Friday, 30 September 2011

Google Places APB

  APB (for those of you that don’t watch TV detective shows that means all points bulletin): Any Places edit seems to cause the smooshed phone number bug in Google Places. I repeat, the Places Dashboard is armed and dangerous. Do not approach, do not interact, immediately report any sitings of the smooshing bug directly to the forum. In an effort to ascertain the full nature of the problem, I once again threw my brother’s Place Page listing under the bus. I changed a few words in the description field and the newly identified smooshing bug appeared immediately on the listing’s Places page and in the 7-Pack results, Maps, Places and Mobile search results.

Google Earth: See the Trip View Bowls

Coming out of Taiwan each year, "Trip View Bowls" are popular works of art that show aerial artwork of a city, drawn onto the inside of a blue bowl. The artwork is quite impressive and amazingly detailed. TripViewBowl_GuanXi.jpg   The first is a tour (KMZ) that shows the bowl, then swoops around and shows the entire earth inside the bowl, then dives back down to Taipei again. If you turn on the [3D Buildings] layer, you'll see that he's aligned it quite well (though the 3D coverage in Taipei is still quite weak). peeking-over-bowl.png Here is a quick video of the tour if you aren't able to access Google Earth right now: The second is a huge 3D model of the earth sitting inside of the bowl (KMZ). There's not much to do with it, but it's a crazy sight to see and certainly one of the largest 3D models I've ever seen. ge-in-tvb.jpg Lastly is a very high-res look at the imagery on the inside of the bowl, viewable using the Google Earth photo viewer (KMZ). As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, the artwork inside the bowl is remarkably detailed, and this file really helps to show that. inside-bowl.jpg

Documents List API

  Google Docs supports sharing collections and their contents with others. This allows multiple Google Docs resources to be shared at once, and for additional resources added to the collection later to be automatically shared., an EDU application on the Google Apps Marketplace, uses this technique. When a professor creates a new course, the application automatically creates a Google Docs collection for that course and shares it with all the students. This gives the students and professor a single place to go in Google Docs to access and manage all of their course files. A collection is a Google Docs resource that contains other resources, typically behaving like a folder on a file system. A collection resource is created by making an HTTP POST to the feed link with the category element’s term set to, for example:

  Example Collection
To achieve the same thing using the Python client library, use the following code:
from import Resource

collection = Resource('folder')
collection.title.text = 'Example Collection'

# client is an Authorized client
collection = client.create_resource(entry)
The new collection returned has a content element indicating the URL to use to add new resources to the collection. Resources are added by making HTTP POST requests to this URL.

This process is simplified in the client libraries.  For example, in the Python client library, resources can be added to the new collection by passing the collection into the create_resource method for creating resources, or the move_resource method for moving an existing resource into the collection, like so:

# Create a new resource of document type in the collection
new_resource = Resource(type='document', title='New Document')
       client.create_resource(new_resource, collection=collection)

# Move an existing resource
client.move_resource(existing_resource, collection=collection)
Once resources have been added to the collection, the collection can be shared using ACL entries. For example, to add the user as a writer to the collection and every resource in the collection, the client creates and adds the ACL entry like so:
from import AclScope, AclRole
from import AclEntry

acl = AclEntry(
    scope = AclScope(value='', type='user'),
    role = AclRole(value='writer')

client.add_acl_entry(collection, acl)
The collection and its contents are now shared, and this can be verified in the Google Docs user interface:
Note: if the application is adding more than one ACL entry, it is recommended to use batching to combine multiple ACL entries into a single request. For more information on this best practice, see the latest blog post on the topic. The examples shown here are using the raw protocol or the Python client library. The Java client library also supports managing and sharing collections. For more information on how to use collections, see the Google Documents List API documentation. You can also find assistance in the Google Documents List API forum.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The new KML feature in Google Earth 6.1

In the recently released Google Earth 6.1 we added two new features that will help you annotate line data and improve KML Tours that include Street View mode. As a part of Google’s ongoing commitment to innovation within the standard, these were added to the gx: namespace using the official extension mechanism for OGC KML.

Line labels

When Earth 6.0 launched last November we introduced line styling options to create more realistic roads that have a physical width, outer coloring, and text labels. Now with Google Earth 6.1 you can also add simple text labels at the midpoint of regular (screen <width>) lines by using the new <gx:labelVisibility> tag in <LineStyle>. Caption: Labeled line between SFO and LAX airports. Download the KML. Note: To preserve the current, unlabeled appearance of regular lines in existing KML files, we’ve turned off all line labels by default in Google Earth 6.1. Because labels for physical width lines were turned on by default in Earth 6.0, you will now need to explicitly enable in your LineStyles to display them in Earth 6.1+.

Better Street View experience in Tours

Last November we also introduced <gx:ViewerOptions> in Earth 6.0 so that KML Tours can activate the historical imagery, sunlight and Street View modes, allowing you to tell even cooler stories. Street View mode uses a different field of view (FOV) than the regular navigation mode to provide users with a better experience. However, until now this special FOV was not captured while creating Tours in Google Earth. This meant that tour playback couldn’t faithfully reproduce the Street View experience as originally recorded. To address this issue in Google Earth 6.1 we added the <gx:horizFov> tag to <Camera> and <LookAt>. These values are captured automatically while recording tours in Earth 6.1 but you can also add them directly to your KML. Caption: Here’s an example of using to create the classic dolly zoom effect, invented by cameraman Irmin Roberts and used in Alfred Hitchcock’s film Vertigo. Download the KML here. Note: Although Cameras and LookAts can also be used to provide a default view for your placemarks, please note that in Google Earth 6.1 custom FOV values are only respected within the <gx:FlyTo> tags in tours.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Google+ Hangouts API

In the three months since Google launched face-to-face-to-face communication in Google+ Hangouts, We’ve been impressed by the many ways people use them. We’ve seen Hangouts for game shows, fantasy football drafts, guitar lessons and even hangouts for writers to break their solitary confinement. That’s just the beginning. Real-time applications are more engaging, fun, and interactive, but were hard for developers to deliver. Until now. Google launching the Developer Preview of the Hangouts API, another small piece of the Google+ platform. It enables you to add your own experiences to Hangouts and instantly build real-time applications, just like our first application, the built-in YouTube player. The integration model is simple -- you build a web app, register it with them, and specify who on your team can load it into their Hangout. Your app behaves like a normal web app, plus it can take part in the real-time conversation with new APIs like synchronization. Now you can create a "shared state" among all instances of your app so that all of your users can be instantly notified of changes made by anyone else. (This is how the YouTube player keeps videos in sync.) And we’ve added our first few multimedia APIs so you can, for example, mute the audio and video feeds of Hangout participants. When you’re ready to start hacking, they’re ready for you -- read the documentation, sign up, and start coding. We’re anxious to see, since this is a very early version of the API. They promise to make improvements and moving towards full production based on what we learn.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Maven and RequestFactory in GWT 2.4

  GWT 2.4 introduced changes to both Maven and RequestFactory, and we've recently updated the GWT wiki and sample apps with the latest and greatest: RequestFactory now does compile-time validation to ensure that your service implementations match your client-side interfaces. This feature is implemented using an annotation processor which must be configured in Eclipse or in your Maven POM. When configured in Eclipse, you will now see warnings and errors in the IDE anywhere your client- and server-side RF code don't match. In addition, the RequestFactory jars are now in Maven Central. Note that the Maven groupId for RF artifacts differs from the rest of the GWT artifacts since RF can be used in Android clients as well as GWT. If you're using RequestFactory instead of GWT-RPC, you no longer need gwt-servlet. Instead, you can use the much smaller requestfactory-server jar and requestfactory-apt (which contains the RF interface validation tool). You do not need requestfactory-client for GWT projects as the required classes are already included in gwt-user. The requestfactory-client jar is intended for non-GWT (Android) clients using RequestFactory.
The mobilewebapp and dynatablerf samples show everything working together and have been tested in Eclipse 3.6 and 3.7. If you also have the Eclipse Subversive plugin installed (see, you should be able to try the mobilewebapp sample as easily as
  1. File > Import > Checkout Maven projects from SCM, point to
  2. Run as > Web application

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Snippets on Google Maps

We recently launched +snippets for users and publishers, making it easy to visit a webpage and then share it on Google+. We want to make sharing across Google just as easy, so today we're bringing +snippets to Google Maps. Suppose you’re planning a weekend trip to Napa. Your packing list probably includes driving directions, hotel information and a list of nearby wineries. Many of you visit Google Maps for this kind of information already. But with +snippets, Google+ users can easily share directions or places (for example) with fellow travelers. Just click “Share...” in the Google+ bar at the top of the screen, and whatever you see on Maps is what you’ll see in the sharebox—ready to share with your circles:
+Snippets on Google Maps: Directions, Places, search results
With today’s launch, Google Maps joins other Google products like Books, Offers and Product Search in having +snippets. And like Maps, what you see onscreen is what you share—just click on “Share...” in the Google+ bar to reveal the +snippet:
+Snippets on Google Books, Offers and Product Search
We’ll be rolling out +snippets to many more Google products in the future, so stay tuned. In the meantime, we can’t wait to see how other publishers customize their own +snippets, all across the web.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Games in Google+

Playing games is a great way for us to spend quality time with each other (and a little healthy competition never hurt anyone either). With the Google+ project, they want to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to the web. But sharing is about more than just conversations. The experiences we have together are just as important to our relationships. We want to make playing games online just as fun, and just as meaningful, as playing in real life. That means giving you control over when you see games, how you play them and with whom you share your experiences. Games in Google+ are there when you want them and gone when you don’t. When you’re ready to play, the Games page is waiting—click the games button at the top of your stream. You can see the latest game updates from your circles, browse the invites you’ve received and check out games that people you know have played recently. The Games page is also where your game accomplishments will appear. So you can comfortably share your latest high score—your circles will only see the updates when they’re interested in playing games too. If you’re not interested in games, it’s easy to ignore them. Your stream will remain focused on conversations with the people you care about. You’ll have a fun initial set of games to play with on Google+. Thanks to the developers who’ve worked with us to make them available: Google starting to gradually roll out games in Google+. They look forward to making them fully available to everyone in Google+ soon. When you see a Games page in your account, please give games a try and send us feedback. Look for the "send feedback" button in the bottom right-hand corner of any page in Google+.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Forerunner 610

Forerunner 610. Next up on my list of likes is the 610’s versatility. While it’s primarily designed to track your runs, Forerunner 610 also has a bike mode and is compatible with our speed/cadence sensor. In the heat of the summer, I find myself on two wheels as much as on two feet, so it’s great to know I can use the same device for either activity. Like last week’s “hot lunch” ride with Jake. It was sort of a game-time decision to ride and my Edge 800 wasn’t at hand, but my 610 always is. Or a recent ride on a nearby trail with my son. While we didn’t care about speed or heart rate on a leisurely ride, knowing our distance was of utmost importance to a 9-year-old. I also use the 610 for my indoor workouts to track my time, heart rate and calories burned so I can store it all in Garmin Connect. And once the days get shorter and dark mornings force me to log some miles indoors on the treadmill, I’ll still be able to track every mile and minute with the 610 because it pairs with my foot pod. If you have an older Forerunner model and are looking for a good reason to part with your faithful friend, don’t forget about our trade-in offer. From now until Aug. 31, you can get $50 back when you buy a new Forerunner at your specialty fitness retailer and trade in your old one.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Free calls home from Gmail for all U.S. service members

We understand that it’s not always easy or affordable for our troops serving overseas to call friends and family at home, so starting today we’re making it completely free for all uniformed military personnel with valid United States Military (.mil) email addresses to call the United States, right from Gmail. There are two easy steps to enable free calling from Gmail (detailed instructions):
  1. Add your valid .mil email address to your Google Account
  2. Click on the Call phone link at the top of the Gmail chat roster and install the voice and video Gmail plugin if you haven’t already.

 And don’t forget that for friends and family at home in the U.S., calling troops abroad is as little as $.02/minute.

The new Garmin Rino

Learn about the new Garmin Rino 600 series of GPS handhelds, including key features such as GPS navigation, two-way radio for communication, weather alerts for situational awareness, and a built-in camera that takes geotagged photos.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Tracking young web developers

Every summer, we run a range of educational outreach programs designed to get students of all ages excited about technology. Our Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) is focused around incoming college freshmen who are considering a computer science major, particularly those groups traditionally underrepresented in the field. Last year the program was so successful that 24 of 29 students declared a major in Computer Science. So this year we decided to run CSSI twice. For each session, we invited nearly 30 young developers with little to no prior programming experience to the Googleplex for an intense three-week course in web application development. Unlike traditional introductory computer science programs, which are largely theoretical, CSSI enables students to gain a better understanding of software engineering through immediate participation. The goal is to give the students the tools they need to create exciting technical solutions now, which in turn gives them the confidence to take their ideas and turn them into reality. We wanted to equip students with a comprehensive toolset to tackle the world of web and mobile applications. In the first two weeks of the program we introduced students to App Inventor for Android, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Python, Django and App Engine. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but the students far surpassed our expectations and demanded more. In the final week of the program, they built some spectacular web applications, inspiring us with their passion and their enthusiasm for experimentation. They wrote online games, embedded Google Calendar's self-scheduler onto their websites and built blogging services. Some even began exploring the nitty-gritty details of computer graphics. Every one of our 56 students had the satisfaction of developing a publicly-available service on the web, hosted on Google’s servers. Moreover, the development process was deeply social: we emphasized and facilitated group work, helping students build a network of peers with a shared passion for technology. Google engineers served as mentors, and when we discovered that the students were so excited about their lessons that they continued to work on their projects in the evenings, mentors teamed up with them on Google+ Hangouts, using video conferencing and Google Docs to debug programs collaboratively online. While both sessions of CSSI 2011 are now over, we’ll be accepting applications for the 2012 sessions early next year, so stay tuned! Our goal with our education programs isn’t just to strengthen the study of computer science—we also want to enable rewarding collaboration among Google’s engineers and usability researchers, educators and the community at large. CSSI is one way to show young people how valuable teamwork can be and encourage them to take that spirit of cooperation back with them to their personal and academic lives. How do we know we’re on the right track? Not even three days after the end of the first session, a student posted the following message on Google+: “Five weeks before school starts, anyone interested in starting up a new web project?” She had six eager recruits within the hour.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

The third birthday of Chrome

It’s that time of the year again for the Chrome team, when we pause on our anniversary to reflect on the amazing life and times of the web. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been three years since we launched our open source web browser, Chrome. In that time, the web community has continued to inspire us, bringing the power of the web into all kinds of apps and experiences, with all modern browsers making great strides in speed, simplicity and security. To pay homage to the goodness of the web, we’ve put together an interactive infographic, built in HTML5, which details the evolution of major web technologies and browsers:
In our third year, we’ve also brought Chrome's principles of speed, simplicity and security to a new model of computing: the Chromebook. The Chromebook is pure Chrome—a computer built for everything you ever need to do on the web while doing away with all the usual annoyances of an old, slow PC. Here’s a quick fly-by through the some of the highlights of the past 12 months on the Chrome platform: Faster and faster
  • We kick off the Year of the Rabbit with a new compilation infrastructure for the V8 JavaScript engine, codenamed “Crankshaft,” which improves JavaScript performance by up to 66 percent.
  • Chrome’s new settings interface helps you find the right settings quickly with an integrated search box. It also provides direct links to each settings page, which can be copied and pasted for easy troubleshooting.
  • The omnibox is improved to better suggest partial matches for webpage titles and URLs.
  • You can optionally enable Chrome Instant, which shows relevant content in the browser window as you type, before you press Enter.
  • Chrome’s built-in prerendering technology enables sites to build even faster experiences for their users—such as Instant Pages in Google search, which in some cases makes search results appear to load almost instantly.
Simpler and more accessible
  • Chrome supports many popular screen readers such as JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver to help visually impaired people better experience the web.
  • Print Preview, a popular feature request, uses Chrome’s built-in PDF viewer to display the preview, and enables you to save any webpage as a convenient PDF file using the “Print to PDF” option.
  • Chrome’s icon takes on a simpler look to embody the Chrome spirit, since Chrome is all about making your web experience quicker, lighter and easier for all.
An even more secure platform
  • Our integrated and sandboxed PDF viewer enables you to view PDF files on the web without installing additional software. Furthermore, we built an additional layer of security around the PDF viewer called a “sandbox” to help protect you from security attacks that are targeted at PDF files.
  • Adobe Flash Player is sandboxed on Windows, further protecting you from security attacks and malware targeted at Flash content on the web.
  • Chrome warns you before downloading some types of malicious files with enhanced Safe Browsing technology. In order to help

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

GTFS-realtime to exchange realtime transit updates

In June, Google launched Live Transit Updates, a feature that adds realtime public transport information to Google Maps and Google Maps for mobile. This feature is powered by the GTFS-realtime feed format. Today we’re making the specification of this format public on Google Code. GTFS-realtime allows public transport agencies to provide realtime updates about their fleets. If you’re developing a trip planner or similar application, you can process these feeds and keep your users up-to-date with realtime information. GTFS-realtime is an extension to GTFS, the General Transit Feed Specification, published by Google in 2006. Nowadays, GTFS is a very commonly used feed format that public transport agencies use to (publicly) provide their transport information. As opposed to GTFS feeds, GTFS-realtime feeds contain very dynamic information. This means that they have to be updated frequently and applications that use them have to fetch them frequently as well. This requires a significant infrastructure from the transport agency’s side, but it results in a continuously updated description of the current situation. The specification currently includes three types of realtime updates: Trip Updates, Service Alerts and Vehicle Position updates. Each type of update has to be provided in a separate feed, and can be used independently. Trip Updates are a way to present changes in the timetable. When a trip is delayed, canceled, added or re-routed, a Trip Update can be used to provide this information in realtime. Service Alerts can be used to notify passengers about special circumstances in the public transport network. In a Vehicle Position update, an agency provides the current location of an individual vehicle. To encode realtime updates, Protocol Buffers are used. Protocol Buffer data structures can be processed very efficiently, resulting in low processing times compared to other popular data encapsulation standards. Because Protocol Buffers are compressed, they also use communication bandwidth efficiently. Protocol Buffers are very easy to work with, and there are libraries available for many programming languages. The specification was designed through a partnership of the initial Live Transit Updates partner agencies, a number of transit developers, and Google. It has been published under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, the same license used for GTFS. You can discuss the specification and propose changes in the discussion group. MBTA (Boston) and Trimet (Portland) have already made their GTFS-realtime feeds available for use in your applications. BART (SF Bay Area) and MTS (San Diego) have committed to making their feeds available in the future as well. We hope that many more agencies will follow!

The Weather on Google Map

Google added weather layer to its official version of Google Map. Information is coming from and includes current temperature, humidity and wind data as well as 5 day temperature forecast. Weather icons on the map represent today’s forecasted conditions and background map is simplified when weather layer is selected to make icons more visible. There are many sources of local weather information with global coverage so, the addition of this data layer should have been expected sooner or later. Weather information is extremely popular – these days any larger portal has at least a weather widget if not the entire weather forecasting and publishing arm (eg. Yahoo7 and Weather apps are amongst the best sellers on iTunes. My simple weather widget is the most popular “page” on - with over 800,000 pageviews per month. The goalpost has moved again as weather information became another commodity item. Listing a current temperature and/or forecast is an expected norm from any news or local community focused portal or blog. Tabular listings of detailed weather information are increasingly being supplemented with maps showing all sorts of details, including animated clouds, rain intensity, lightning strikes etc. (as per example from below). So, mere presentation of information will no longer be a distinctive feature. Intensified competition will only foster innovation and specialisation – to the benefit of all users! Related Posts: Weather widget take 3 Free weather widget upgrade

Monday, 5 September 2011

SketchUp: The treasure of textures

If you’re into such noble pursuits as geo-modeling or photo-realistic rendering, there’s a good chance that you spend a ridiculous amount of time hunting for photo-textures online. Flickr and other photo sharing sites are goldmines for content, but who has time to compile a folder of bookmarks that point to the best ones? Our friend John Pacyga, apparently. He’s just posted a long list of his favorite texture sources — for both SketchUp and Photoshop. Some are free, some have Creative Commons licenses, and some cost money, but all are worth browsing. Set aside some time, though; this kind of thing is addictive. If you’ve found a seamless texture (one that can repeat attractively when you paint it on a surface), here’s how you load it into SketchUp: Instructions for Windows: Instructions for Mac:   I found the rock texture in the screenshots above on lee.ponzu’s Flickr Textures set. Want to make your own seamless texture images? These tutorials on YouTube are a good place to start.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

C library for a new generation of APIs

Four years ago, Google introduced an Objective-C library for Google Data APIs. At first, it supported a scant three services - Google Base, Calendar, and Spreadsheets. Perhaps more surprising is that it was written just for Mac applications; the iPhone SDK was still a year off. In the years since, the library has grown to support 16 APIs, and has been used in many hundreds of applications. In a fine example of unforeseen consequences, most of those applications run not on the Mac but on iOS. The Google Data APIs were built on XML and the Atom Publishing Protocol, a reasonable industry standard for the time. But mobile, low-power, and bandwidth-limited computers are now the biggest audience for client software. Across the Internet, XML and AtomPub have given way to the lighter-weight JSON data interchange format. Other fundamental changes have also shifted the API landscape. Password-based authentication is being supplanted by the more secure and flexible OAuth 2 standard. The number of APIs has grown dramatically, making it impractical to hand-craft data classes for all APIs and all languages. When services offer API improvements, developers want access to those changes as quickly as possible. To support this evolving world, we are introducing a brand new library for Cocoa developers, the Google APIs Client Library for Objective-C. The library supports recent Google JSON APIs, including Tasks, Latitude, Books, URL Shortener, and many others. It is designed to make efficient use of the device’s processor and memory, so it’s a great fit for iOS applications. The new library includes high-level Objective-C interfaces and data classes for each service, generated from the Google APIs Discovery Service. This lets the library model data not just as generic JSON dictionaries, but also with first-class Objective-C 2.0 objects. The classes include properties for each field, letting developers take advantage of Xcode’s code completion and syntax and type checking. Here’s how easy it is to use the library and the new Google Books API to search for and print the titles of free ebooks by Samuel Clemens:
#import "GTLBooks.h"

GTLServiceBooks *service = [[GTLServiceBooks alloc] init];

GTLQueryBooks *query = 
  [GTLQueryBooks queryForVolumesListWithQ:@"Mark Twain"];
query.filter = kGTLBooksFilterFreeEbooks;

[service executeQuery:query
    completionHandler:^(GTLServiceTicket *ticket,
                        id object, NSError *error) {
      // callback
      if (error == nil) {
        GTLBooksVolumes *results = object;
        for (GTLBooksVolume *volume in results) {
          NSLog(@"%@", volume.volumeInfo.title);
The library supports Google’s partial response and partial update protocols, so even items of data-rich APIs can be retrieved and updated with minimal network overhead. It also offers a simple, efficient batch model, so many queries can be combined into one http request and response, speeding up applications. When we introduced the previous Objective-C library, it was with this assertion: When you trust your personal data to Google, it's still your data. You're free to edit it, to share it with others, or to download it and take it somewhere else entirely. We hope the new library and Google’s growing collection of APIs help iOS and Mac developers to keep that principle meaningful for many years to come. You can start using the Google APIs Client Library for Objective-C by checking it out from our open-source project site and by subscribing to the discussion group.

3D trees in the western United States

It’s late summer and many U.S. cities have reported record (or almost record) heat. Are you withering in warmth and longing for some shade under a tree? Maybe you can’t easily leave for your favorite park but trees are actually closer than you think! We’re happy to announce that we’ve added 3D trees to Google Earth in three new cities: Los Angeles, Denver and Boulder. Typically, when you imagine trees in Los Angeles, you picture the commanding palm trees that line the famous Hollywood avenues or dot the gracious mansions of Beverly Hills. While Palm Trees may dominate the landscape, there are actually many other trees both native and foreign that inhabit the city, such as the California Oak, Black Walnut trees, and California Sycamore (to name a few). You can now get a glimpse of these trees with the new 3D tree models covering the West Side, including cities like Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood, as well as parts of downtown where the financial district sits. Check out the famous Sunset Boulevard which stretches from the sea at Santa Monica to downtown. Here is where you will find Palm Trees lining glitzy movie posters and billboards that are a marquee signature of the city.
Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles
Or jump to the see more native species like the native Oak tree species in Elylsian Park adjacent to Dodgers Stadium.
Elysian Park, Los Angeles
There are two species you absolutely can’t forget when talking about trees in Colorado: Colorado Blue Spruce and Quaking Aspen, both native to Colorado. Colorado Blue Spruce has a very distinct look for the pale blue of its needles. It is also the Colorado state tree and a very common tree species seen in the Colorado Foothills. Quaking Aspen got its name from fluttering leaves in the breeze and makes up the famous golden fall foliage of Colorado. Take a walk on Cheeseman Park in Denver or a fly over Boulder and you can tell these trees by their unique colors and shapes.
Cheeseman Park, Denver
There is one other tree species in Colorado deserving a special mention - Cottonwood trees in Boulder. Every late spring, these trees cover Boulder in white cottons, making it feel like it’s still snowing in June (although that could happen in Colorado). There are several Cottonwoods right by the Google Boulder office that create white blankets of cotton in our garage and on sidewalks every June and July. Looking at these 3D trees on Google Earth makes me feel like sneezing all of a sudden...
Google Office in Boulder, CO
If you want to get a taste of these cities, put on some shades and visit in Google Earth. Just make sure “Trees” is checked under “3D Buildings” in the left layers panel.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Another Imagery Update in Google Maps and Earth

The Google Earth and Google Maps Imagery Team has published their latest batch of aerial and satellite imagery! In this blog post, we’d like to highlight a few interesting features from across the globe that can be explored in this new imagery release. Our first example below is of high-resolution aerial imagery from this past June and shows the U.S. version of that instantaneously recognizable French icon, the Eiffel Tower. This half-scale replica is 165 meters tall and spans the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Eiffel Tower Replica, Las Vegas
Our next example is of satellite imagery showing the Sha Tin Racecouse in Hong Kong. The 20-acre Penfold Park is situated in the center of the racecourse. The racecourse hosted equestrian events for the 2008 Summer Olympic games.
Sha Tin Racecourse and Penfeld Park, Hong Kong
Finally, here’s a really cool view of the toe of a valley glacier emanating from a small ice sheet in Greenland. This satellite image shows the classic “U-shaped” profile of valleys carved and formed by glaciers. This valley is located southeast of Nuuk, Greenland’s largest city and capital.
Valley glacier perspective view, Greenland
If you’d like to receive an email notification when the Earth and Maps Imagery team updates your favorite site(s), we’ve got just the tool: The Follow Your World application! These are only a few examples of the types of features that can be seen and discovered in our latest batch of published imagery. Happy exploring! High Resolution Aerial Updates: USA: Apache Junction, AZ; Dodge City, KS; Lake Tahoe/Reno, NV; Las Vegas, NV; Los Banos, CA; Midland, TX; Pecos, TX; Stockton, CA Australia: Adelaide UK: Bridgend, Port Eynon Countries/Regions receiving High Resolution Satellite Updates: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antarctica, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Georgia / South Sandwich Islands, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Bahamas, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe These updates are now available in both Google Maps and Google Earth.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Google, Android & Motorola Mobility

Since its launch in November 2007, Android has not only dramatically increased consumer choice but also improved the entire mobile experience for users. Today, more than 150 million Android devices have been activated worldwide—with over 550,000 devices now lit up every day—through a network of about 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers in 123 countries. Given Android’s phenomenal success, we are always looking for new ways to supercharge the Android ecosystem. That is why I am so excited today to announce that we have agreed to acquire Motorola. Motorola has a history of over 80 years of innovation in communications technology and products, and in the development of intellectual property, which have helped drive the remarkable revolution in mobile computing we are all enjoying today. Its many industry milestones include the introduction of the world’s first portable cell phone nearly 30 years ago, and the StarTAC—the smallest and lightest phone on earth at time of launch. In 2007, Motorola was a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance that worked to make Android the first truly open and comprehensive platform for mobile devices. I have loved my Motorola phones from the StarTAC era up to the current DROIDs. In 2008, Motorola bet big on Android as the sole operating system across all of its smartphone devices. It was a smart bet and we’re thrilled at the success they’ve achieved so far. We believe that their mobile business is on an upward trajectory and poised for explosive growth. Motorola is also a market leader in the home devices and video solutions business. With the transition to Internet Protocol, we are excited to work together with Motorola and the industry to support our partners and cooperate with them to accelerate innovation in this space. Motorola’s total commitment to Android in mobile devices is one of many reasons that there is a natural fit between our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers everywhere. This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. We will run Motorola as a separate business. Many hardware partners have contributed to Android’s success and we look forward to continuing to work with all of them to deliver outstanding user experiences. Recently explained how companies including Microsoft and Apple are banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android. The U.S. Department of Justice had to intervene in the results of one recent patent auction to “protect competition and innovation in the open source software community” and it is currently looking into the results of the Nortel auction. Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies. The combination of Google and Motorola will not only supercharge Android, but will also enhance competition and offer consumers accelerating innovation, greater choice, and wonderful user experiences. I am confident that these great experiences will create huge value for shareholders. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers. Posted by Larry Page, CEO Forward-Looking Statements This blogpost includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified by phrases such as Google or management “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “foresees,” “forecasts,” “estimates” or other words or phrases of similar import. Similarly, statements herein that describe the proposed transaction, including its financial impact, and other statements of management’s beliefs, intentions or goals also are forward-looking statements. It is uncertain whether any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur, or if any of them do, what impact they will have on the results of operations and financial condition of the combined companies or the price of Google or Motorola stock. These forward-looking statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the ability of the parties to consummate the proposed transaction and the satisfaction of the conditions precedent to consummation of the proposed transaction, including the ability to secure regulatory approvals at all or in a timely manner; the ability of Google to successfully integrate Motorola’s operations, product lines and technology; the ability of Google to implement its plans, forecasts and other expectations with respect to Motorola’s business after the completion of the transaction and realize additional opportunities for growth and innovation; and the other risks and important factors contained and identified in Google’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date hereof. Google undertakes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

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