Saturday, May 25, 2013

[G] Changes to our SSL Certificates

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Google Online Security Blog: Changes to our SSL Certificates

Posted by Stephen McHenry, Director of Information Security Engineering

Protecting the security and privacy of our users is one of our most important tasks at Google, which is why we utilize encryption on almost all connections made to Google.

This encryption needs to be updated at times to make it even stronger, so this year our SSL services will undergo a series of certificate upgrades—specifically, all of our SSL certificates will be upgraded to 2048-bit keys by the end of 2013. We will begin switching to the new 2048-bit certificates on August 1st, to ensure adequate time for a careful rollout before the end of the year. We’re also going to change the root certificate that signs all of our SSL certificates because it has a 1024-bit key.

Most client software won’t have any problems with either of these changes, but we know that some configurations will require some extra steps to avoid complications. This is more often true of client software embedded in devices such as certain types of phones, printers, set-top boxes, gaming consoles, and cameras.

For a smooth upgrade, client software that makes SSL connections to Google (e.g. HTTPS) must:
  • Perform normal validation of the certificate chain;
  • Include a properly extensive set of root certificates contained. We have an example set which should be sufficient for connecting to Google in our FAQ. (Note: the contents of this list may change over time, so clients should have a way to update themselves as changes occur);
  • Support Subject Alternative Names (SANs).
Also, clients should support the Server Name Indication (SNI) extension because clients may need to make an extra API call to set the hostname on an SSL connection. Any client unsure about SNI support can be tested against https://googlemail.com—this URL should only validate if you are sending SNI.

On the flip side, here are some examples of improper validation practices that could very well lead to the inability of client software to connect to Google using SSL after the upgrade:
  • Matching the leaf certificate exactly (e.g. by hashing it)
  • Matching any other certificate (e.g. Root or Intermediate signing certificate) exactly
  • Hard-coding the expected Root certificate, especially in firmware. This is sometimes done based on assumptions like the following:
    • The Root Certificate of our chain will not change on short notice.
    • Google will always use Thawte as its Root CA.
    • Google will always use Equifax as its Root CA.
    • Google will always use one of a small number of Root CAs.
    • The certificate will always contain exactly the expected hostname in the Common Name field and therefore clients do not need to worry about SANs.
    • The certificate will always contain exactly the expected hostname in a SAN and therefore clients don't need to worry about wildcards.
Any software that contains these improper validation practices should be changed. More detailed information can be found in this document, and you can also check out our FAQ if you have specific questions.
URL: http://googleonlinesecurity.blogspot.com/2013/05/changes-to-our-ssl-certificates.html

[G] YouTube Comedy Week’s very important personalities

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YouTube Blog: YouTube Comedy Week’s very important personalities

What do you get when you combine world-famous comedians with the world’s biggest video-sharing site? OK, you guessed it: YouTube Comedy Week. But Comedy Week is about a lot more than simply bringing together comedy’s best and brightest for an online celebration of funny.



This week we also connected with YouTube’s biggest comedy fans. We decided to shine our spotlight on seven "Super Fans": Zach, Christine, Mavis, Lo, Jesse, Mike and Jack (the 14-year-old "Britain’s Got Talent" comedian whose first YouTube video got more than 3 million views).



















































To thank these loyal YouTubers for being so awesome, we brought them to L.A. to be part of the Big Live Comedy Show on Sunday, May 19. We gave them a special VIP experience that included a glamorous walk down the Red Carpet, a backstage tour, and tickets to the Big Live Comedy Show and the after party.







































The Super Seven dropped everything and flew in from all over the country (and world) to attend: the U.K., New Jersey, South and North Carolina, and Washington state. They came together for their love of YouTube comedy, and they were not disappointed. The day was full of smiles, vines, tweets and videos as they met their favorite comedians, including (but not limited to!) Smosh, Hannibal Buress, Reggie Watts, JASH, Tim and Eric, Skrillex and "Workaholics." At the end of the night, they tore up the dance floor with countless Comedy Week performers.



Wish you could’ve been there too? Don’t get us wrong, we love ALL our comedy fans, and we’re still looking for more YouTubers to show us just how much they love laughing … from the comfort of their own home. Want to be involved with Comedy Week? Here’s how:


  1. Create a Top 10 list of your favorite YouTube Comedy Week videos and tweet it out to us @YouTube #ComedyWeek.

  2. Show us your best spit take, and post the video to #SpitTake. We’ll highlight the funniest and most creative renditions.


There’s a world of amazing comedy out there, and it’s all coming together for one side-splitting week. Be sure to keep laughing--and keep us laughing.



Marion Dickson Waelchli, YouTube Global Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Lead, recently watched "DJ Play My Song (Now Leave Me Alone)" by The Gregory Brothers, ft. PSY.


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/youtube/PKJx/~3/Egb0STDZxL8/youtube-comedy-weeks-very-important.html

[G] Capturing the beauty and wonder of the Galapagos on Google Maps

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Google Lat Long: Capturing the beauty and wonder of the Galapagos on Google Maps


The Galapagos Islands are some of the most biologically unique ecosystems in the world. Explorers and scientists alike have long studied and marveled at these islands—made famous by Charles Darwin. The Ecuadorean Government, local conservation groups and scientists are working to protect the Galapagos from threats posed by invasive species, climate change and other human impacts.

It’s critical that we share images with the world of this place in order to continue to study and preserve the islands’ unique biodiversity. Today we’re honored to announce, in partnership with Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) and the Galapagos National Parks Directorate (GNPD), that we’ve collected panoramic imagery of the islands with the Street View Trekker. These stunning images will be available on Google Maps later this year so people around the world can experience this remote archipelago.

Daniel Orellana of Charles Darwin Foundation crossing a field of ferns to reach Minas de Azufre (naturally-occurring sulfur mines) on the top of Sierra Negra, an active volcano on Isabela Island. The Google Maps team traveled for more than 3 hours, hiking and on horseback, to reach this remote location.
Images, like the one you see above, are also an important visual record that the CDF and GNPD will use to study and protect the islands by showing the world how these delicate environments have changed over time.

Daniel Orellana of the Charles Darwin Foundation climbs out of a lava tunnel where he was collecting imagery. The dramatic lava landscapes found on Isabela island tell the story of the formation of the Galapagos Islands.
Our 10-day adventure in the Galapagos was full of hiking, boating and diving around the islands (in hot and humid conditions) to capture 360-degree images of the unique wildlife and geological features of the islands with the Trekker. We captured imagery from 10 locations that were hand-selected by CDF and GNPD. We walked past giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies, navigated through steep trails and lava fields, and picked our way down the crater of an active volcano called Sierra Negra.

A Galapagos giant tortoise crawls along the path near Googler Karin Tuxen-Bettman while she collects imagery with the Street View Trekker in Galapaguera, a tortoise breeding center, which is managed by the Galapagos National Park Service.
Life underwater in the Galapagos is just as diverse as life on land. We knew our map of the islands wouldn’t be comprehensive without exploring the ocean that surrounds them. So for the second time we teamed up with the folks at the Catlin Seaview Survey to collect underwater panoramic imagery of areas being studied by CDF and GNPD. This imagery will be used by Catlin Seaview Survey to create a visual and scientific baseline record of the marine environment surrounding the islands, allowing for any future changes to be measured and evaluated by scientists around the world.

Christophe Bailhache navigates the SVII camera through a large group of Sea Lions at Champion Island in Galapagos. Image courtesy of the Catlin Seaview Survey.
We truly believe that in order to protect these Galapagos Islands, we must understand them. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” We hope this Street View imagery not only advances the important scientific research, but also inspires you to learn more about this special place. Stay tuned for updates on this collection—the first time we’ve captured imagery from both land and sea! We can’t wait to share this amazing imagery with you later this year.

Raleigh Seamster, Project Lead, Google Maps
URL: http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2013/05/capturing-beauty-and-wonder-of.html

Friday, May 24, 2013

[G] Policy refresher: family-safe content

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Learn More Study Less: Policy refresher: family-safe content



For our next installment of our policy refresher series, we’re talking about a topic we’re frequently asked about...adult content and keeping AdSense family-safe.



We’ve made a commitment to our users, advertisers and publishers to keep the AdSense network family-safe.  A general rule of thumb when it comes to the adult content policy is: if you wouldn’t want to share this content at a family dinner or view it in your boss’s office, you shouldn’t place AdSense code on it.



Let’s take a closer look at our adult content policy:









Still have questions? Don’t forget that we’ll be hosting a number of Hangouts on Air as part of our policy refreshers series.



Check the schedule below to sign up for our Hangout on Air about adult content.











View our Hangouts schedule



Posted by Pamela Malone - AdSense Policy Team

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





URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/http/saiairnewblogspotin/~3/9oMKBBHJPPs/policy-refresher-family-safe-content.html

[G] Browse the web across languages, on the go

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Google Chrome Blog: Browse the web across languages, on the go

Today’s Chrome Beta for Android release brings the built-in translation bar you’ve seen on desktop Chrome to help you read more of the web while you’re on the go, regardless of the language of the web page. When you come across a page written in a language that isn't in the same language as your phone or tablet, look for the translation bar. To translate the page, touch the “Translate” button.


Following fullscreen support on phones, we are now adding fullscreen on tablets as well. As you scroll, the top toolbar disappears so you can immerse yourself in the web page content. Finally, on phones, a “+” in the toolbar now makes creating tabs even easier.

For those of you trying out our experimental data compression feature, you can see a graph (under “Settings > Bandwidth Management”) that shows your estimated bandwidth savings.



The latest version of Chrome Beta for Android is available on Google Play. We look forward to your early feedback.

Posted by Miguel Garcia, Software Engineer & Multilingual Maestro
URL: http://chrome.blogspot.com/2013/05/browse-web-across-languages-on-go.html

Thursday, May 23, 2013

[G] Webinar Next Thursday 5/30: Measuring Success in a Multi-Device World

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Inside AdWords: Webinar Next Thursday 5/30: Measuring Success in a Multi-Device World

The digital journey has grown more complex, giving customers the option to move seamlessly across media and devices. This shift in technology can make it challenging to get a complete picture of customers’ interactions.  As a marketer, your success depends on gaining visibility into your customers’ preferences and behaviors.


Next Thursday, join Sara Jablon Moked, Product Marketing Manager for Google Analytics, for a detailed look at effective measurement for today's multi-device world. We will discuss strategies and best practices for measuring customer behavior, and we’ll look at how Google Analytics and other Google tools can help you measure and respond to the evolving customer journey.

The webinar will include live Q&A.

Date: Thursday, May 30, 2013
Time: 10am PST / 1pm EST/ 6PM GMT
Duration: 1 hr
Level: 100 / Beginner
Register: Register here

Posted by the Google Analytics team
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/05/webinar-next-thursday-530-measuring.html

[G] Bidding Best Practices (Part 3) - Calculating mobile bid adjustments

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Inside AdWords: Bidding Best Practices (Part 3) - Calculating mobile bid adjustments

Today’s post about calculating mobile bid adjustments is the third in a bidding best practices series. The previous post covered improving your results with location bid adjustments.

People are now constantly connected and switching seamlessly between devices. In fact, more than 38% of our daily media interactions occur on mobile1. This presents advertisers with new opportunities to reach customers anytime, anyplace, on any device. At Google, we want to help you capitalize on these opportunities and develop new strategies for your business to win on mobile.

Mobile bid adjustments in AdWords enhanced campaigns give advertisers the power to optimize bids across devices — all from a single campaign. In today’s post, we’ll help you understand how to calculate a mobile bid adjustment that accounts for the total conversion value your mobile ads drive for your business.

Review your current desktop and mobile performance
Before calculating your mobile bid adjustment, you can run an AdWords report to review your current desktop and mobile performance. While online conversions, app downloads, and calls are easy to track in AdWords, other conversions such as in-store visits may be harder to attribute directly to your ads. For those conversions, you may need to estimate their value. The closer you can estimate the value of these conversions, the more optimized your bid will be on mobile.

Calculate your mobile bid adjustment
The key to optimizing your mobile bid adjustment is to identify the ratio of mobile vs desktop (and tablet) conversion value. This is calculated by dividing your value per click on mobile by your value per click on desktop.


We’ll illustrate this calculation using the table below. Let’s say this data belongs to a national retailer with mobile and desktop websites as well as physical stores. In the past month, this retailer saw 10,000 clicks from her mobile ads and 10,000 clicks from her desktop and tablet ads.  Her mobile ads drove $900 of revenue from phone calls to her stores, $5,000 from online sales and $5,000 from in-store visits for a total of $10,900. During this same month, her desktop and tablet ads drove $100 of revenue from calls, $10,000 from online sales, and $2,000 from in-store visits for a total of $12,100.


With this information, the retailer calculates the value per click (for mobile and desktop) by dividing the total value (i.e., the total revenue from all conversion types) by the total number of clicks, respectively. In this case, the mobile value per click is $1.09 and the desktop value per click is $1.21.

The retailer’s mobile bid adjustment is the ratio of these two values: she divides the value per click on mobile by the value per click on desktop and then subtracts 1. In this case we have (1.09/1.21) - 1, or a -10% mobile bid adjustment that can be entered into AdWords.

Iterate and test
As with all online marketing techniques, mobile bid adjustments aren’t something you should just “set and forget.” Frequent iteration and testing will help you account for changes in seasonality or business operations.  Due to varying screen sizes on mobile, we also recommend that you keep a close eye on your mobile impression share so that your ads show in the top positions.

Learn more
To learn more about mobile bid adjustments, visit the AdWords Help Center or watch this recording of this hangout on air, “Enhanced Campaigns: Optimizing Mobile Strategy.

To use mobile bid adjustments, you’ll need to upgrade your campaigns to enhanced campaigns. Starting on July 22, 2013, we will begin automatically upgrading all campaigns.

Next week, we’ll dive deeper into ways you can use tools like conversion optimizer and eCPC to automate your bid settings based on specific business goals like ROI.

Posted by Andy Miller, Head of Mobile Search Solutions

1http://www.google.com/think/research-studies/the-new-multi-screen-world-study.html
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/05/bidding-best-practices-part-3.html

[G] The new Display Benchmarks Tool: put context around your display campaigns

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Inside AdWords: The new Display Benchmarks Tool: put context around your display campaigns

Imagine: you’ve built a beautiful digital marketing campaign and it’s finally live. You get your reports back with a list of data points and while the numbers seem good, it’s pretty hard to understand them without any reference points. That’s the crutch: data doesn’t take on meaning when it’s just floating around in the ether; you need to build context around your data and anchor it to other relevant data points to better understand what your own numbers mean.

Industry benchmarks -- reference points aggregated from ad campaigns across the industry -- give you these comparisons. And today, for the first time, we’re launching the Display Benchmarks Tool, an easy-to-use webpage that lets you pull benchmarks to help you make better decisions about your campaigns.



Whether you're after comparisons by country, industry vertical, ad size or ad format, our tool offers up-to-date benchmarks across 10 key display metrics, such as interaction rate and time, expansion rate and video completions. Here’s a quick demo of how to pull the benchmarks.

We've been playing around with the tool and identified some interesting trends around user engagement in our industry. Here's a bit of what we've seen:

Trend #1 User choice leads to more engagement: People want to choose how and when they consume content online. We’re starting to see new ad formats, such as the TrueView and Engagement formats, that let people choose whether to watch or skip an ad. Our benchmark data shows that people are increasingly choosing to interact with these ads. Video completion rates are the highest we’ve ever seen, with people completing 60% of the videos that they watch.

Trend #2: Richer ads lead to more engagement: Longer interaction also stems from more beautiful and compelling ads, which advertisers are increasingly incorporating in their campaigns. Interactive video ads, such as this one from Cadillac, allow advertisers to layer information about their brands on top of their video commercials. Dual-channel ads, such as this Skyfall ad, let viewers turn their mobile phones and tablets into controllers that dictate what happens within the content on their desktop. These ads represent the new creative formats that are closing the gap between advertising and awesome content. And we’re seeing the results: since last summer, people are interacting with rich media ads ~50-60% more frequently and spending ~20% more time interacting.



Trend #3: Optimize your campaigns for engagement: Advertisers used to rely solely on click-through rates and reach/frequency reports to measure their campaigns. Now, these new rich media formats provide a better set of metrics, which help advertisers understand what’s best for users and optimize their campaigns. For example, from the benchmarks tool we’ve learned that interaction rates correlate strongly with larger ad area - the bigger the ad, the more frequently people will interact with it. Similarly, we’ve learned that rich media expanding formats are better for getting people to interact frequently, while in-page formats are better for getting people to interact for longer amounts of time. These types of insights are instrumental in making improvements to an advertiser’s campaign.

These findings confirm what we've heard from our partners -- as ads become more engaging and relevant to users, their performance improves. If you’re still hungry for more data, don’t worry --  next Tuesday, we’ll be kicking off a “Data Insights Blog Series,” where we’ll deep-dive into one trend a week and explain how the insights apply to your campaigns.

As you check out the tool for yourself, let us know if you find any nuggets you think we’ve missed. We just might feature your insight in one of our blog posts.

Posted by Becky Chappell, Product Marketing, DoubleClick
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-new-display-benchmarks-tool-put.html

[G] Enhanced campaign upgrade tools now generally available for DoubleClick Search

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Inside AdWords: Enhanced campaign upgrade tools now generally available for DoubleClick Search

(Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Search blog)

Last month, the DoubleClick Search team introduced the beta release of dedicated tools to help advertisers seamlessly upgrade to enhanced campaigns. Today, we’re excited to announce that these tools are available to all DoubleClick Search customers globally. Read on for details around the newly available features, what's coming, and how customers are seeing success in upgrading to enhanced campaigns with DoubleClick Search.

Easily upgrade to enhanced campaigns
With this release, advertisers can save time when upgrading to enhanced campaigns with custom solutions that will:
  • Identify similar campaigns that target different devices within your DoubleClick Search account
  • Create reports to quickly merge and upload these similar campaigns into one enhanced campaign
  • Provide the AdWords-suggested mobile bid adjustment in DoubleClick Search for more control and precision over bids in an enhanced campaign
Learn about these features and more in the enhanced campaigns upgrade guide.

Upcoming features
This is the second of several feature rollouts we have planned for enhanced campaigns. Over the next few weeks, the DoubleClick Search team will be introducing advanced features to prepare advertisers for a constantly connected world, including support for ad group mobile bid adjustments and granular device-segmented reports.

What we’re hearing so far
With the goal of simplifying search managing, we’re continuing to invest in solutions that will help marketers run effective search campaigns across devices, as well as across channels -- and our clients are seeing the benefits.

Keith Wilson, VP of Agency Products at The Search Agency, notes: "Recent enhancements in DoubleClick Search support for enhanced campaigns has been a wind on our backs for transitioning clients to enhanced campaigns. The overall functionality within DoubleClick Search is evolving rapidly, and that enables our teams to keep pace with the changes in the paid search space with the right tools.”

After performing initial upgrades using DoubleClick Search tools, Samridhi Chawla,
 Senior Account Manager at Performics, said: "Our accounts look cleaner after upgrading to enhanced campaigns. The DoubleClick Search team has done a great job in making the transition smooth, and we're already seeing positive results."

Hear more about our enhanced campaigns vision from our clients and product experts:

  

To learn more about how clients have been using our enhanced campaigns upgrade tools, we’ll be at SMX Advanced in June, where Eric Papczun, US President of Performics, will share his company's plans, successes, and best practices on upgrades through using search platforms like DoubleClick Search. Register here, and stay tuned to the DoubleClick Search blog to learn more about our support of enhanced campaigns features.

Posted by Kim Doan, Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick Search
URL: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2013/05/enhanced-campaign-upgrade-tools-now.html

[G] Updates to our ‘Modifying Ad Code’ Policy

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Learn More Study Less: Updates to our ‘Modifying Ad Code’ Policy


Web trends and technology demand that your site evolves quickly to maintain a growing user base. We’ve heard your questions and feedback on areas like responsive design, and we’re happy to let you know that we’ve updated our existing guidelines around modifying the AdSense ad code. We hope that this increased flexibility will help you continue enhancing the user experience on your site.



Going forward, we will permit publishers to make modifications to the AdSense ad code so long as those modifications do not artificially inflate ad performance or harm advertisers and otherwise comply with our Terms and Conditions and program policies. This will enable you to try a range of techniques on your site such as:


  • Responsive design: Enabling publishers to create a single webpage that will adapt to the device on which it’s being viewed, whether it’s a laptop, smartphone or tablet, to maximize user experience.

  • A/B testing: Running a test by creating multiple versions of a page, comparing user behavior to see which page is the most effective.

  • Setting custom channels dynamically: Tracking performance of segments of users, sections of your site, or other behavior to maximize ad and user experience.

  • Ad tag minification: Enabling your site pages to load faster by reducing the amount of data to be transferred.


For more details and to find the specific code snippets related to the bullets above, visit our updated Help Center article.



Even with this new flexibility, it’s important to proceed with caution to ensure the ecosystem remains balanced for publishers, users and advertisers. Please note that publishers must not make modifications to the AdSense code if those modifications are not permitted by our program policies. Publishers should always use caution when modifying the AdSense code and must not use techniques like hiding ad units, implementing the AdSense code in a way that covers content, creating ‘floating ads’, or manipulating ad targeting as they are a violation of our policies. More information about these types of prohibited techniques can be found in our updated Help Center article. In addition, please be aware that some types of code modification may prevent ads from appearing correctly, which may negatively impact your revenue.



We also look forward to hearing your feedback and suggestions on our 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/PdNzlBufg88/updates-to-our-modifying-ad-code-policy.html

[G] Capturing the beauty and wonder of the Galapagos on Google Maps

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Official Blog: Capturing the beauty and wonder of the Galapagos on Google Maps

The Galapagos Islands are some of the most biologically unique ecosystems in the world. Explorers and scientists alike have long studied and marveled at these islands—made famous by Charles Darwin. The Ecuadorean Government, local conservation groups and scientists are working to protect the Galapagos from threats posed by invasive species, climate change and other human impacts.

It’s critical that we share images with the world of this place in order to continue to study and preserve the islands’ unique biodiversity. Today we’re honored to announce, in partnership with Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) and the Galapagos National Parks Directorate (GNPD), that we’ve collected panoramic imagery of the islands with the Street View Trekker. These stunning images will be available on Google Maps later this year so people around the world can experience this remote archipelago.

Daniel Orellana of Charles Darwin Foundation crossing a field of ferns to reach Minas de Azufre (naturally-occurring sulfur mines) on the top of Sierra Negra, an active volcano on Isabela Island. The Google Maps team traveled for more than three hours, hiking and on horseback, to reach this remote location.

Images, like the one you see above, are also an important visual record that the CDF and GNPD will use to study and protect the islands by showing the world how these delicate environments have changed over time.

Daniel Orellana of the Charles Darwin Foundation climbs out of a lava tunnel where he was collecting imagery. The dramatic lava landscapes found on Isabela island tell the story of the formation of the Galapagos Islands.

Our 10-day adventure in the Galapagos was full of hiking, boating and diving around the islands (in hot and humid conditions) to capture 360-degree images of the unique wildlife and geological features of the islands with the Trekker. We captured imagery from 10 locations that were hand-selected by CDF and GNPD. We walked past giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies, navigated through steep trails and lava fields, and picked our way down the crater of an active volcano called Sierra Negra.


A Galapagos giant tortoise crawls along the path near Googler Karin Tuxen-Bettman while she collects imagery with the Street View Trekker in Galapaguera, a tortoise breeding center, which is managed by the Galapagos National Park Service.

Life underwater in the Galapagos is just as diverse as life on land. We knew our map of the islands wouldn’t be comprehensive without exploring the ocean that surrounds them. So for the second time we teamed up with the folks at the Catlin Seaview Survey to collect underwater panoramic imagery of areas being studied by CDF and GNPD. This imagery will be used by Catlin Seaview Survey to create a visual and scientific baseline record of the marine environment surrounding the islands, allowing for any future changes to be measured and evaluated by scientists around the world.

Christophe Bailhache navigates the SVII camera through a large group of Sea Lions at Champion Island in Galapagos. Image courtesy of the Catlin Seaview Survey.

We truly believe that in order to protect these Galapagos Islands, we must understand them. As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” We hope this Street View imagery not only advances the important scientific research, but also inspires you to learn more about this special place. Stay tuned for updates on this collection—the first time we’ve captured imagery from both land and sea! We can’t wait to share this amazing imagery with you later this year.

Posted by Raleigh Seamster, Project Lead, Google Maps
URL: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2013/05/capturing-beauty-and-wonder-of.html

[G] Syntactic Ngrams over Time

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Google Research Blog: Syntactic Ngrams over Time

Posted by Yoav Goldberg, Professor at Bar Ilan University & Post-doc at Google 2011-2013



We are proud to announce the release of a very large dataset of counted dependency tree fragments from the English Books Corpus. This resource will help researchers, among other things, to model the meaning of English words over time and create better natural-language analysis tools. The resource is based on information derived from a syntactic analysis of the text of millions of English books.



Sentences in languages such as English have structure. This structure is called syntax, and knowing the syntax of a sentence is a step towards understanding its meaning. The process of taking a sentence and transforming it into a syntactic structure is called parsing. At Google, we parse a lot of text every day, in order to better understand it and be able to provide better results and services in many of our products.



There are many kinds of syntactic representations (you may be familiar with sentence diagraming), and at Google we've been focused on a certain type of syntactic representation called "dependency trees". Dependency-trees representation is centered around words and the relations between them. Each word in a sentence can either modify or be modified by other words. The various modifications can be represented as a tree, in which each node is a word.



For example, the sentence "we really like syntax" is analyzed as:







The verb "like" is the main word of the sentence. It is modified by a subject (denoted nsubj) "we", a direct object (denoted dobj) "syntax", and an adverbial modifier "really".



An interesting property of syntax is that, in many cases, one could recover the structure of a sentence without knowing the meaning of most of the words. For example, consider the sentence "the krumpets gnorked the koof with a shlap". We bet you could infer its structure, and tell that group of something which is called a krumpet did something called "gnorking" to something called a "koof", and that they did so with a "shlap".



This property by which you could infer the structure of the sentence based on various hints, without knowing the actual meaning of the words, is very useful. For one, it suggests that a even computer could do a reasonable job at such an analysis, and indeed it can! While still not perfect, parsing algorithms these days can analyze sentences with impressive speed and accuracy. For instance, our parser correctly analyzes the made-up sentence above.







Let's try a more difficult example. Something rather long and literary, like the opening sentence of One hundred years of solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, as translated by Gregory Rabassa:



Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.







Pretty good for an automatic process, eh?



And it doesn’t end here. Once we know the structure of many sentences, we can use these structures to infer the meaning of words, or at least find words which have a similar meaning to each other.



For example, consider the fragments:

"order a XYZ"

"XYZ is tasty"

"XYZ with ketchup"

"juicy XYZ"



By looking at the words modifying XYZ and their relations to it, you could probably infer that XYZ is a kind of food. And even if you are a robot and don't really know what a "food" is, you could probably tell that the XYZ must be similar to other unknown concepts such as "steak" or "tofu".



But maybe you don't want to infer anything. Maybe you already know what you are looking for, say "tasty food". In order to find such tasty food, one could collect the list of words which are objects of the verb "ate", and are commonly modified by the adjective "tasty" and "juicy". This should provide you a large list of yummy foods.



Imagine what you could achieve if you had hundreds of millions of such fragments. The possibilities are endless, and we are curious to know what the research community may come up with. So we parsed a lot of text (over 3.5 million English books, or roughly 350 billion words), extracted such tree fragments, counted how many times each fragment appeared, and put the counts online for everyone to download and play with.



350 billion words is a lot of text, and the resulting dataset of fragments is very, very large. The resulting datasets, each representing a particular type of tree fragments, contain billions of unique items, and each dataset’s compressed files takes tens of gigabytes. Some coding and data analysis skills will be required to process it, but we hope that with this data amazing research will be possible, by experts and non-experts alike.



The dataset is based on the English Books corpus, the same dataset behind the ngram-viewer. This time there is no easy-to-use GUI, but we still retain the time information, so for each syntactic fragment, you know not only how many times it appeared overall, but also how many times it appeared in each year -- so you could, for example, look at the subjects of the word “drank” at each decade from 1900 to 2000 and learn how drinking habits changed over time (much more ‘beer’ and ‘coffee’, somewhat less ‘wine’ and ‘glass’ (probably ‘of wine’). There’s also a drop in ‘whisky’, and an increase in ‘alcohol’. Brandy catches on around 1930s, and start dropping around 1980s. There is an increase in ‘juice’, and, thankfully, some decrease in ‘poison’).



The dataset is described in details in this scientific paper, and is available for download here.


URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/gJZg/~3/etvvV2bvUgQ/syntactic-ngrams-over-time.html