News and notes from Google Down Under
Integrating your Google Maps into Flash applications
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Posted by Joseph Neeman, Engineering Intern
Ever since its launch, the
Google Maps API
has allowed non-Google developers to harness the power of Google Maps on their own websites. Over time, the Maps API has expanded to cover a vast range of functionality, from geocoding to Street View, and the Sydney engineering team has been a big driver in the growth and development of the Maps API.
For years, people have been
a Flash version of Google's popular Maps API. Our recent launch of
Google Maps API for Flash
delivers an official, supported path for all those Flash developers wanting to integrate Google Maps into their web applications. And for the Maps API developers who haven't tried Flash yet, this new API offers dramatic performance improvements, Flash-y animations and effortless cross-browser portability. For an entertaining peek at the new power that Flash lends to Google Maps developers, check out the spinning map demo below.
A big part of my 3-month internship project at Google Sydney has been helping the Flash Maps API team get ready for launch. For any Uni students out there who were planning to spend their summers laying around at the beach, a
is a fantastic way to improve your coding skills, get industry experience and improve your table tennis game (although I'm reliably informed that foosball is the relaxation tool of choice at the Mountain View office). To go from no industry experience to the launch of a major product in three months has been an amazing experience, and I'd like to thank the Google Maps team for their friendliness and support.
Street View in Australia
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Posted by Andrew Foster, Product Manager
As you may know, we're aiming to launch the Street View feature for
in Australia, later in 2008. Sydney was where Google Maps had its origins, so we're very excited to be bringing the feature here. Street View is a popular Google Maps feature that allows people to view and navigate 360 degree street-level imagery of cities and towns.
Google Maps and
have proven incredibly popular with Australians and are used by Governments, businesses and individuals as essential and informative tools every day of the week. Street View provides an added experience by enabling you to see a location as you would if you were standing on the street.
It's been a highly requested feature that will help people discover and explore parts of Australia (and may even help you with your
At Google, we take our users' privacy very seriously. Street View only contains imagery that anyone can already see walking down a public street and we've always had in place image removal tools. In addition, today, on the Google LatLong blog, we have
the first public test of our new face-blurring technology on the busy streets of Manhattan. This effort has been a year in the making - and we will continue to work hard to improve it as we roll it out for our existing and future imagery. Here's an example from the bustling streets of Manhattan:
In Australia (and New Zealand), Street View will also feature face-blurring, as well as image removal tools.
Recently, we have had very positive and productive discussions with the Australian Privacy Foundation about Street View and some of the issues they had raised. They were supportive of the efforts that we're making to safeguard privacy, including community outreach and product design. We're definitely looking forward to continuing to work constructively with them as we get closer to launch.
In the meantime, as winter approaches in Australia, you can enjoy going for a virtual walk through some of the
that are already featured. Safe travels!
Google Treasure Hunt
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Posted by Phillip Grasso, Manager - Engineering/Operations
The Google Engineering team is launching its first ever Treasure Hunt - a contest designed to challenge your problem-solving skills. Starting soon, we'll be releasing the first of four puzzles, drawing from computer science, networking, and low-level UNIX trivia. Each puzzle will be posted online week by week, and the first entrants to submit correct answers to each question will receive a prize.
With each puzzle, we'll also be featuring one of our worldwide offices. The contest will run for four weeks, and you will get a virtual glimpse into our Mountain View, Sydney, and San Francisco offices.
Below is the clue that you'll need to decode to get to the URL with more details. In the meantime, stay tuned here for directions and updates. And of course, to preserve fairness, no Google employees allowed :)
Arrrrrrrr you ready? Onward to the first puzzle, matey! And good luck!
Soon :). 1210550400
Calling all geek girls
Friday, May 2, 2008
Posted by Alan Noble, Head of Engineering for Google Australia & New Zealand
Google is happy to announce that applications are now open for the 3rd annual Google
Anita Borg Scholarship
. The scholarship is open to female university students in Australia or New Zealand who are studying computer science, or closely related technical fields. Scholars are selected on the basis of academic strength, demonstrated leadership and community involvement.
In addition to the financial award, all scholarship finalists and recipients are invited for an all expenses-paid networking retreat held in Google Australia's Engineering centre in Sydney in September. The retreat will include tech talks, break out sessions, a good mix of social activities and time to engage with fellow finalists and industry professionals. See below for a slideshow from last year's retreat, and be sure to check out
of last year's scholars.
Scholarship winners are also awarded an all expenses-paid trip to the U.S. in October to attend the 2009
Grace Hopper Conference
, the largest conference of women in computing worldwide.
For complete details, please visit
. Applications close June 13th 2008.
We are looking forward to expanding the scholarship this year to reach even a greater audience, so please do let any interested parties know about this opportunity.
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