Thursday, March 28, 2013

[G] 4 Improvements To Google Analytics Real-Time Reports

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Analytics Blog: 4 Improvements To Google Analytics Real-Time Reports

Real-time reports provide useful insights for businesses that help them understand how their systems are reacting, instantly, such as when you send out an email campaign or engage in marketing that has a temporal nature. It provides alerting / intelligence, giving insight into things that are new or different such as a sudden increase in site traffic. Real-time also lets you win social by capitalizing on trending topics. For example, if you noticed a blog post you published previously is suddenly gaining attention due to something happening in the news, you could highlight it on the front page of your site to draw additional attention and ‘pour fuel’ on the social fire. 

Today, we're announcing 4 improvements to real-time reports. You can now:
  1. Analyze Events in real-time
  2. Breakdown real-time by Desktop/Tablet/Mobile traffic
  3. Create shortcuts to your favorite real-time segments
  4. Compare real-time filtered data against overall real-time data
Let’s go through the changes in more detail:

1. Realtime Events Report
With the real-time events report, you can now not only see the top events as they occur but also filter on particular event categories (and actions). Additionally, you can see whether particular segments of visitors trigger different events and debug your events deployment in real time.

To access this report, navigate to the real-time section of Google Analytics and click on the Events section. You should see a report similar to this:


Clicking on any of the Event Category will drill down and show all the Event Actions and Event Labels for that particular category.

If you are trying to see what events a particular segment of visitors generate, that is easy as well. Any filters you set up in any part of real-time are preserved in the Events report. For example, in the above screengrab we have set up a filter here to see what events are triggered from visitors coming via organic search.

2. Content Breakdown by Desktop/Tablet/Mobile
We live in an increasingly multi-screen world, and now you can see in real-time the type of device that visitors are using to visit your web site (desktop, tablet and mobile). This is available in the content report as shown below:


As with real-time reports, you can easily see your visitors filtered by the device type (by clicking on either of “Desktop” “Tablet” “Mobile”).

3. Shortcuts for your important real-time segments
We’ve heard from users that you like to look at certain segments of visitors in real-time, but dislike setting up the filters each time. Now, you can use the “Create Shortcut” feature to store your favorite segments. 


Now all you need to do is open up Shortcuts from the left navigation menu and click to any of your shortcuts.

4. Comparison real-time to overall data
Finally, you can compare the pageviews of your segmented visitors to overall traffic as shown below. This is nifty if you want to see quick comparison trends. For example, many times, after a G+ post, I create a filter by device type of “Mobile” and can see that the mobile traffic picks up much faster and also contributes more to the initial increase in pageviews.


Stay tuned for continued improvements to real-time, a growing area of importance for your digital marketing.

Posted by the Google Analytics Real-Time team
URL: http://analytics.blogspot.com/2013/03/4-improvements-to-google-analytics-real.html

[G] Taking a stand on open source and patents

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Google Public Policy Blog: Taking a stand on open source and patents

Posted by Duane Valz, Senior Patent Counsel 

Cross-posted from the Google Open Source Blog 

At Google we believe that open systems win. Open-source software has been at the root of many innovations in cloud computing, the mobile web, and the Internet generally. And while open platforms have faced growing patent attacks, requiring companies to defensively acquire ever more patents, we remain committed to an open Internet—one that protects real innovation and continues to deliver great products and services.

Today, we’re taking another step towards that goal by announcing the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge: we pledge not to sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents, unless first attacked.

We’ve begun by identifying 10 patents relating to MapReduce, a computing model for processing large data sets first developed at Google—open-source versions of which are now widely used. Over time, we intend to expand the set of Google’s patents covered by the pledge to other technologies.

We hope the OPN Pledge will serve as a model for the industry, and we’re encouraging other patent holders to adopt the pledge or a similar initiative. We believe it has a number of advantages:

  • Transparency. Patent holders determine exactly which patents and related technologies they wish to pledge, offering developers and the public transparency around patent rights.
  • Breadth. Protections under the OPN Pledge are not confined to a specific project or open-source copyright license. (Google contributes a lot of code under such licenses, like the Apache or GNU GPL licenses, but their patent protections are limited.) The OPN Pledge, by contrast, applies to any open-source software—past, present or future—that might rely on the pledged patents.
  • Defensive protection. The Pledge may be terminated, but only if a party brings a patent suit against Google products or services, or is directly profiting from such litigation.
  • Durability. The Pledge remains in force for the life of the patents, even if we transfer them.

Our pledge builds on past efforts by companies like IBM and Red Hat and the work of the Open Invention Network (of which Google is a member). It also complements our efforts on cooperative licensing, where we’re working with like-minded companies to develop patent agreements that would cut down on lawsuits.

And, in addition to these industry-driven initiatives, we continue to support patent reforms that would improve patent quality and reduce excessive litigation.

We hope the OPN Pledge will provide a model for companies looking to put their own patents into the service of open-source software, which continues to enable amazing innovation.

URL: http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2013/03/taking-stand-on-open-source-and-patents.html

[G] Gmail's new compose now default

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Official Gmail Blog: Gmail's new compose now default

Posted by Phil Sharp, Product Manager

You are busy people, so it's no surprise that an overwhelming number of you opted to try out Gmail's faster, simpler compose experience after it launched last October. In addition to telling us what you love about the new compose experience (like how much easier it is to multitask!) you’ve also been sending us helpful suggestions for what features you'd like to see added. As a result of your input, we're now ready to introduce the new compose experience as the default for everyone. We're looking forward to hearing what you think!

If you're already using the the new compose experience, you've probably noticed it's gotten a lot of upgrades over the last few months, from a new way to send files with Google Drive to much-requested features like pop-out replies. We’ve also added support for originally missing features like starring and labeling when composing and the Canned Responses lab.

The new compose will be rolling out to everyone over the next few days. You can learn more in our help center, or follow us on Google+, where we'll be posting more tips for using the new compose.
URL: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/gmails-new-compose-now-default.html

[G] Calling all SF Bay Area residents: help test our new local, same-day delivery service

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Google Affiliate Network: Calling all SF Bay Area residents: help test our new local, same-day delivery service

(cross-posted from the Google Commerce Blog)

We all rely on the web to turn our intentions into actions quickly and easily. From planning a spring break or a trip to the movies to finding the perfect gift for someone we love, the world is increasingly at our fingertips. And over the last few years, we've worked hard to bring the speed of the web to the real world. With Google Play, for example, you can now buy or rent books, movies and TV shows in seconds.

Today we're starting a new experiment, Google Shopping Express. It's a local delivery service that we hope will make it possible for you to get the items you order online the same day, and at a low cost. It's incredibly early days and so the service is only available to a small number of people in the Bay Area. 

As a tester, you will be able to shop online, in a single place, from retailers such as Target, Walgreens, Staples, American Eagle and Toys“R”Us/Babies“R”Us -- along with locally distinct shops such as San Francisco’s Blue Bottle Coffee, and the Bay Area’s Palo Alto Toy & Sport and Raley’s Nob Hill Foods, and get your items delivered that same day. So hopefully, no more trips across town for simple errands. 

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area (in the city of San Francisco, and the Peninsula from San Mateo to San Jose) and would like to help test this new initiative, please sign up here. We
’re still working out our long-term pricing plan but early testers will get six months of free, unlimited same-day delivery. The pilot will expand as we work out the kinks, so please stay tuned.

Posted by Tom Fallows, Product Management Director, Google Shopping Express 
URL: http://googleaffiliatenetwork-blog.blogspot.com/2013/03/calling-all-sf-bay-area-residents-help.html

[G] GHouse has gone Google

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Official Google Enterprise Blog: GHouse has gone Google

Posted Tim Luckow, Founder & Owner of GHouse

Editor's note: From the founding of Faneuil Hall in 1740 to the opening of Franklin Southie in 2008, Boston’s businesses have embodied an enterprising and entrepreneurial spirit. Today, we’re wicked excited to hear from Tim Luckow, founder of Boston-based GHouse, a record label, management and promotion company. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

Photo by Christopher Evans, Boston Herald
One of the most enduring critiques of the record industry is, as Q-Tip rhymed in 1991, "Industry Rule No. 4,080: Record company people are shady." While some things have improved since then, there are still plenty of ways the industry could be better. I started GHouse, a Boston-based music label, management and booking agency, to make that change happen.

Transparency reigns supreme at GHouse: we’re dedicated to showing our artists what happens behind the scenes on the business side so they can focus on their music. We want them to know exactly how much they’re making from digital sales, how many people are streaming their songs online and what each venue contract really means. It’s good both for the artists and for us: we’ve doubled our profits quarter-over-quarter since the start of 2012.

Google Apps makes that transparency - and the vision I have for my business - possible. The foundation of this clear communication sits in Google Sheets. We create, share and constantly update a spreadsheet for each of our artists that tracks performance across multiple channels, from the number of times their songs are live-streamed on certain sites to how many tickets they’re selling for upcoming shows. That way, the band can hop into the spreadsheet at any given time and know how much they can expect in royalties and sales.

As we’ve grown, so has the geographic distribution of our bands. Thanks to Google+ Hangouts, it feels like we’re still in the same neighborhood. Instead of having to venture down the Eastern seaboard on a bus each week, we’ll catch up with them over video conferencing. That’s eight hours I spend focusing on my business rather than commuting along I-95.

Most importantly, Google Apps has helped me prove the legitimacy of the business side of GHouse to the investors, who are an increasingly essential part of the company’s future. I track everything about the business in Sheets, including quarterly distribution and tour numbers, divided by artists and labels. The investors I’ve shared these with love how all this information is centrally located, impeccably organized, updated in real-time and accessible to the team at any time, from any device.

Google Apps is truly the core of my business. It’s helped GHouse function as a company for four years without an office, whether we’re updating our artists’ performance spreadsheets over lattes at a coffee shop or doing last minute planning for a SXSW showcase in Austin. I’m able to run a record label like I think it should be run. To me, that’s real success.
URL: http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2013/03/ghouse-has-gone-google.html

[G] Taking a stand on open source and patents

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Google Open Source Blog: Taking a stand on open source and patents

At Google we believe that open systems win. Open-source software has been at the root of many innovations in cloud computing, the mobile web, and the Internet generally. And while open platforms have faced growing patent attacks, requiring companies to defensively acquire ever more patents, we remain committed to an open Internet—one that protects real innovation and continues to deliver great products and services.



Today, we’re taking another step towards that goal by announcing the Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge: we pledge not to sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents, unless first attacked.



We’ve begun by identifying 10 patents relating to MapReduce, a computing model for processing large data sets first developed at Google—open-source versions of which are now widely used. Over time, we intend to expand the set of Google’s patents covered by the pledge to other technologies.



We hope the OPN Pledge will serve as a model for the industry, and we’re encouraging other patent holders to adopt the pledge or a similar initiative. We believe it has a number of advantages:




  • Transparency. Patent holders determine exactly which patents and related technologies they wish to pledge, offering developers and the public transparency around patent rights.

  • Breadth. Protections under the OPN Pledge are not confined to a specific project or open- source copyright license. (Google contributes a lot of code under such licenses, like the Apache or GNU GPL licenses, but their patent protections are limited.) The OPN Pledge, by contrast, applies to any open-source software—past, present or future—that might rely on the pledged patents.

  • Defensive protection. The Pledge may be terminated, but only if a party brings a patent suit against Google products or services, or is directly profiting from such litigation.

  • Durability. The Pledge remains in force for the life of the patents, even if we transfer them.




Our pledge builds on past efforts by companies like IBM and Red Hat and the work of the Open Invention Network (of which Google is a member). It also complements our efforts on cooperative licensing, where we’re working with like-minded companies to develop patent agreements that would cut down on lawsuits.



And, in addition to these industry-driven initiatives, we continue to support patent reforms that would improve patent quality and reduce excessive litigation.



We hope the OPN Pledge will provide a model for companies looking to put their own patents into the service of open-source software, which continues to enable amazing innovation.



By Duane Valz, Senior Patent Counsel










URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GoogleOpenSourceBlog/~3/FmBS1imDJx0/taking-stand-on-open-source-and-patents.html

[G] A reminder about promotional and commerce journalism

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Google News Blog: A reminder about promotional and commerce journalism

Posted by Richard Gingras, Sr. Director, News & Social Products


Credibility and trust are longstanding journalistic values, and ones which we all regard as crucial attributes of a great news site. It’s difficult to be trusted when one is being paid by the subject of an article, or selling or monetizing links within an article. Google News is not a marketing service, and we consider articles that employ these types of promotional tactics to be in violation of our quality guidelines

Please remember that like Google search, Google News takes action against sites that violate our quality guidelines. Engagement in deceptive or promotional tactics such as those described above may result in the removal of articles, or even the entire publication, from Google News.

If a site mixes news content with affiliate, promotional, advertorial, or marketing materials (for your company or another party), we strongly recommend that you separate non-news content on a different host or directory, block it from being crawled with robots.txt, or create a Google News Sitemap for your news articles only. Otherwise, if we learn of promotional content mixed with news content, we may exclude your entire publication from Google News.
URL: http://googlenewsblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-reminder-about-promotional-and.html

[G] Imagery on Google Maps of Fukushima Exclusion Zone Town Namie-machi

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Google Lat Long: Imagery on Google Maps of Fukushima Exclusion Zone Town Namie-machi


From time to time we invite guests to post about items or interest and are pleased to have Mister Tamotsu Baba, Mayor of Namie-machi, Fukushima, Japan, join us here. - Ed.

Namie-machi is a small city in Fukushima Prefecture sitting along the coast of the Pacific. We are blessed with both ocean and mountains, and known as a place where you can experience both the beauty of the sea and the forests. Tragically, however, since the nuclear accident caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, all of Namie-machi’s 21,000 townspeople have had to flee their homes.

Two years have passed since the disaster, but people still aren’t allowed to enter Namie-machi. Many of the displaced townspeople have asked to see the current state of their city, and there are surely many people around the world who want a better sense of how the nuclear incident affected surrounding communities.

Working with Google, we were able to drive Street View cars through Namie-machi to capture panoramic images of the abandoned city exactly as it stands today. Starting today, this Street View imagery is available on Google Maps and the Memories for the Future site, so anyone from Namie or around the world can view it.



Here is one of Namie-machi’s main streets, which we often used for outdoor events like our big Ten Days of Autumn festival that saw 300 street stalls and 100,000 visitors.



Many buildings, like this one in the foreground, collapsed during the earthquake, and we still have not been able to remove them. We are also unable to repair damaged buildings and shops nor prepare them for the potential impact of further aftershocks.



This image shows an area located one kilometer inland from the Pacific Ocean. In the distance you can see Ukedo Elementary School. Nearby Ukedo Harbor once proudly boasted 140 fishing boats and 500 buildings, but suffered some of the worst tsunami damage. After being set off-limits, we have not been able to clean up the wreckage on the side of the road, including the many fishing boats that were washed several kilometers inland.

Ever since the March disaster, the rest of the world has been moving forward, and many places in Japan have started recovering. But in Namie-machi time stands still. With the lingering nuclear hazard, we have only been able to do cursory work for two whole years. We would greatly appreciate it if you viewed this Street View imagery to understand the current state of Namie-machi and the tremendous gravity of the situation.

Those of us in the older generation feel that we received this town from our forebearers, and we feel great pain that we cannot pass it down to our children. It has become our generation’s duty to make sure future generations understand the city’s history and culture—maybe even those who will not remember the Fukushima nuclear accident. We want this Street View imagery to become a permanent record of what happened to Namie-machi in the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster.

Finally, I want to make a renewed commitment to recovering from the nuclear hazard. It may take many years and many people’s help, but we will never give up taking back our hometown.

Posted by Mr. Tamotsu Baba, Mayor of Namie-machi, Fukushima, Japan

(Cross-posted and translated from the Google Japan Blog)
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2013/03/imagery-on-google-maps-of-fukushima.html

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

[G] Indic Languages in Gmail on your feature phone

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Official Gmail Blog: Indic Languages in Gmail on your feature phone

Posted by Ian Hill, Project Manager, Google Localization

Indian culture is diverse, with more than 100 languages and thousands of alphabets used every day. Depending on where you are, you might hear anything from Gujarati to Bengali and Tamil to Urdu. If you're a speaker of these languages and use a feature phone, communicating is about to get a little easier.

Starting today, we are rolling out support for 6 Indic languages in Gmail on the feature phone browser: Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu. Simply go to settings in Gmail and choose your language.

Some 500 million new users from around the world will join the Internet between now and 2015. Since most will experience the web for the first time on a mobile device, it’s important that people everywhere can communicate in the language they know best.

URL: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/indic-languages-in-gmail-on-your.html

[G] Imagery on Google Maps of Fukushima Exclusion Zone Town Namie-machi

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Official Blog: Imagery on Google Maps of Fukushima Exclusion Zone Town Namie-machi

From time to time we invite guests to post about items or interest and are pleased to have Mister Tamotsu Baba, Mayor of Namie-machi, Fukushima, Japan, join us here. - Ed.

Namie-machi is a small city in Fukushima Prefecture sitting along the coast of the Pacific. We are blessed with both ocean and mountains, and known as a place where you can experience both the beauty of the sea and the forests. Tragically, however, since the nuclear accident caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, all of Namie-machi’s 21,000 townspeople have had to flee their homes.

Two years have passed since the disaster, but people still aren’t allowed to enter Namie-machi. Many of the displaced townspeople have asked to see the current state of their city, and there are surely many people around the world who want a better sense of how the nuclear incident affected surrounding communities.

Working with Google, we were able to drive Street View cars through Namie-machi to capture panoramic images of the abandoned city exactly as it stands today. Starting today, this Street View imagery is available on Google Maps and the Memories for the Future site, so anyone from Namie or around the world can view it.



Here is one of Namie-machi’s main streets, which we often used for outdoor events like our big Ten Days of Autumn festival that saw 300 street stalls and 100,000 visitors.



Many buildings, like this one in the foreground, collapsed during the earthquake, and we still have not been able to remove them. We are also unable to repair damaged buildings and shops nor prepare them for the potential impact of further aftershocks.



This image shows an area located one kilometer inland from the Pacific Ocean. In the distance you can see Ukedo Elementary School. Nearby Ukedo Harbor once proudly boasted 140 fishing boats and 500 buildings, but suffered some of the worst tsunami damage. After being set off-limits, we have not been able to clean up the wreckage on the side of the road, including the many fishing boats that were washed several kilometers inland.

Ever since the March disaster, the rest of the world has been moving forward, and many places in Japan have started recovering. But in Namie-machi time stands still. With the lingering nuclear hazard, we have only been able to do cursory work for two whole years. We would greatly appreciate it if you viewed this Street View imagery to understand the current state of Namie-machi and the tremendous gravity of the situation.

Those of us in the older generation feel that we received this town from our forebearers, and we feel great pain that we cannot pass it down to our children. It has become our generation’s duty to make sure future generations understand the city’s history and culture—maybe even those who will not remember the Fukushima nuclear accident. We want this Street View imagery to become a permanent record of what happened to Namie-machi in the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster.

Finally, I want to make a renewed commitment to recovering from the nuclear hazard. It may take many years and many people’s help, but we will never give up taking back our hometown.

(Cross-posted and translated from the Google Japan Blog)

Posted by Mr. Tamotsu Baba, Mayor of Namie-machi, Fukushima, Japan
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/imagery-on-google-maps-of-fukushima.html

[G] Enabling the next generation of computer scientists with CS4HS

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Official Blog: Enabling the next generation of computer scientists with CS4HS

For the past four years, Google has sponsored an initiative called Computer Science for High School (CS4HS). The mission of this aptly named collaboration is simple: to bring computer science professional development to educators through hands-on workshops. In collaboration with universities, colleges and technical schools, we have helped K-12 educators bring CS into their classrooms around the world; to date, we have helped train more than 6,000 teachers worldwide—from Canada to China, Germany to New Zealand, our programs reach more and more countries with every iteration.

Today, we are pleased to announce the recipients of the 5th annual CS4HS Google grant. (To see the full list, visit our site.) As our program grows, we are working to engage as many teachers as possible in our CS efforts. To that end, this year we are offering four free MOOC courses for educators who may not be physically close to one of our workshops, but who are eager to learn the basics of computer science. In addition, we are launching our new CS4HS Community page; join the conversation and help shape the next generation of computer scientists!


Posted by Erin Mindell, Program Manager, EngEDU
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/enabling-next-generation-of-computer.html

[G] The World’s Languages in Your Pocket (No Internet Required)

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Google Translate Blog: The World’s Languages in Your Pocket (No Internet Required)

Have you ever found yourself in a foreign country, wishing you knew how to say "I'm lost!" or "I'm allergic to peanuts”? The Internet and services like Google Translate can help—but what if you don't have a connection?

Today we're launching offline language packages for Google Translate on Android (2.3 and above) with support for fifty languages, from French and Spanish to Chinese and Arabic.

You can select [Offline Languages] in the app menu to see all the offline language packages available for download. To enable offline translation between any two languages, you just need to select them in the offline languages menu. Once the packages are downloaded, you're good to go.


 

While the offline models are less comprehensive than their online equivalents, they are perfect for translating in a pinch when you are traveling abroad with poor reception or without mobile data access.


So go out and explore another language or another culture without worrying about Internet access. There’s a whole world offline out there.

Posted by Minqi Jiang, Associate Product Manager, on behalf of the Google Translate Team
URL: http://googletranslate.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-worlds-languages-in-your-pocket-no.html

[G] Create, collaborate and share advanced custom maps with Google Maps Engine Lite (Beta)

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Google Lat Long: Create, collaborate and share advanced custom maps with Google Maps Engine Lite (Beta)


Maps are useful for visualizing and sharing information about places around the world. For enterprises, Google Maps Engine has been providing businesses with professional tools to help them organize large datasets, make decisions, and give their customers important details about their locations and services.

Of course, experts aren’t the only ones who love to make maps. Today we're launching Google Maps Engine Lite (Beta), so any mapping enthusiast can now create and share robust custom maps using this powerful, easy-to-use tool. You can import small spreadsheets of locations onto a comprehensive map, visualize those places through a variety of styling and drawing options, and organize and compare up to three different data sets for your non-business purposes.

Here are a few examples of maps that’ve been created with the new lite edition of Google Maps Engine.

The MAPA Project, a nonprofit dedicated to African conservation, used Maps Engine Lite to map the locations of “shark spotters” — trained observers who watch the water for sharks — along the False Bay coastline in South Africa. Spreadsheets of Shark Spotters locations and recent white shark sightings were both imported to create the map below. Learn more about how to recreate this map through this tutorial.



Here’s another close-to-home use of this advanced custom mapping tool. I enjoy checking out local hikes with my dog, Amos, so I created a map using trail heads from San Francisco Bay Area Hiker and information about the different pet requirements on each route. The resulting map also denotes which hikes require a leash, and is great for sharing with my friends and other dog-loving hikers in my community.


If you have already created My Maps, you can import your existing My Maps, layering them with still more information to make them more detailed and helpful than ever before. These My Maps will continue to be available for people who want to create simple custom maps, and will eventually be incorporated into Google Maps Engine Lite.


Import your My Maps to Google Maps Engine Lite

While there is plenty to play with today, Maps Engine Lite is still in beta and available in English only, and we are eager to learn more about how people use it as we continue to build out more capabilities for the Maps Engine products.

To try Google Maps Engine Lite for your own custom mapping needs, visit mapsengine.google.com/map.

Posted by Beth Liebert, Product Manager
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2013/03/create-collaborate-and-share-advanced.html

[G] Live transit information in more cities on Google Maps

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Google Lat Long: Live transit information in more cities on Google Maps


I use public transit to get around my city or to explore new ones when traveling. When on the go, I rely on Google Maps Transit to help me get to my destination using public transportation. We want to make sure you have access to the most comprehensive, accurate and useful information when you’re on the go – and that includes public transportation.

Starting today, you can view live departure times for seven lines on the New York City subway system (MTA), as well as for buses and trams in the greater Salt Lake City area (UTA). With these updates – part of the millions of live transit schedule updates we process every day – you get instant access to the latest information right on Google Maps, making trip planning a cinch.

Get live trip updates on Google Maps 

Riders on the nation’s second largest subway, Metrorail in Washington, D.C., can now see live service alerts, including unplanned delays and scheduled track work, straight from Metro’s Control Center on Google Maps. To adjust your travel around the alerts you see, simply choose another suggested route or change your departure time.

Get service alerts on Google Maps 

With transit information in Google Maps you get pick-up locations, departure times, estimated travel time, and even fare amounts for 800 cities* across more than 25 countries around the world – that’s information for 100 million miles of daily public transit trips at your fingertips.

Download Google Maps on your Android device or iPhone to get public transit information on the go. And if you represent a transit agency that would like to participate in Google Maps, please visit our site for transit agency partners.

Posted by Soufi Esmaeilzadeh, Partnership Development Manager, Google Maps

*Live trip updates are available in select cities.
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2013/03/live-transit-information-in-more-cities.html

[G] Google Maps shows Amazon funds at work

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Google Lat Long: Google Maps shows Amazon funds at work


Editor’s Note: Today’s guest author is Gabriel Ribenboim from Ritual, on behalf of Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), a nonprofit organization implementing a large-scale social and environmental program in the Amazon. FAS was the recipient of a Google Earth Outreach Grant for Google Maps Engine, which they used to develop an accountability map for their investments in conservation and poverty alleviation. We are excited to showcase the Bolsa Floresta Platform. Our work with FAS is an example of how non-profits all over the world are using comprehensive, accurate and easy-to use Google Maps, Earth and geo tools to tell their story and help their audiences visualize their cause.

Since 2011, I’ve been working with the Brazilian nonprofit organization Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS) and Google to collect Street View for the Amazon. One FAS’s most significative initiatives is the administration of the Bolsa Floresta -- Brazil’s first internationally-certified incentive program for the preservation of traditional communities and environment in the Amazon rainforest. As the largest payment for environmental services program in the world, Bolsa Floresta serves over 35,000 people, 15 state-protected reserve territories and covers an area of more than 10 million hectares.

Today, I’m excited to announce FAS’ latest project with Google: the Bolsa Floresta Platform - an online tool that allows you to explore and visualize a mix of social, environmental and economical map datasets for 15 protected areas in the Amazon.



Institutional transparency is a challenge for NGOs across the world. Tools that help track the impact of our efforts and present them in an accessible way are rare and normally require a significant investment. The Bolsa Floresta platform, built on Google technologies such as Google Maps Engine, Google Drive, YouTube and Street View helped us organize this kind of dataset in a way that is easy to visualize, understand and share with little in the way of programming complexity or investment.

Now, anyone can dive into the mapping visualizations of the State of Amazonas, navigate the rivers, forest, and communities through Google Street View imagery, or even browse 3D buildings inside protected areas. Most importantly, partners, government agencies and those who live within the benefited state-protected areas, can explore all kinds of informational map layers, enhancing institutional transparency, global awareness, exchange of sustainability practices and poverty alleviation solutions and improving internal planning capabilities.

The new platform is just one of the many ways FAS is using Google’s technologies to work towards a sustainable future on behalf of the communities of Brazil’s Amazon. Explore the map now or find out more about us at fas-amazonas.org.

Posted by Gabriel Ribenboim from Ritual, on behalf of Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS)
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2013/03/google-maps-shows-amazon-funds-at-work.html

[G] Get inside your favorite movies with Google Play

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Official Android Blog: Get inside your favorite movies with Google Play

“What’s his name again? Wasn’t he the guy in that movie with the battle of the bands?” Now, while you're watching a movie on Google Play, you can find out that it’s Jack Black (of course!), who was born in Hermosa Beach and is 43 years old. And with one click you can search the web and learn the fun fact that his parents are both rocket scientists.

We’ve added info cards to the Google Play Movies & TV app so you can easily learn more about the actors, related films and even what song is playing in many of your favorite movies. When you’re watching a film on your tablet, simply press pause and cards will pop up with information about actors on screen. You can tap on an actor’s face to learn more about him, like his age, place of birth, his character in the movie, and his recent work, or scroll through the info cards to learn more about the movie or soundtrack. When you resume the movie, the cards will disappear.


This new feature is offered for hundreds of movies in Google Play and we’re adding more every day. If you’re in the U.S. and have a tablet running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and higher, download the latest version of the Google Play Movies & TV app to check it out. We hope to bring info cards to more movies in more countries and devices soon.

Posted by Ben Serridge, Product Manager for Google Play
URL: http://officialandroid.blogspot.com/2013/03/get-inside-your-favorite-movies-with.html

[G] The World’s Languages in Your Pocket (No Internet Required)

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Official Android Blog: The World’s Languages in Your Pocket (No Internet Required)

Have you ever found yourself in a foreign country, wishing you knew how to say "I'm lost!" or "I'm allergic to peanuts”? The Internet and services like Google Translate can help—but what if you don't have a connection? 

Today we're launching offline language packages for Google Translate on Android (2.3 and above) with support for fifty languages, from French and Spanish to Chinese and Arabic. 

You can select [Offline Languages] in the app menu to see all the offline language packages available for download. To enable offline translation between any two languages, you just need to select them in the offline languages menu. Once the packages are downloaded, you're good to go.

 

While the offline models are less comprehensive than their online equivalents, they are perfect for translating in a pinch when you are traveling abroad with poor reception or without mobile data access.
  

So go out and explore another language or another culture without worrying about Internet access. There’s a whole world offline out there.

Posted by Minqi Jiang, Associate Product Manager
URL: http://officialandroid.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-worlds-languages-in-your-pocket-no.html

[G] Education Awards on Google App Engine

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Research Blog: Education Awards on Google App Engine

Posted by Andrea Held, Google University Relations

Cross-posted with Google Developers Blog

Last year we invited proposals for innovative projects built on Google’s infrastructure. Today we are pleased to announce the 11 recipients of a Google App Engine Education Award. Professors and their students are using the award in cloud computing courses to study databases, distributed systems, web mashups and to build educational applications. Each selected project received $1000 in Google App Engine credits.

Awarding computational resources to classroom projects is always gratifying. It is impressive to see the creative ideas students and educators bring to these programs.
Below is a brief introduction to each project. Congratulations to the recipients!

John David N. Dionisio, Loyola Marymount University
Project description: The objective of this undergraduate database systems course is for students to implement one database application in two technology stacks, a traditional relational database and on Google App Engine. Students are asked to study both models and provide concrete comparison points.

Xiaohui (Helen) Gu, North Carolina State University
Project description: Advanced Distributed Systems Class
The goal of the project is to allow the students to learn distributed system concepts by developing real distributed system management systems and testing them on real world cloud computing infrastructures such as Google App Engine.

Shriram Krishnamurthi, Brown University
Project description: WeScheme is a programming environment that runs in the Web browser and supports interactive development. WeScheme uses App Engine to handle user accounts, serverside compilation, and file management.

Feifei Li, University of Utah
Project description: A graduate-level course that will be offered in Fall 2013 on the design and implementation of large data management system kernels. The objective is to integrate features from a relational database engine with some of the new features from NoSQL systems to enable efficient and scalable data management over a cluster of commodity machines.

Mark Liffiton, Illinois Wesleyan University
Project description: TeacherTap is a free, simple classroom-response system built on Google App Engine. It lets students give instant, anonymous feedback to teachers about a lecture or discussion from any computer or mobile device with a web browser, facilitating more adaptive class sessions.

Eni Mustafaraj, Wellesley College
Project description: Topics in Computer Science: Web Mashups. A CS2 course that combines Google App Engine and MIT App Inventor. Students will learn to build apps with App Inventor to collect data about their life on campus. They will use Google App Engine to build web services and apps to host the data and remix it to create web mashups. Offered in the 2013 Spring semester.

Manish Parashar, Rutgers University
Project description: Cloud Computing for Scientific Applications -- Autonomic Cloud Computing teaches students how a hybrid HPC/Grid + Cloud cyber infrastructure can be effectively used to support real-world science and engineering applications. The goal of our efforts is to explore application formulations, Cloud and hybrid HPC/Grid + Cloud infrastructure usage modes that are meaningful for various classes of science and engineering application workflows.

Orit Shaer, Wellesley College
Project description: GreenTouch
GreenTouch is a collaborative environment that enables novice users to engage in authentic scientific inquiry. It consists of a mobile user interface for capturing data in the field, a web application for data curation in the cloud, and a tabletop user interface for exploratory analysis of heterogeneous data.

Elliot Soloway, University of Michigan
Project description: WeLearn Mobile Platform: Making Mobile Devices Effective Tools for K-12. The platform makes mobile devices (Android, iOS, WP8) effective, essential tools for all-the-time, everywhere learning. WeLearn’s suite of productivity and communication apps enable learners to work collaboratively; WeLearn’s portal, hosted on Google App Engine, enables teachers to send assignments, review, and grade student artifacts. WeLearn is available to educators at no charge.

Jonathan White, Harding University
Project description: Teaching Cloud Computing in an Introduction to Engineering class for freshmen. We explore how well-designed systems are built to withstand unpredictable stresses, whether that system is a building, a piece of software or even the human body. The grant from Google is allowing us to add an overview of cloud computing as a platform that is robust under diverse loads.

Dr. Jiaofei Zhong, University of Central Missouri
Project description: By building an online Course Management System, students will be able to work on their team projects in the cloud. The system allows instructors and students to manage the course materials, including course syllabus, slides, assignments and tests in the cloud; the tool can be shared with educational institutions worldwide.

URL: http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2013/03/education-awards-on-google-app-engine.html

[G] Swipe between messages in the Gmail app for iPhone

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Official Gmail Blog: Swipe between messages in the Gmail app for iPhone

Posted by John Barr, Software Engineer

With today’s update to the Gmail app for iPhone and iPad, you can save even more time when you email on the go. Version 2.1 lets you swipe left or right to move between conversations on the iPhone without needing to return to the inbox. You'll be burning through those unread messages in a flash!
Additionally, it’s now easier for you to take action on multiple messages. Selecting a message in the inbox now enables edit mode. Once in edit mode, tap on messages to select them and then choose to archive, delete, or more, from the new actions bar at the top of the screen. You may select Cancel at any time to leave edit mode.

The latest version of Gmail is available in the App Store.
URL: http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/swipe-between-messages-in-gmail-app-for.html

[G] PsychoSoprano is your March featured partner On The Rise

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YouTube Blog: PsychoSoprano is your March featured partner On The Rise

Congratulations to Colleen Ballinger of PsychoSoprano, our featured “On The Rise” partner this March. You can find her videos featured on our YouTube channel today, along with Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.



Hailing from Southern California, Colleen has spent several years growing her YouTube audience and is a successful comedienne. She guarantees that you’ll enjoy a lot of laughs on PsychoSoprano, where she uploads vlogs, skits, character sketches, and “a lot of awkwardness” across two weekly shows. You can tune in for random fun videos every Friday; or, if you have a question for Colleen, you can submit it and check out her Tuesday show, ‘Colleen’s Corner,’ where she takes the time to interact and talk with her audience. In addition to PsychoSoprano, Colleen runs the mirandasings08 channel where she hosts her music content - she’s a professional singer who tours and teaches as well.







Here are a few words from Colleen:


Thank you so much for all of your votes... I am so excited to have been chosen! I try my hardest to keep my subscribers entertained with comedic skits, crazy characters, fun vlogs, singing, and a lot of awkwardness twice a week. I love building relationships with my viewers and want them to feel like my friends and not just my audience so no topics are off limits. You never know what you're gonna find on my channel, but I guarantee you'll smile a lot. :) Thanks again for voting for me! It means more than you know!

If you’ve enjoyed this monthly On The Rise blog series, and want to see more rising YouTube partners, check out our Google Hangouts with past featured partners on the YouTube Creators channel.



You can participate and help us surface YouTube talent by nominating a YouTube partner to be considered for the “On The Rise” program. Feel free to submit nominations for your own channel, or for channels you follow that you think deserve more attention or could be the next YouTube sensation. We’ll continue to feature promising partners who produce engaging content on a regular basis. See you next month!



Christine Wang and Devon Storbeck, YouTube Partner Support, recently watched “Solving three cubes while juggling them.”


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/fqXHMCsbz6Y/psychosoprano-is-your-march-featured.html

[G] A new look for personalized ad unit optimization recommendations in your account

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Learn More Study Less: A new look for personalized ad unit optimization recommendations in your account

Just over a year ago, we introduced recommendations for individual AdSense for content ad units, directly in your account. In addition to the personalized tips you might receive via email, these recommendations provide specific suggestions for improving your account performance by changing ad unit type or format settings of individual ad units.



Based on your feedback, we’ve further improved the look and feel of these recommendations. Next to the specific optimization suggestion, you’ll now also see a graph that visualizes your expected revenue gain from the suggested optimization. The new graph allows you to assess instantly what you might gain from the suggested optimization and whether or not it’s worth updating your implementation. However, we can only perform the simulations and generate recommendations for your ad units if you have created your ad units directly via the ‘My ads’ tab in your AdSense account. If you're still using the older AdSense code, please upgrade your ad code following the instructions in our Help Center.









Our recommendations are based on ad auction simulations for a specific ad unit using different ad type and/or ad format settings. We’ll only show a recommendation if our simulation predicts that a change of settings consistently results in higher revenue for that ad unit. Please note that the new design including graph and total projected revenue uplift will only be visible for new recommendations. Recommendations generated before today’s date will remain in the old design.



We hope that the improved design of our recommendations in the account helps you continue to optimize your account performance. Let us know what you think about the new design by sharing your feedback on the AdSense +page.



Posted by Nick Radicevic - AdSense Product Manager

Was this blog post useful? Share your feedback with us.





URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/http/saiairnewblogspotin/~3/qyR9QL3pwG0/a-new-look-for-personalized-ad-unit.html

[G] The Full Value of Mobile: New calculator and resources to estimate mobile’s value for your business in the new, multi-screen world

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Inside AdWords: The Full Value of Mobile: New calculator and resources to estimate mobile’s value for your business in the new, multi-screen world

We live in a world of constant connectivity, where mobility is bridging the digital and physical worlds. With smartphones in hand, people are taking a variety of online and offline actions, like calling a business, downloading an app, looking for directions to a store, or starting research that leads to a purchase on another device. We’re working hard to account for these new paths to purchase in AdWords, like the recent addition of calls as conversions to AdWords reporting. Still, with more work to be done to improve measurement tools, most marketers still account only for sales happening on a mobile site and aren’t seeing the full picture. Today we’re introducing the Full Value of Mobile initiative to help marketers begin this discussion and better understand mobile’s impact online and offline. 

This new consumer behavior is now the norm, with a recent study showing that nearly three of ten mobile searches result in visiting a store, calling a business, or making a purchase online. Some smart marketers are already investing in understanding how mobile drives sales through these new customer paths. For example, adidas, in partnership with their agency iProspect, felt that mobile was converting in ways beyond their mobile website, so they created a simple yet powerful attribution model to understand how mobile is driving customers into stores. As a result, adidas found that each click on their store locator button was worth $3.20, which has changed the way they view their digital investment. See their full case study here.  

While savvy marketers like adidas are already defining the full value of mobile, most marketers have struggled to get started. To help marketers better understand mobile attribution, we’re launching the Full Value of Mobile initiative, which includes:

  • A calculator tool
  • Videos that illustrate each mobile conversion path
  • Case studies highlighting successful mobile strategies
  • Tips for measurement

T
he Full Value of Mobile Calculator provides simple equations and benchmarks to help you estimate of the value that mobile drives for your business through calls, apps, in-store, mobile site and cross-device. In about 30 minutes, you can follow the step-by-step wizard to upload data from AdWords and your mobile website, and make some key assumptions to create your Full Value of Mobile estimate. Through the exercise, you’ll see the total value, value per click, and ROI that mobile is driving for your business across all mobile customer paths, not just your mobile website. You’ll also see how cost-effective your mobile CPAs are.




We hope the Full Value of Mobile Calculator helps marketers begin to investigate mobile’s impact online and offline, whether they use it as a directional estimate of mobile’s value or to spark ideas on how to build deeper and more customized models. To learn more about the Full Value of Mobile and how to use the calculator, please join us for a webinar on March 28 at 1pm EDT.  You can sign up here.

Mobility has forever changed the way consumers live and shop, giving rise to these new customer paths as the lines between digital and physical experiences blur. Understanding what each of these mobile pathways means for your business is a critical piece of the larger attribution challenge that every marketer needs to meet head-on. This requires thinking about the full customer journey and acknowledging the interplay between various devices, channels and media influences along the way. Only then can marketers give credit where it’s due – both between and within channels. In other words, rethinking conversion paths is not only key to unlocking the full value of mobile, but also to unlocking the full value of digital.

Posted by Johanna Werther, Head of Mobile Ads Marketing
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-full-value-of-mobile-new-calculator.html