News and notes from Google Down Under
Webinars For Those Too Busy For Seminars
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Ever sat in a seminar or conference and thought how much better it would be if you could learn all of the material being presented without being physically there?
Well, we've started holding webinars for our advertisers, to provide further information and training in how to make the most of AdWords (Google’s online advertising program), which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own armchair (or, more likely, your desk).
Our first webinar, "Introduction to Optimisation" was held in June, and saw hundreds of advertisers sign up. (Optimisation refers to the ability to make changes to your keywords, ad text and account structure in order to maximise the effectiveness of your online advertising). Advertisers heard from one of our local optimisation experts who presented tips and tricks for making online advertising campaigns perform better. Two of our AdWords team members were also on hand to respond to advertiser questions via chat throughout the webinar.
If you're interested in our upcoming webinars on all sorts of advertising-related topics such as Analytics, AdWords Editor and other AdWords topics, click
for a calendar of events.
Posted by Jaime Brands, Google AdWords Team
Googlers search for the finishing line
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Getting up early on Sundays is practically taboo for most Australians. Getting up early on Sunday to jog 14km is almost unheard of. So when the annual Sun Herald City2Surf marathon attracts a crowd of 70,000 enthusiastic participants, it’s quite clear that Sydneysiders are more than happy to break a few rules in the name of charity.
This year our very own team of Googlers and their families took to the start line at 9am, ready to tackle Heartbreak Hill, dodge crowd-pleasers in fancy dress and make it to the finish line without a single stain of yellow Gatorade on their shirts. From Engineering, to Sales and Marketing, there was healthy representation from almost every Google team. Nikolai Pitchforth, Senior Industry Analyst for our Travel team, finished in just under an hour, while others such as myself walked a steady pace, reaching Bondi Beach in double that time.
(You can see the route we all travelled
on Google Maps or with our
Street View flipbook video
So whether you walked, danced, jogged or ran on the day, your participation helped to support many great causes and community projects. Congratulations to all who entered and good luck in your recovery over the next week!
Google Team get ready for a cold start
Left to right: Patrice McCauley, Gabriella Scott, Angela Lawrence
Rob Schonberger secures his spot at the Start Line:
Posted by Shaden Mohamed – Account Strategist, Travel
Keeping up with the Summer Games
Monday, August 11, 2008
Now that the Games are underway, we're happy to present the
2008 Summer Games
on Google, a site featuring a number of Google products to help you stay updated on happenings. Whether you're cheering for Australia, or living, working, or traveling here and supporting your home country, the gadget is available in 31 languages.
We collaborated with a data provider to make it easy for you to keep current on event schedules and get updates on results, as well as track medal counts with an iGoogle gadget. You can also get schedules and results right on the Google homepage. (Check out the results for
We're also including the newest Summer Games highlights through
. The Summer Games on
lets you view medal and event information based on your favourite regions and sports. Read more about these efforts on the
Lat Long Blog
Also, be sure to check out this collection of
3D stadiums and venues
created with Google SketchUp. And since we know many of you are often on the go, all this information is available for mobile devices, where
We hope these tools make it easy and enjoyable for you to follow all the action at the Summer Games.
Posted by Chloe Sasson, Account Strategist
Street View: the view from Day 2
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I suspect I'm not alone in admitting that I spent quite a while using
to look up some of my favourite spots in Australia yesterday. I first checked out my neighbourhood in Sydney and then took some time traveling down "memory lane" looking at some of the places I've lived and visited. It was the first time I could share street-level panoramic imagery from Australia with my friends who live overseas.
It was almost overwhelming to see the excitement and interest in Street View from people in every State and Territory yesterday. We've heard from lots of Australians who checked it out - both here and abroad. We've also heard from people overseas who are already scoping out their next holiday destinations here in Australia -- from
and many places in between.
Some of you have asked "when will imagery for my street, my neighbourhood, or my town be available on Street View?" Although the coverage of Australia is extremely comprehensive, rest assured; we are absolutely continuing to add more areas and new public roads throughout Australia so keep your eyes peeled.
Speaking of which, we were thrilled that one of our users found the first ever "Street View Kangaroos":
View Larger Map
Lots of Australian users and businesses are already using Street View in important ways.
We knew property seekers would be thrilled at the ability to use Street View when looking to buy or rent, but within a matter of hours following the feature's availability, the real-estate website,
, integrated Street View into all their property listings across the country. Now, when you look up homes or apartments at domain.com.au, you can walk down the street and see your new neighbourhood.
Google and the
have also launched a "flipbook" video using still images from Street View to create a video of the race route, which takes place in Sydney this Sunday (10 August 2008). This is the first time in the world that a fun run has made a video of its course using Street View images. Runners can visualise the route and spectators can find the best vantage point in Sydney to cheer on their friends, co-workers and relatives. And please remember to donate and support the runners!
As a reminder, while Street View contains views from public roads, if you identify any imagery you consider sensitive or inappropriate, you can easily flag it for removal by clicking on "Street View Help" in any Street View window.
To all of you -- those who are long-time users of
and those who've discovered Google Maps for the first time -- thanks for your excitement and interest. Hope you continue to enjoy your journeys across Australia.
Posted by Andrew Foster, Product Manager
View Australia like never before
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Ever since Google Maps was first developed right here in Sydney, those of us at Google Australia are excited by its continued developments. Today, we're really pleased to introduce Street View for Australia, a feature which enables you to view and navigate 360-degree street-level imagery of public roads in Australia, from the CBD to the outback, from Geraldton to Coffs Harbour.
Check out the Street View page with introductory videos and tips
Below is a slideshow of Street View images from around Australia.
We're particularly excited that Australia is one of the first countries to launch Street View and to do so with such extensive coverage.
Whether you're checking out a restaurant before arriving in Cairns, working on a classroom project about Alice Springs, making travel plans to Adelaide, showing customers your business in Bondi, finding a holiday home in Bunbury, or arranging a meeting point with friends in St Kilda, Street View has a myriad of great uses.
Many Australian organisations - including
Real Estate Institute of Australia
Australian Geography Teachers Association
- have already identified significant opportunities for Street View to be used in travel, tourism, house buying and renting, education and helping make small businesses easier to find.
It's important to stress that we have gone to great lengths to safeguard privacy while enabling all Australians to benefit from this feature.
Street View only contains imagery that is already visible by anyone from public roads. And of course, none of the imagery is "real time". In addition, Street View features technology that blurs identifiable faces and vehicle license plates are unidentifiable. If you consider that Street View contains imagery that you consider sensitive or inappropriate, you can easily
flag it for removal
by clicking on "Street View Help" in any Street View window. We have consulted extensively and worked closely with many privacy and community groups in developing the Street View feature and privacy safeguards.
As you try out the feature for yourself on
, we hope you enjoy your journeys as you explore, learn about, and share our beautiful country in a way that's old and yet new -- with a street view.
Posted by Andrew Foster, Product Manager
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