News and notes from Google Down Under
From the cave to the web
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Posted by Julian Sonego, Consumer Marketing Manager
In early times, cavemen used to etch out rock carvings to either tell stories or simply because they thought their pictures looked cool and they had a bare wall to fill.
More contemporary media are a little different - film, canvas, paper, fabric - but the intention is (usually) the same, which begs the question, what about the web? Well, wonder no more.
Today, Google is very proud to announce the launch of a global collaboration with almost 70 artists who have created unique, dynamic iGoogle themes for our users. Some of the world's best known painters, musicians, actors, designers, photographers and more participated in this initiative, including
such as Anne Geddes, Akira Isogawa, John Butler, Missy Higgins, Reg Mombassa, Michael Leunig, Rolf Harris, Ken Done and even The Wiggles.
You'll be able to find their art along with
global "up and comers"
such as Jackie Chan, the Beastie Boys, Dolce and Gabbana, Jeff Koons, Coldplay Oscar de la Renta and Philippe Starck.
As you may know, iGoogle has always provided you with great tools to access and arrange the content you want on your homepage. Just like a person's book or music collection is an extension of their personality, a user's iGoogle page is also a reflection of their loves and interests, both in terms of content, and now, visually. Please, spend some time and stroll through
our gallery of world class art
, all from the comfort of your seat and help us celebrate the web as the newest form of artistic medium.
Map your way to your next trip
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Posted by Russell Isaacson, Expedia.com.au Marketing
Editor's note: we are always keen to encourage and feature great
, a technology developed in our
Sydney Engineering centre
. Today, we are pleased to have a guest post from Expedia, talking about their innovative new travel Mapplet.
Attention travelers: we’re pleased to announce the launch of a new Mapplet that will help you plan your next trip. Developed by
, the Hotels & Attractions mapplet lets you search for hotels and fun things to do in destinations all over the world according to your dates of travel and preferred hotel star rating.
Featuring an easy to use interface, the Mapplet displays results from Expedia’s vast, global inventory of hotels and attractions. Hotels appear as red pins and attractions appear as blue pins, making them easy to distinguish.
Once you find a hotel or attraction that interests you, clicking on the pin provides more details. For hotels, these details include price, picture, description as well as objective traveler reviews from
, the world’s largest travel community.
Clicking on an attraction pin provides a picture as well as a written description.
Just knowing location, price and the hotel description is not enough. Tapping into over 10 million hotel reviews by independent travelers like yourself will make all the difference in your quest to find the best place to stay.
And by displaying attractions along with hotels, the Expedia Mapplet makes it that much easier to plan and book every aspect of your trip. It’s one thing to find the right place to stay, but it’s another thing to know what you’ll do when you get there. With the Expedia Mapplet, figuring out both is easy!
Want to add the Mapplet to your Maps? Just go to
, click My Maps and select the
Expedia Hotels and Attractions link
under the Featured Content section. Enjoy your trip!
Google Developer Day and moving the web forward as a platform
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Posted by Adam Schuck, Software Engineer
The Zen Master sayeth: many minds are better than few.
It sounds simple, but this is one of the basic ideas behind Google's efforts to create a more open and collaborative web. It's why we created the
Google Web Toolkit
, why we made
an open-source application, and why we recently were happy
to help developers to build richer gadgets for iGoogle. The theory: the easier it is for developers to work together to build on top of APIs and to experiment with open and scalable apps, the more vibrant the web becomes, and the more everyone benefits.
It isn't for any one company or developer alone to decide where the web can go, but it's a gradual evolution that everyone should be able to play a part in. It is with this in mind that we're happy to announce our second Developer Day event, happening June 18th, at Wharf 8 in Sydney. It's a chance for the Australian web developer community to come together to discuss where the web is headed, and how Google can help developers to build apps, and connect with millions of users across the globe.
For more details on our Developer Day event, and to register, please visit
The Zen Master concludeth: we hope to see you there.
It definitely does compute
Friday, April 18, 2008
Posted by Damana Madden, Geek Diva
[Last night, Google was happy to play host to Sydney's second "Geek Girls Dinner". It was a tremendous night for all the women (and men) involved, and we are very pleased to have Damana Madden, head of the Sydney Geek Girls community, as a guest today on our blog. To find out more about Damana and the Geek Girls, visit the
Geek Girls homepage
If you listen to the ABS, in late 2006, only 16% of our IT industry was female, and now women are leaving at twice the rate of men. A fraction of those women who stay in IT are computer scientists or software engineers. We are all geek girls.
Over a decade has passed since I started studying computer science and math. Working as a female IT professional in contracts, start-ups and currently as a consultant software developer, has provided me with a range of experiences. I'm happy now to share these perspective with girls who have yet to claim their geekdom, those who are already involved in IT, and those who are looking to come back. The best part: there are many women like me, who also feel this way, and who have much to share with their fellow female geeks. That's why we gather officially every month to have a glass of bubbly, to listen to technical talks, and to connect with one another.
The greater Geek Girls community aims to support and enable women who want to be a part of the progressive and exciting world of IT - a world that is constantly changing, and where interesting and important challenges are emerging every day. There are many opportunities and resources available to women, but many either feel discouraged, or don't know where to turn. Bringing women in tech together, providing a forum to connect, to share, and often just to hang out, geek to geek, we empower one another, and become a mutual source of strength in the face of the everyday ups and downs that women in technology face.
I'm passionate about keeping women in IT, encouraging women to study computing, and helping those who have left to return when they want to. As
says: "Any piece of software reflects the organisational structure that produced it". In other words: diversity is good for technology. Different people with different angles bring a new way of looking at the world and of solving problems. If companies want to produce technologies to be used by everyone, they can only benefit from a team whose diversity reflects their audience. I'm glad that Google and ThoughtWorks have committed to taking part in this important conversation, and - if you're a geek girl like me - look forward to talking with you as we continue to host
dinners around Australia
Now showing in Google Earth: Award-winning Australian Architecture
Friday, April 11, 2008
Posted by Bruce Polderman, Product Manager
Whether you're a practicing architect, or just a design enthusiast, you'll want to check out the
new KML layer
developed by the
Royal Australia Institute of Architects
. The layer has been officially announced to a crowd of the country's finest architects and designers at their
currently being held in Sydney.
Similar to the
America's Favorite Architecture
layer introduced to Google Earth in May of 2007, the RAIA layer contains fantastic photos and detailed project information for approximately 600 State and National award winning design projects in and around Australia.
Especially exciting are the 60 3D models of the
National award winners
over the last five years. The photo-textured models really bring the design to life and allow you to see how the building is incorporated into the surrounding environment.
The KML bubbles for the National award winners have preset "lookat" angles. Double-clicking on the placemark will fly you down to a great view of the building site. To view the 3D buildings you have to turn the "3D Buildings" layer on in Google Earth's layer panel first.
can be downloaded from the
RAIA web site
. The entire collection of 3D models for the National award winners can also be viewed in the "RAIA" collection in the
Google 3D Warehouse
The latest development for developers
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Posted by Peter McKenzie, Software Engineer
Today, we've taken our first step in making it easier for developers to build and scale their apps, with our
of Google App Engine.
Google App Engine
, you can write web applications that are based on the same building blocks that Google uses, like
. Google App Engine packages up those building blocks, providing access to scalable infrastructure that we hope will make it easier for developers to scale their applications automatically as they grow.
We're just in the early stages, and we're giving you early access because we really want your feedback. This preview of Google App Engine is available for the first 10,000 developers who sign up, and we plan to increase that number in near future.
If you'd like to try it out,
for access to the preview release and then
download the SDK
to get started. The best place to give us feedback and keep apprised of new developments is in the
, and our new
Google App Engine Blog
The future is now
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Posted by Alan Noble, Head of Engineering, Google Australia & New Zealand
The secret is out. Today, in an exclusive launch only for Australians, we're happy to announce
search technology, Google's newest innovation, developed right here in our
Sydney R&D centre
. Using a system called MATE (Machine Automated Temporal Extrapolation), gDay combines Google's index of historic, cached web content, and a mashup of numerous factors, including recurrence plots and fuzzy measure analysis, to create a sophisticated model of what the internet will look like 24 hours from now.
By clicking "one day in advance" on our homepage, you can search the internet exactly 24 hours in advance.
You heard that right. That's tomorrow's footy scores, tomorrow's celebrity goss, tomorrow's weather, even tomorrow's Google announcements - all right at your fingertips. Not to toot our own horn, but this is going to be a very, *very* big feature for Google Australia going forward.
Believe me, I checked.
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