Wednesday, June 29, 2005
If you like Google Maps, but think you could do something better, now's your chance. Check out the Google Maps API, which lets web developers put Google Maps on their own sites, just like housingmaps.com and chicagocrime.org. You can also reach out to other API developers and the Google Maps team in the API discussion group.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
With the launch of Personalized Search, you can use that search history you've been building to get better results. You probably won't notice much difference at first, but as your search history grows, your personalized results will gradually improve.
This whole concept of personalization has been a big part our lives since some of the team was in grad school at Stanford. We shared an office, which happened to be the same one Sergey had used before, and we were pretty familiar with the research he and Larry had done. Related to their work, we thought building a scalable system for personalizing search results presented an interesting challenge. We've still got a long way to go, but we're excited to release this first step. So check out this latest addition to Google Labs and tell us what you think.
Last October Keyhole and Google joined forces to integrate satellite imagery with Google search technology in a single product. Now we've landed on Google Earth. You can fly from space right down to any place on the planet and take in spectacular 3D views, and for major US cities you can now see 3D city models. And more: where Google Local works today (the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.), you can search Google Local from within Earth for points of interest, businesses listings, driving directions, and lots more (like some of these excellent locations). True to Google form, there is now a free version. Ready to explore?
Monday, June 27, 2005
I've been amazed by your cool videos. I had never seen a robot dog harassing an iguana before, or a monkey doing karate, and I had no idea you were such good dancers. There's more than home video, too - like this UNICEF story featuring David Beckham.
The clips play right in the page using the brand new Google Video Viewer, which was created by our engineer Aaron Lee using code from the open source Videolan project. It works great in both Firefox and IE, and we've designed it not to fight with any other video plugins you might have. We're releasing the Windows version first, with Mac coming soon.
A feature we're especially pleased with is search within a video, which means you will get a result pointing to the precise spot in the video that matches your query. Try looking for sergey brin and you'll see what I mean. There are even more people getting creative with video here. So have fun watching, or shoot your own videos - and keep sending them in!
Friday, June 24, 2005
You'll never guess how I uploaded this photo of Brewster. Okay, maybe you could guess, but I'll tell you anyway: Blogger Images.
All Blogger users can now upload photos to their blogs. There's a button in the posting interface that looks like a little image, and when you click it, you can browse for an image on your computer or input the location of an image on the web. If you don't have cat photos to share on your blog, that's okay. We accept non-cat photos as well.
Friday, June 17, 2005
We may choose to eat only healthy food here at the Googleplex. The cafes serve sumptuous veggies and subtly seasoned fish, meat and pasta dishes, and the various kitchenettes always have a tempting array of fruits to choose from.
Photoblog Friday, however, is today devoted to the Dark Side.
On Friday mornings, one must resist this gooey, glazed array...
...the kitchenettes emit a psychedelic aura of caloric evil...
...and at lunchtime, how is one to avoid the table of doom?
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Since millions of people across the globe already use mobile phones like there's no tomorrow, we're launching Mobile Web Search in many languages. Try it the next time you visit Google on your mobile phone - you'll see a new option to search the Mobile Web. How different is it than standard web search? There are sites out there that have already been designed for your mobile phone, which makes them more navigable on the small screen. So we've created an index specifically for these sites. And so your phone can now be that much more useful.
Friday, June 10, 2005
...so from now on, we can all look forward to weekly slices of digital-photography life from the Googleplex, along with contributions from Googlers in our offices around the world.
A few hours ago, in honor of Photoblog Friday's maiden voyage, I walked over to the volleyball court, where, every lunchtime, a group of disturbingly fanatical volleyballers gathers to spend an hour or two in fierce competion, to the briefly entertained delight of hundreds of less athletically inclined Googlers passing by on our way to getting in even worse shape in the Cafe.
Is the ball going up or down here? I can't remember.
A giant yellow globe falls from the roof of Building 41.
The eternal triumph of the human volleyballing spirit.
Friday, June 03, 2005
There's been a lot of talk lately about ICANN's preliminary approval of some new top level Internet domains (.cat, .jobs, .mobi, .post, .travel, and .xxx), some more controversial than others. I've followed the various social and political debates only peripherally, but it seems like this could lead to a broader trend of sites assigning themselves to categories like jobs and travel.
Using the Site Search feature, you can narrow searches to a specific website [admissions site:www.mit.edu]. But what many people don't know is you can also use Site Search to narrow searches to a top level domain, which I found handy during tax season: [1099 site:gov].
Right now, Site Search can be used for top level domains (.org, .edu, .mil, .com, and .net), as well as country domains like .it (Italy) or .sz (Swaziland). As more of these come into play, topic-specific searching could become even easier.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
We're undertaking an experiment called Google Sitemaps that will either fail miserably, or succeed beyond our wildest dreams, in making the web better for webmasters and users alike. It's a beta "ecosystem" that may help webmasters with two current challenges: keeping Google informed about all of your new web pages or updates, and increasing the coverage of your web pages in the Google index.
Initially, we plan to use the URL information webmasters supply to further improve the coverage and freshness of our index. Over time that will lead to our doing an even better job of delivering more search results from more websites. (Danny Sullivan interviewed me about this if you want to read more.)
This project doesn't just pertain to Google, either: we're releasing it under the Attribution/Share Alike Creative Commons license so that other search engines can do a better job as well. Eventually we hope this will be supported natively in webservers (e.g. Apache, Lotus Notes, IIS). But to get you started, we offer Sitemap Generator, an open source client in Python to compute sitemaps for a few common use cases. Give it a whirl and give us your feedback.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
We're very excited to launch our newest Open Source initiative, the Summer of Code, a program that aims to help students enter the world of Open Source software development by honing their skills on real problems with real programmers. It's not only intellectually rewarding, though - we're offering stipends to each student who successfully completes a project by the end of the summer. If you're up for it, go for it!