News and notes from Google Down Under
Bye Bye Beta: New AdWords interface out of beta
Friday, July 31, 2009
(Editor's note: This is partial cross post from the
Official Asia Pac Agency
Back in March, we rolled out a
new AdWords interface for businesses
in Australia and New Zealand. When we started building this new interface, we asked ourselves two questions. First, how can we help you get your work done faster? Second, how can we help you find the right tools at the right time to get the best possible performance out of your AdWords campaigns? Today we feel we've made great progress towards those goals, and the new interface is coming out of beta.
We've heard from many Australian and New Zealand advertisers that the new interface has made a material difference to their businesses. Advertisers have saved time with quicker editing, reporting, and account navigation, and improved campaign performance by using better integrated tools to refine their targeting.
In the past months, we've continued to make improvements to the new AdWords interface on a regular basis,
fixing issues in response to advertiser feedback
and rolling out new features to improve campaign management. Recently, we've added features like
to support bulk changes to keyword lists,
to cut the time it takes to make changes, and new in-context help modules to give you answers in the right place at the right time. And we're not done yet -- the new AdWords interface is built on an infrastructure that lets us develop features more quickly than in the past. Stay tuned for new features like
to simplify the local advertising process and
to help you stay on top of changes in your account's performance. These updates and more will be released to all advertisers in the coming months.
Now that the new interface is out of beta, we're upgrading a larger number of accounts to use the new interface exclusively. If you have questions about the interface, please consult the
new interface microsite
or check out to a
webinar we recently recorded
for Australian and New Zealand advertisers.
Finally, we'd like to say thank you to everyone who has helped us test the new AdWords interface over the past five months. Your feedback has been invaluable in making AdWords what it is today. And as always, if you have any comments or requests, please
let us know
Jeremy Wood, Product Specialist Team
Google Australia hosts Young Leaders Network
Thursday, July 30, 2009
(Editor's note: This is a guest post by Rebecca Trewick of the Young Leaders Network)
On the evening of July 15, Google hosted a
Young Leaders Network
event titled "Innovation in Leadership', bringing together around 80 of Sydney's most active and talented young leaders. The Young Leaders Network (YLN) is a new and independent project started by Michael Cao, a recent graduate from Macquarie University, which aims to connect and develop young people who lead not-for-profit organisations.
Attendees included the managing director of the
Brightest Young Minds Foundation
, the president of the
, vice president of the
University of Sydney union
, the chair of
, as well as leaders from the Australian Youth Climate Change Coalition,
, and dozens of other youth-run clubs, societies, charities and other student groups.
The night featured presentations on Google history, online marketing strategy, and a very popular live demo of
Google Docs and Sites
to assist the young leaders with communication and developing an online presence. This was followed by an engaging Q&A session with a panel of Googlers. The discussion focused on Google's management philosophy and how their motto of "don't be evil" is reflected in their business practices.
This exciting event received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from YLN members as everyone took something away from the evening. Emma Lovell, last year's winner of Volunteer of the Year at UTS and active member and leader in
said: "Being able to attend an event and meet a whole room full of leaders and entrepreneurial young people like myself was such a great experience. Where else could I find such a high calibre of people all in one room? The discussions are on a higher level and we can directly tackle each other's issues within our clubs and our broader networking associations."
After the event, the night kicked on at Astral Bar with networking drinks kindly sponsored by the UTS Union Ltd. The YLN would like to thank Google for their assistance in making it a truly enjoyable and rewarding evening.
Posted by Rebecca Trewick, YLN Director of Communications and Media
Susan, stimulus and swine flu: the fastest rising searches of 2009 so far
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
A year ago we were searching for Heath Ledger, Barack Obama and iPhones - but so far this year it’s all about flu and a certain YouTube phenomenon.
The fastest rising searches conducted on
during 2009 to date are for ‘
’ (1) and ‘
’ (2), and home-grown TV show ‘
’ made number three, after awakening the foodie within all of us.
Aussies also headed online to understand their eligibility for the Government’s ‘
’ (4); follow Roger Federer’s effort to match Pete Sampras’s grand slam record at ‘
’ (5); and better understand technology phenomenon ‘
Because people use Google to search for what's new and interesting, trends in search terms are a good reflection of what's been on everybody's minds so far this year.
Search volume trends can also be a glimpse of people’s response to a changing world around them, especially in light of the unprecedented global economic events. (According to research conducted by Monash's Australian Centre for Retail Studies, 50% of people research their purchases and decisions online before purchasing). We've used our
Insights for Search
tool to reveal some interesting trends in what Aussies are searching for - draw your own conclusions from the graphs below.
Solar the preferred alternative
source of energy
... we're so over that word.
in tough times?
steal the show.
important despite tighter economic times.
Some people are still finding the cash for
fascinate us ... but some of us seem to be looking for
lawyers of our own. Check out the spike around the financial meltdown of October last year.
is calming down … but
is ramping up.
are trending up ... perhaps alongside the popularity of Masterchef?
Miranda Kerr is the
queen of our off-shore Aussies
missed his opportunity
to become number one Brad.
Fastest rising searches of 2009:
afl fixture 2009
Fastest rising ‘people’ searches of 2009:
Fastest rising TV shows, movies and games of 2009:
jizz in my pants
Fastest rising current events of 2009:
afl fixture 2009
Fastest rising retail searches of 2009:
Fastest rising searches for products/services of 2009:
avg free download
Fastest rising website searches of 2009
centrelink online services
Posted by Annie Baxter, Google Communications
Google Student Day
Monday, July 27, 2009
Are you a technology optimist? Have you thought about a career in ICT?
At Google we believe that the wave of information and communications online is changing lives around the world for the better. Students choosing careers today have many exciting options in technology. We're working with the National ICT Careers Week and hope to inspire some of those career choices through Google Student Day. We will bring 40 students and their parents to the Google offices in Sydney for a behind the scenes tour of innovation and geekdom at play.
The Student Day will run on the
ACS careers portal
and to enter, students under the age of 18 must write in 25 words or less why they think IT is cool.
Entries open today and close Monday 10th August 2009. Winners will be announced Monday 24th August 2009 and the Google Student Day will run on 15 October 2009 from 5.30pm - 7.30pm.
Isa Notermans, People Programs Specialist
Aussie Marketing Challenge Victory
Friday, July 24, 2009
(Editor's note: This is partial cross post from the Official Google blog).
Congrats to Deakin University, global winners of the
Google Online Marketing Challenge
. The Challenge is in its second year running and is one of the world's largest university competitions with 2,187 teams participating across 57 countries. An Australian team has won both years.
The Challenge is a hands-on exercise which gives under- and post-grad students direct experience with online advertising as part of their course work. Student teams receive the equivalent of US$200 to spend on Google AdWords advertising, to work with a local business to devise an online marketing campaign, drive results and provide recommendations to further improve its online marketing effectiveness.
The winning team, geographically dispersed across Australia - Andrew Kidd (Tasmania), Clinton Hinze (Queensland), Howard Lien (New South Wales), and Katalin Kish, Kevin Fung, Jason Blakely (all from Victoria), created an eBusiness campaign for Brisbane-based Indoor Play Centre and Cafe,
LuckyTigrrs more like..
"The overall campaign generated $2,355 AUD in revenue for LittleTiGrrs - a solid return on investment of 12.1 to 1, while visitors to their website more than doubled compared with the same period last year," said Andrew Kidd, leader of the winning team. "We really enjoyed taking a traditional business strategy and bricks and mortar business and putting that online."
We developed the Challenge to benefit everyone involved. We're delighted that thousands of small businesses around the world have seen their online presence improved in just three weeks. Professors tell us that the Challenge has allowed them to deliver a unique, practical teaching and learning exercise. For those students that took part, we hope they have developed some useful online marketing skills which they can use when they graduate and enter the workforce.
For anyone interested in competing in the 2010 Challenge, formal registrations will open later this year, but in the meantime you can
register your interest
Lee Hunter, Product Marketing Manager
Postal Services Group of New Zealand Post goes Google
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
In the last 12 months we've seen enormous interest from organisations large and small, across Australia and New Zealand, in learning more about the benefits of cloud computing and
. Some inquiries are from SMEs looking for low-cost and flexible ways to scale their business infrastructure; some are from CIOs of major organisations keen to harness the power of the cloud's in-built collaboration characteristics to transform the way their companies operate. But they share a common belief that a cloud revolution is taking place, and they want to be at the leading edge of it.
A number of
Australian and New Zealand universities
have proved that the cloud model is highly effective in large organisations - collectively, around 1.7 million students across the two countries are connecting with fellow students and teachers via Gmail, and enjoying the work anywhere, any time benefits.
That's why we're so happy today to announce that the Postal Services Group of
New Zealand Post
is rolling out
to just over 2,000 employees before the end of the year, making it the largest non-education deployment in Australia/New Zealand to date.
While it's true that moving to a cloud computing model represents significant cost-savings to the Postal Services Group, it's most exciting to hear about the transformative power they believe Google Apps will have on their organisation.
CEO Peter Fenton
says the shift will allow people to work together more creatively, collaboratively and flexibly - empowering staff by moving to an any time, anywhere model. He
also says that
bringing cutting edge technology into the organisation is going to help them retain employees and attract talented graduates, who expect the same powerful web-based solutions in their work life as they have in their personal life.
As a division of one of New Zealand's most iconic and important organisations, it's inspiring to see NZ Post's Postal Services Group blazing a trail for cloud computing adoption by large enterprises in the Asia Pacific region.
Posted by James Tarquin, Enterprise Sales Engineer
Fly yourself to the Moon
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
(Editor's note: This is a cross post from the Google
On July 20, 1969, two human beings landed on the moon for the first time. Forty years later, that accomplishment still stands as an unmatched moment in the history of human exploration. It was a truly wondrous event that captured imaginations worldwide -- nearly a billion people (one quarter of the Earth's population at the time) followed it moment-by-moment on live TV or radio, around the globe.
Today, on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, Google is proud to announce the release of
Moon in Google Earth
, bringing you one step closer to understanding the experience of standing on the moon. It brings the Apollo stories out of the history books, recreating them in an immersive and interactive 3D environment.
To see for yourself, all you need is
Google Earth 5.0
(if you already have it, no upgrade is required). Just click the planet button on the top toolbar of Google Earth, and choose Moon. You'll be flow to the Moon, at which point you have all the same usual Google Earth controls -- drag your mouse on the globe to fly around, and use the Layers panel in the lower-left corner to discover content. Double-click any Layers item to fly to it.
Each of the Apollo landing missions is chronicled in detail through pictures and stories. We've even embedded video footage from
that covers the most well-known moments on the surface. There are also immersive lunar surface panoramas, composed of photos taken by the astronauts themselves, presented for the first time in a 3D "Street View" style interface:
The Human Artifacts layer contains locations and trivia on every robotic spacecraft that's ever landed on or crashed into the moon. Those that did land successfully are represented by 3D models, such as
from the USSR:
You can turn on the Historical Maps layer to see maps that NASA itself used in the Apollo missions. Or just fly around and explore the 3D terrain:
If you get lost, that's no problem... just pull up the Guided Tours layer. There you'll find author Andrew Chaikin (
A Man on the Moon
) and Apollo 11 astronaut and author Buzz Aldrin (
) co-narrating an immersive fly-through tour of the Apollo 11 landing site. Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and
Fusion Technology Institute
faculty member, is also on hand to describe his experience as the only geologist to have walked on the Moon.
The tours are like a movie, but better... when you pause, you can actually look around with the camera! See the
Google Earth User Guide
for more info.
Moon in Google Earth was made possible by Google's
Space Act Agreement
, which allowed NASA Ames researchers to help us develop much of its content. We're also grateful to
, Japan's space agency, for donating a global terrain dataset of the Moon.
We hope that you enjoy Moon in Google Earth.
Explore it today
, in observation of the 40th anniversary of one of humanity's finest moments.
Posted by Michael Weiss-Malik, Product Manager, Moon in Google Earth
Global Poverty Project Visits Google Sydney
Friday, July 17, 2009
Google is well known for its interest in how the power of technology and information can help solve some of the world's toughest problems. Indeed, via
, Google contributes employee time and resources, as well as funding, towards a range of projects, like
Google Flu Trends
, that we believe have really power to change the world for the better.
We also take a keen interest in what other organisations are doing to make the world a better place. Many Googlers in Australia have recently been inspired by the work of the
Global Poverty Project
which, led by former Young Australian of the Year
, aims to inspire us all to change the way we view the challenge of global poverty, and to send a clear message to policy makers and governments that they must keep their pledge to the Millennium Development Goals to end extreme poverty.
1.4 Billion Reasons
, the Global Poverty Project's road show, is travelling the nation highlighting that what may seem like small efforts on an everyday level do, in fact, have a massive impact on the world's poor.
This week we were lucky enough to have the Global Poverty Project visit Google Sydney. Googlers were challenged to think and discuss through ideas which confronted the notion that ending extreme poverty is an impossibility. Through a data driven presentation coupled with heart rendering footage from those living in the developing world, the Global Poverty Project brought the realisation that ending extreme poverty is not only possible - but achievable in our lifetime. It was powerful stuff. Many Googlers left the event with the commitment to further their efforts and make a choice to join the global movement on a local level to end extreme poverty.
Google is proud to be the technology partner of the Global Poverty Project, supporting them in their important mission via
and other technology advice. You can learn more about the project by visiting their
, or visiting their website (
) to find a time to see the presentation for yourself as the project tours the country before taking their message globally.
Posted by Leticia Lentini, Marketing Events Manager
Introducing a collection of favourite places from around the world
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Earlier this year we celebrated the winners of our first ever
My Maps Australia Awards
. Australians from across the country shared their local knowledge with the rest of us by creating maps of special places.
Now, around 200 local experts and trendsetters in cities around the world have shared their
. Each has provided their personal perspective on their selected locations, and the result is a new collection of expert maps for users to browse and explore:
Culinary experts such as
share some of their favourite restaurants including our very own Harbour and Kitchen Bar in Sydney;
Fashion experts such as
Diane von Furstenberg
share their favourite places to shop;
Political leaders such as
David de Rothschild
share places that they loved while growing up or that inspire their work today;
Musical experts such as
share some of their favourite places to view art or catch a show;
Sport icons such as four-time World Surfing Champion
share their favourite places to enjoy their passion like riding the waves at Bells Beach and Narrabeen.
Google is making these expert maps accessible to everyone in celebration of the wealth of local information available online and to encourage local businesses to increase their visibility online by registering their details for free via the Google Maps
Local Business Centre
If you fancy yourself as an expert in something or want to create a collection of your favourite locations - be they preferred restaurants, surf beaches or stops on a roadtrip - you can create your own map and select your own favourite spots using the My Maps tab on
. Then you can choose to share your own favourite places with friends and family or you can contribute your expertise to the rest of the world by making it searchable online. Check out
for more information.
Posted by Katharina Friedrich, Product Marketing Manager
Tasks graduates from Gmail Labs
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
The Sydney engineering team at Google is well-known for working on Google Maps, and more recently Google Wave, but that's not all we get up to! Recently a few of us got to work on something that we hoped would make the lives of our users a whole lot easier - a Tasks list to sit within Gmail.
The project started with an insight - that lots of people use Gmail to help them manage their 'to-do' lists. We thought it would be really useful to offer another way for people to keep track of things from right within Gmail, in a very simple way - you just click in an empty part of the list, start typing, and it saves automatically.
Tasks launched in Gmail Labs in November last year, and it was awesome for us to see how popular it became, and so quickly. And we kept improving it too - we believe simple and fast is best, so we've been working to make Tasks more responsive and get basic interactions working better: we've added
mobile and gadget views
improvements to task editing and management
, launched in
integrated with Google Calendar
. We've also added a printable view for those people compelled to do things away from their computers or mobile devices.
Why did it launch in Labs first? Well, we
launched Gmail Labs
as a forum for delivering features that might not be quite ready for prime time. The idea was always that the most popular and viable Labs features would graduate and be made more readily available to all users... and that some of the less used, less viable ones would disappear forever.
We're really pleased that Tasks is in that first bucket - it's been one of the most popular experimental Gmail features and it's now the first graduate from Labs. To access Tasks, starting today you can just click "Tasks" under the "Contacts" link above your chat list (see above - no need to turn it on from the Labs tab anymore). Check out the video below for some more tips on how Tasks can help you organise your time online.
Posted by Michael Lancaster, Software Engineer
Get ready kids ... Doodle 4 Google 2009 is here!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
One of our favourite Google moments of 2007 was announcing the
winner of our 'Doodle 4 Google - My Australia'
competition. We were overwhelmed by the positive response from teachers around the country, who took the opportunity to ask their students what it meant to be Australian, and then depict that through art and design - and, of course, by the kids who created such vibrant and original works. Our winner, Janelle San Juan of the
School of the Good Shepherd
in Victoria had the thrill of seeing her Google doodle on the Google Australia home page on Australia Day last year.
The initiative was so much fun, and received such a great response ... that we're doing it all over again! Today we're super excited to announce
Doodle 4 Google 2009
. All Australian schools are warmly invited to take part in this project which offers young people the chance to have their artwork viewed not just by their teachers and classmates, but by millions of people all across the Internet.
are the special "dressed-up" logos we run on our homepage for holidays and other events, and Doodle 4 Google is an opportunity for one Australian child to have his or her doodle displayed on our Australian homepage for one day in 2010 for everyone to see.
This year's theme is "My wish for Australia", and we really want to tap into not only children's creativity, but also what they hope the future of their country might look like.
Judging the initiative will be renowned artists
, and humanitarian Hugh Evans of the
Global Poverty Project
We kicked off Doodle 4 Google today at
Melbourne City Council's ArtPlay centre
, where an enthusiastic group of five and six year-olds helped us create a beautiful Google doodle to inspire other kids around the country to take part. The kids helped us draw their visions of Australia's future ... from sunshine and good friends to more trees and sea creatures. We were lucky enough to have Melbourne City Councillor Jennifer Kanis and judge Hugh Evans roll up their sleeves and join in the arty fun, alongside budding artists Van, Isobel and Anushka.
The competition is open to Years 1 - 10 students from registered schools. So teachers, if you want to participate, please
register your school
by 14 August 2009, and all doodles must be submitted by 4 September 2009. Visit the
Doodle 4 Google website
for a full listing of all contest rules and requirements. And kids ... get doodling!
Posted by Katharina Friedrich, Marketing Manager
Victorian Parliament opens up for question time
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Today, Premier Brumby has joined the video democracy in the cloud and opened up his
for question time. Victorians can submit their questions and vote on the ones they want answered.
One issue that may well attract some questions is online access to public data.
Information is becoming a pervasive and free resource, driving the growth of the digital economy worldwide. And yet very useful, publicly funded, non-confidential public sector information (PSI), such as public transport data, still isn't made available to all. With open access to this information there's immense potential for innovative new products and services to be developed here, promoting great social benefits. Google's Victorian
is a great example, and was only possible because the Victorian Country Fire Authority had the foresight to put an RSS feed on their site.
At Google we're always interested to hear about Government embracing online communications and information sharing. We were pleased to see that the Victorian Parliament recently released the report on its
Inquiry into Improving Access to Victorian Public Sector Information and Data
with a key recommendation that the Victorian Government establish an Information Management Framework (IMF) with open access to Government information at no or marginal cost.
The Victorian Parliament's inquiry into access of this public information is a great step in the right direction.
Posted by Iarla Flynn, Public Policy and Government Affairs
Johnson Tran at Google for the day
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
My name is Johnson Tran and I am 9 years and 9 months old. One of my hobbies is playing as an all-rounder in cricket. Another of my hobbies is using the computer. I use the computer for typing my assignments and homework and for entertaining myself when I am feeling bored. The games that I play when amusing myself are: Chess, Solitaire and if I am at my cousin’s place I use the Internet.
Lansvale Public school is a school where there are many cultures, but are thought of as one. I like coming here because if you need help there are always other students available to help. Here the teachers are kind and fun to be with. The school lets us participate in many different activities such as: PSSA, Gillawarna, UNSW Maths and English competitions. Lansvale Public School is located in Chancery St, Canley Vale NSW and its post code is 2166.
3/4/5 Flares got to go to Google because we have the most Hot Spot Magazine reporters and we have the biggest range of ages across three school grades (which is why we are a multi-age and multi-stage class). Jovanni was looking forward to seeing the lolly jars. The class was looking forward to seeing the friendly staff of Google.
Wednesday 24 June. Today is the day we headed off to the Google Sydney office on a five-star bus! We were in for a very exciting day ahead!
3/4/5F heading off to the Google Sydney office.
The first event that occurred was meeting the Google Workers who would be guiding us today. There were Angelina, Vinzena, Ashleigh and Christine. Christine was the organiser of the entire excursion. Guess what?! Christine helped start the Hot Spot Magazine in the year 2008.
We had a little tour of this Googley place. The place is very green as it uses windows, not air conditioning. There is a mini/micro kitchen in which there are lolly jars. There is Tech Stop where everything is about Technology. Brandan had a go at Wii where he was playing Mario Kart. He only got to play for 30 seconds! There is a lady with the best Googley desk. There is also an underwater experience with all the fish and floor tiles with blue blobs made out of some sort of goo.
We had a short snack before the online treasure hunt. For the online treasure hunt you had to use the internet to answer questions such as: Who was the Australian actor that starred in the movie Wolverine? My buddy told me the answer which was Hugh Jackman. Her name was Mel and she was AWESOME!
I never knew that there was a function that could tell you a word in an entirely different language, probably from the other side of the world. We had to use Google Translate to make the word into Estonian. The result was koel and after that we had to change the first letter into C and into a language that I have forgotten. In the end I got a golden ticket to go to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory. NOT! It was for the special surprise that was given out at the end of the day. I wondered what it would be.
Wave is an online messenger where you can communicate with others by typing messages. We were THE FIRST STUDENTS IN THE UNIVERSE TO USE THE ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS TOOL CALLED WAVE! We had to write a creative piece using Wave. Google gave us a selection of different topics to choose from. Some topics were: Ankor Wat, Antarctica or you could make up your own. My story was about a helicopter ride demolishing everything and everyone but Mel and me! The result was 1,000,000 deformed, fat, ugly, obese, beastly aliens! I found Wave very interesting and fun because other people could change your messages after you had clicked done. I found it easy to use.
Johnson speaking about his Wave story.
The last event was an afternoon full of sports. We played Captain Ball which was a game where you had to throw the ball to everyone in your group and the last person in line needs to get the ball and run to the front and do the whole procedure again. Other games were a three-legged race and the egg and spoon race. I found them all fun because it was challenging and it was funny when people kept on falling down when they tried to run in the three-legged race.
You don’t have to just be good at technology to work at Google; they have cooks, engineers and many more jobs there too, I discovered!
Guess what?! Everything was for free for the 3/4/5F students! Thanks Google! We got a Googley goodies bag containing: a Google USB, Google hat, Google T-shirt, Google pen, Google notebook, Google stickers and Google watch. Yes, a Google watch saying YouTube on it! My USB didn’t work at first and then I fixed it unexpectedly.
Lansvale students and Google buddies.
On behalf of 3/4/5 Flares, we thank you for the effort that Google has put in to make this very special day possible. Thank you.
Posted by Johnson Tran, 3/4/5F, Lansvale Public School
GoogleServe: Think global, act local
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Googlers are known for their love of food, technology and, particularly in Sydney, sport. Occasionally we get the chance to share the things we love with others in the community, such as during our annual
week. GoogleServe is a chance for Googlers around the world to take a time off from their regular jobs to give back to the community. Each office organises local projects where Googlers can volunteer their time.
This year, our Sydney GoogleServe team organised three events:
Primary School Tech Skills Day
We invited class 3/4/5F from Lansvale Public School, in Sydney's south-west, to visit the Sydney Google office for a day of developing IT skills and games. The 29 students were buddied up with Googlers to complete an online treasure hunt and were taught to use Wave for a collaborate creative writing project. Our visiting class particularly enjoyed the outdoor games afternoon, seeing our pet fish in the "underwater" section of the office, and learning how to communicate with each other online through Wave.
Googlers and Lansvale students unite
Google Grantees Education Session
We hosted eleven organisations who are part of our
program at the Google offices for educational sessions. The Google Grants program gives non-profit organisations free AdWords advertising in order to reach more people online. The representatives from each organisation received basic AdWords training, an optimisation session with a Google account strategist, and a presentation on how non-profits can make use of YouTube to reach a wide community.
Redfern "The Block" Sports Afternoon
We partnered with
and Redfern Community Centre to host an afternoon with indigenous students in Redfern, specifically those who live in and around an area known as "The Block". The Block is an area of approx 1000sqm that is heavily populated by indigenous Australians and has a history of crime, drug use and violence. Many of the activities offered through the community centre are aimed at supporting local youths, with projects focused on teaching them self respect, self confidence, and leadership. A group of approx 15 Googlers were shown the fantastic work that youth workers are doing with young people in the area, which was then followed by a tour of the surrounding neighbourhood, a game of oz-tag with the locals, and a BBQ. It didn't take long for both groups to agree that a re-match was in order, and we hope to bring the young people across to Pyrmont soon for an office visit and a repeat game of oz-tag!
If you're looking for ways to volunteer in your community,
can help you find opportunities in your local area.
Posted by Christine Knight, GoogleServe Australia Leadership Team
Googlers and culture
Making Google Maps even more useful with real estate search
Monday, July 6, 2009
Ever since Google Maps launched in Australia in February 2007, we've been committed to adding more and more useful and up-to-date information to make it a truly valuable resource for Australians. From within Google Maps you can now search for a local plumber or
to a friend's place; check out the location of a restaurant before making a booking with
terrain and satellite data
for a given area; and even plan travel
using public transport
in some cities in Australia.
And the pace of innovation around Google Maps hasn't slowed. We recently added
Monorail and Light Rail transit
information to Google Maps in Sydney; and introduced a
pretty neat way of navigating
around Street View images that has inspired some of our users to
very cool creative endeavours
Today we're adding a feature to Google Maps in Australia that we think will make Maps an even more invaluable resource to Aussies as they go about their busy lives. Increasingly, people are heading online when looking for a new house to rent or buy, and from today, we're adding the ability to
search for properties on Google Maps
. We've worked with partners across the real estate industry to provide up-to-date listings, which you can search for directly from the Google Maps search box.
You can check it out by entering a search like
'real estate crows nest'
and clicking through to search real estate listings. A marker will appear on the map for every available listing, using our
new search results feature
, so you can get a really good idea of the distribution of the properties for sale or rent. This also means you can perform a search and see all the properties for sale close to, for example, a local school you're interested in your kids attending. You can click on each marker and each small circle to get more detailed information about the property, including the listing agent's website and contact details.
It's also easy to refine your search further by criteria like bedrooms, bathrooms, garaging and price. And if you decide that
is more your speed, you can pan the map to another area entirely to see the listings there, and the map will automatically update, without typing anything new.
This isn't the only resource available for your new home search. You can use
on Google Maps to check out the neighbourhood before driving to an open home; use
to find out exactly how to get there; and
to work out what your new commute might be if you went ahead and moved house.
Check out the video below for more information on how we're making it easy to find real estate listings on Google Maps in Australia. It's part of our commitment to bringing the most useful and relevant information to Google Maps users in Australia, and we'll keep working on this to make it even more useful over time.
Posted by Andrew Foster, Product Manager
Toolbar, now with advanced translation
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
(Editor's note: This is a cross-post from the
Official Google Blog
. We know Australians love to travel, so a great use of this new Toolbar feature might be to help plan your next trip. Booking hotels in Asia, flights in Europe and information on areas off the beaten track; all now easily translated with one click).
If you saw this text on a webpage, how would you figure out what it means?
Если вы читаете этот текст, вы, вероятно, уже говорите по-русски. Однако миллионы
людей не знают русского и не могут прочитать миллионы русскоязычных веб-
You would likely need to translate manually via our
. Today we're excited to announce that translations will be even easier with the newest release of
Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer
. We have been working with the Translate team to make translations a faster and more integrated part of your browsing experience.
The Translate feature automatically detects if the language of a webpage you're on is different from your default language setting and allows you to translate it. With one click, you can now instantly translate the page and all of its text will appear in the new language.
Language detection happens only on your computer, so no information is sent to Google until you choose to translate a page. You can find more details about how the feature works
in our help centre
If you go to another page in the same language, you will continue to see translations rather than have to translate one page at a time. And if the page has dynamic content, like
, you'll get translations in real-time. Finally, if you frequently translate pages in the same language, Toolbar will let you translate that language automatically without any extra clicks in the future.
The new Translate feature is available in all international versions of Toolbar, including English, and the translation service supports 41 different languages: Albanian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.
Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer to try it out for yourself. We'll add this feature to Toolbar for Firefox soon, too.
* In case you don't speak Russian, we translated the paragraph above for you using our translation engine:
If you are reading this text, you probably already speak in Russian. However, millions of
people do not know Russian and cannot read the millions of Russian language webpages.
Posted by Jerry Tang and Dick Sites, Software Engineers
Free Google Message Security for primary and secondary schools with Google Apps Education Edition
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Since we launched Google Apps in 2006, thousands of schools, businesses and organisations globally have adopted Google's cloud-based communication and collaboration tools - helping them increase productivity and effectiveness, reduce cost, and increase security. In fact, we
that more than four million students worldwide are using Google Apps in their classrooms.
Here in Australia and New Zealand,
educators are embracing cloud computing
, helping them achieve a wide range of learning outcomes and, most importantly, making learning fun.
Earlier this year, the New South Wales Department of Education followed the lead of the University of Waikato, the University of Auckland, and Macquarie University when they
1.2 million students to Google Apps. At the completion of the project, Stephen Wilson (the Chief Information Officer at the NSW DET) said: "Gmail has been working flawlessly, particularly considering that we could roll it out in a few months. It’s going fantastically and without a hitch”. Soon after, the the University of Adelaide
16,000 students to Google Apps at no cost to the University.
Google Apps has proved popular at smaller schools across Australia and New Zealand too. "With Google Apps we've been able to offer communication and collaboration resources to our students and teachers which rival that of any school in the world ... all without having to worry about servers, maintenance and other overheads," says Michael Merrylees, Principal at
Christ the King Anglican College
in Cobram, Victoria. "Our students and teachers use Google Apps every day; like any good communication and collaboration system it simply disappears into the background, working without a hitch day after day."
As a company that's committed to constant innovation, we'd like to make it even easier for primary and secondary (K12) schools to use our tools. Today we're announcing that
Google Message Security
to current and new eligible K12 Google Apps customers that opt-in to Google Message Security – powered by Postini – by July 2010. Google Message Security lets administrators limit messages based on who they're from, who they're going to, or the content they contain. Message rules can be applied to groups of users, making it easy to customise the scheme for different groups (for instance younger students, older students, and teachers).
And to further support primary and secondary education, we're launching the
Google Apps Education Community site
for educators and students to share and learn more about Google Apps, as well as the
Google Apps Education resource centre
with more than 20 classroom-ready lesson plans. We're committed to providing even more educational resources in the future - watch this space!
Posted by Andrew Mitchell, Google Apps Team
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