News and notes from Google Down Under
Get the latest on the Australian fires with the Google Crisis Response map
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
As summer approaches, reliable and easily accessible information about where fires are burning and how to stay safe is important. That’s why we’ve launched a
Google Crisis Map
to show fire information
across five Australian states and territories.
Google Crisis Map
shows information about
current fires including their location and size the level of alert, whether the fire is under control and which local emergency response agency is responding to the crisis. Working with fire authorities across Australia, the Crisis Map is continually updated and
can be accessed from any device connected to the web at
Example of a fire warning and fire incidents on the Google Crisis Map
In addition to the Crisis Map,
Google Public Alerts
is now also available for NSW. Google Public Alerts show you relevant fire information when looking up related terms on Google Maps or Google Search. And if you use
on your Android or iOS device, it will alert you if the NSW RFS has published an extreme bushfire or fire alert nearby.
Example of a Google Now card showing a fire warning
Example of a fire warning on Google Search results
Example of a fire alert details page on mobile
We’re able to provide this Crisis Map and the Public Alerts thanks to the
NSW Rural Fire Service
Queensland Rural Fire
ACT Emergency Services Agency
The Country Fire Service of South Australia
, and the
Tasmania Fire Service
. The partnership and commitment of these agencies in opening this data to the public helps Google and others make critical and life-saving information more widely available.
The Google Crisis Map is now available for
NSW, SA, QLD, TAS and the ACT and we’re working with authorities to make the service available in all states and territories. We also look forward to expanding Google Public Alerts and working with more local warning providers soon. We encourage potential partners to read our
and to consider putting data in an open format, such as the Common Alerting Protocol.
Media are welcome to
embed the crisis map on their own sites, by following
the steps outlined here
Meryl Stone, Partnerships Manager for Google Crisis Response
Doodle 4 Google voting starts today
Monday, October 14, 2013
Earlier this year we announced the popular
Doodle 4 Google
competition for 2013 which gives Australian students the chance to have their version of the Google logo on our homepage and win prizes for their school which includes sending their teacher off on an Antarctic expedition sponsored by
We asked the ‘doodles’ to represent this year’s theme ‘If I was an explorer I would...’ Over twenty thousand students across the country grabbed their pencils and paints to take part.
There was excitement in the Google HQ last week as our
Professor Chris Turney
Lyn McGrath took on the hard job of choosing our 32 state and territory winners! Now it’s up to everyone to vote for their favourite in each age group and narrow it down to the top four.
This year our Googler volunteers who helped choose the 320 State and Territory Finalists were also given a chance to pick their favourite.
This special packing room mention goes to”Wonderful Word Explorers” by Chiara Maggiotto from Garden Suburb Public School in NSW, who wrote:
“If I was an Explorer I would travel around our wonderful world in a balloon with my crew - my dogs Nova, Gipsy and Luna. My Cats Zsazsa and Old Tom, also my bird Rio. Together we'd explore places never seen, make new friends and discover all the amazing animals.”
Voting starts today, so make sure to get voting for your favourite doodle to appear on the Google Australia homepage.
To vote, visit
Leticia Lentini, Events Magician and Branding Marketing Manager whose favourite doodles include
50 million lines of code and counting: supporting students in open source
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
[Cross-posted from the
Official Google Blog
Back in 2005, we had an idea to get university students interested in open source software during their summer breaks. That year, we launched the
Google Summer of Code
. This annual program brings student developers from all over the world together with open source software organizations to mentor them through a summer project.
To date, the program has produced 50 million lines of open source code from more than 7,500 student developers—and in 2014, we'll mark the 10th anniversary of Google Summer of Code.
To celebrate the previous nine years of student contributions and set the stage for the best Google Summer of Code yet, we’re launching 10 things to make the program better than ever. Here’s a peek at what we’ll be up to, stay tuned to the Open Source blog for updates:
We’re planning 10 visits to countries with the highest participation throughout the year to promote the program and celebrate local students and mentors.
A 10 percent increase in the student stipend, bringing the amount to $5,500.
We’re also accepting 10 percent more students than ever before—more than 1,300 students will spend their summer coding as part of the program next year
A 10-year reunion mentor summit held at Google’s Mountain View campus for our Google Summer of Code organization alumni.
We’re excited to be running a program that touches a lot of lives around the world every year, and we want to celebrate all of the accomplishments we’ve seen from our participants.
We’re also committed to getting younger students involved in open source software. For the fourth consecutive year, in November we’ll run
, an international contest designed to introduce 13-17 year old students to the world of open source development. You don’t have to be a coder to get involved in this contest; there are a variety of ways students can contribute to open source projects.
Each year, open source software is becoming more important to governments and industries such as healthcare, gaming and technology. We believe that investing in youth and open source will improve both technology and society. Applications for Google Summer of Code open in March and students interested in Google Code-in can apply starting November 18. See our
Open Source blog post
for more details on both programs. Here’s to the next year in open source!
By Carol Smith, Open Source Programs Office
Google and INCUBATE expand student entrepreneurship program across Australia
Thursday, October 3, 2013
From the on-campus coffee shop to the computer science lab, universities are a hotbed for great business ideas and cutting edge technology. University incubators help make that shift from idea to actual startup happen—providing desks for entrepreneurs who are chasing their dreams, as well as mentorship and educational opportunities for talented developers.
We want to help foster the entrepreneurial spirit on campuses and communities across Australia, so we’re teaming up with
, the incubator developed by the University of Sydney Union, to help expand their program to other universities throughout Australia, supporting the growing numbers of young entrepreneurs and innovators on campus.
The local tech startup sector has the potential to add over $109 billion to the Australian economy and create more than 500,000 jobs
, so there’s never been a better time for our young people to turn their business plans into products.
Larry and Sergey were PhD students when they created the very first Google search engine, so we know well that bright young people with big ideas can change the world.
INCUBATE is seeking partner universities, student startups and experienced entrepreneurs to be part of this program, and you can register
to get more information.
Alan Noble, Engineering Director for Google Australia, and Sally-Ann Williams, Engineering Community and Outreach Manager at Google
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