps Northcentral User Group and organized several followup meetings for other regional enterprise and education Google Apps customers to connect with each other and share feedback directly with Google.

Since then, we’ve helped to launch additional Google Apps Regional Groups for colleges and universities, businesses, governments, non-profit organizations, and large K-12 school districts. We continue to hear more productive and cross-industry conversations, from Boise State and Genentech exchanging deployment tips in the Northwest Group, to SUNY IT and Ahold discussing migration best practices in the Northeast Group. And these discussions aren’t limited to talks about the transition to Google Apps; group members are also sharing creative and innovative uses of Google Apps: UNCG's Google Calendar mashup has inspired other organizations to adopt and customize Calendar with APIs more broadly for easier discovery of events.

We’ve already seen great communities with the K-12 user groups and now the trend continues for higher education, business, government, and non-profits. These regional groups join the existing K-12 user groups and are designed for Google Apps administrators and managers to network, learn, collaborate, and share resources through discussion forums, events, and webinars. While no industry is the same, we’ve heard from regional group members that it’s better to “flock together like birds of a feather” and share how they’re taking advantage of the tools and platform.

If you’re a Google Apps administrator and your organization is located in the United States or Canada, please check out the list below – as well as – to find and join your group. International groups are also currently launching in Australia/New Zealand, Spain, and UK/Ireland. If you don’t see one for your region yet please check back in the near future, or let us know if you’re interested in leading a new group!

North America
Mailing list for all regional groups in the US and Canada

US: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming
Canada: Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Yukon

Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah

North Central
US: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin
Canada: Manitoba, Ontario, Nunavut

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee

District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia

US: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont
Canada: New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec

Australia-New Zealand
Australia and New Zealand

United Kingdom and Ireland


[G] Announcing WindowTester open source release

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Google Open Source Blog: Announcing WindowTester open source release

We are thrilled to announce the open sourcing release of WindowTester Pro, a solution that automates the process of GUI testing. WindowTester Pro is shipped as a Eclipse plugin and has support for Eclipse versions 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7. WindowTester Pro was previously offered by Instantiations Inc.

Using WindowTester Pro, developers can easily create tests for every GUI they create. The tests generated by WindowTester Pro are standard Java JUnit tests, thus they can be run within your Eclipse environment or they can be automated to run using Ant. Tests can be generated for SWT and Swing Java applications.

WindowTester Pro contains a recording console that captures and records keyboard clicks and mouse movements. The first step in test development is to turn on the Record feature and then work with various elements of the UI such as windows or buttons. WindowTester Pro will capture the steps taken.

Once the GUI has been exercised, the developer closes the application under test. When the application is closed, the recording is terminated and the test is generated.

Using WindowTester Pro empowers developers with testing capabilities and reduces the time required to hand-code tests. This enables developers to build quality into the product early in the process because problems are found and resolved earlier in the development cycle. WindowTester Pro can help developers and companies drastically lower both testing time and cost.

For more information, please visit the WindowTester Pro home page or join the discussion list.

The Googlers who made this open sourcing release possible include Eric Clayberg, Keerti Parthasarathy, Mark Russell, and Seth Hollyman.

By Keerti Parthasarathy, Software Engineer, Google