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Google Drive: Updates for iOS and Android

septiembre 10
Every day, more and more people are choosing to live online and get things done in the cloud. Helping to make this experience as seamless as possible, Google Drive is one place where you can create, share and keep all your stuff. Drive is available on the web, as well as Mac, Windows and Android and iOS.

Updates for iOS
Starting today, if you’re using the Drive app on your iOS device you can also edit Google documents, just as you can with the Android app. From your iPhone or iPad, you can create a new document, edit an existing one or format text. And, just like on your computer, you’ll be able to see other people’s edits instantly as they’re made.

You’ll also notice other new improvements to the iOS Drive app. For example, you can now view Google presentations on your iPhone or iPad, including speaker notes, full-screen mode and the ability to swipe between slides. You can also create new folders, move files into folders and upload stuff (like photos and videos) from your device directly in the Drive app.

Updates for Android 
We’re also updating the Drive app for Android phones and tablets today. You can now add comments, reply to existing comments and view tables in your Google documents. And you’ll have the same new abilities to view presentations and organize your stuff as your friends with iPhones do.

More to come… 
Looking ahead, we have plenty more planned for the Drive mobile apps—including native editing and real-time collaboration for Google spreadsheets. Stay tuned.

Get Drive in the App Store for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and visit the Play Store to get the latest on your Android phone or tablet. To learn more about Google Drive, visit drive.google.com/start.

Posted by Anil Sabharwal, Senior Product Manager

(Cross-posted on the Enterprise and Drive blogs)


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Making exploration easier for people around the world with Google Maps

septiembre 5

Maps keep our spirit of adventure alive by making it easier for us to explore the world around us. That’s why today, we’re making Google Maps even better with new turn-by-turn navigation with traffic conditions, biking directions, Map Maker and new Street View imagery in more locations globally. These improvements are part of our ongoing effort to build the best map we can — one that’s comprehensive, accurate and easy for you to use.

First, we’re expanding Google Maps Navigation (Beta) with voice guided, turn-by-turn directions in thousands of towns across India. Navigation is one of the most frequently requested features in this region and can be especially helpful when driving in densely populated cities like Delhi or Bangalore. We’re also adding live traffic conditions for major roads with estimated travel times to help you save time and to reduce stress on the road.

Turn-by-turn voice navigation in New Delhi, India

Biking directions and Map Maker are also now rolling out to New Zealanders. Local cyclists can access biking directions directly on Google Maps, and use Map Maker to add bike lanes and trails if their favorite route is missing or they discover a new one. Beyond biking trails, Map Maker can also be used to make the New Zealand map more accurate with details such as new road names, building footprints and more.

Biking directions from Remuera in Auckland to the local Google office

Later today, we’ll also release new Street View imagery for more than 150 university campuses globally. With classes just getting started, freshman students, transfers and even empty-nesting parents can now familiarize themselves with college campuses around the world, including UCLA in the U.S., Pembroke College in the U.K., McGill University in Canada and Sophia University in Japan. These new panoramic views join our growing list of universities whose campuses are already available in Google Maps.

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Royce Hall at the University of California, Los Angeles

Finally, to celebrate all the places you can reach with Google Maps—all seven continents, the sky, the moon and even the depths of the ocean—we made a video that we hope will inspire you to keep exploring.

Keep exploring at maps.google.com/helloworld. Here’s to many new adventures.

Posted by Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps and Earth

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long blog)


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Half a gigameter of biking navigation in 12 countries in Google Maps for Android

agosto 30

Whether you’re a seasoned century rider or a casual beach cruiser, finding the best biking routes can be a challenge. That’s why today we’re bringing mobile biking directions and navigation to the 10 countries where we launched desktop biking directions last month (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK). Plus, we’re adding turn-by-turn, voice-guided biking navigation to Google Maps Navigation (beta) in every country with biking directions. Mount your device on your handlebars to see the turn-by-turn directions and navigation, or use speaker-mode to hear voice-guided directions.

Turn-by-turn biking navigation in Copenhagen

We know there are lots of ways to get from here to there, which is why in 2010, we added biking directions to Google Maps in the U.S. and Canada, and continue to work to bring more biking features to more places. Today, there are more than 330,000 miles (equal to more than 530,000 kilometers, or half a gigameter) of green biking lines in Google Maps. Dark green lines on the map show dedicated bike trails and paths with no motor vehicles, light green lines show streets with bike lanes and dashed green lines show other streets recommended for cycling. Biking navigation even helps you avoid steep hills.

Bike layer showing recommended streets for cycling in Stockholm

Where Map Maker and biking directions are both available, riders can add bike trails, lanes and suggested routes to Google Maps, helping to create a more comprehensive map for everyone living in or visiting their community. Thanks to the contributions of members of the biking community like Todd Scott and our partnership with nonprofits like Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, we’ve added bike data for hundreds of cities and trails to Google Maps in the past two-and-a-half years.

When you’re pedaling from Point A to Point B, we hope biking navigation will make Google Maps for Android more useful to you.

Posted by Larry Powelson, Software Engineer, Google Maps

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long blog)


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Making it easier to cast your ballot

agosto 28

The first presidential nominating convention, held in 1832, was meant to give Americans a voice in the selection of the presidential nominee. Fast forward to 2012 and these conventions still represent a major moment in American politics—and we’re helping the conventions reach a larger audience by being the official live stream provider and social networking platform for the Republican National Convention in Tampa and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

In conjunction with our on-the-ground efforts, we’re making a number of online tools available to help you get organized and informed as Election Day approaches.

Get informed
Our Google Politics & Elections site enables you to see the latest Google News, YouTube videos, search and video trends, and Google+ content about the election in one place. You can also visit our live Elections Hub to watch the national political conventions, debates and even election night LIVE right from your mobile phone or laptop.

Register to vote
To make it easy to navigate the rules and deadlines about registering to vote and how to vote by mail, we put together an online voter guide. We’ve also added a special section to make it easier for military and overseas voters to find information about their different rules and deadlines.

As we approach the final days of the election, we’ll continue to develop useful ways for voters and campaigns to engage one another around the important issues in 2012.

We hope these tools will help you stay informed and participate in the election!

Posted by Eric Hysen, Google Politics & Elections Team


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Google Maps heads north…way north

agosto 23

Search for [cambridge bay] on Google Maps and you’ll fly to a tiny hamlet located deep in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut in Canada’s Arctic, surrounded by an intricate lacework of tundra, waterways and breaking ice. High above the Arctic circle, it’s a place reachable only by plane or boat. Zoom in on the map, and this isolated village of 1,500 people appears as only a handful of streets, with names like Omingmak (“musk ox”) Street and Tigiganiak (“fox”) Road.

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Cambridge Bay in Google Maps



There are 4,000 years’ worth of stories waiting to be told on this map. Today, we’re setting out on an ambitious mission to tell some of those stories and to build the most comprehensive map of the region to date. It is the furthest north the Google Maps Street View team has traveled in Canada, and our first visit to Nunavut. Using the tools of 21st century cartography, we’re empowering a community and putting Cambridge Bay on the proverbial map of tomorrow.

The hamlet of Cambridge Bay



We’re not doing it alone, but with the help of the community and residents like Chris Kalluk. We first met Chris, who works for the nonprofit Nunavut Tunngavik, last September at our Google Earth Outreach workshop in Vancouver, where he learned how to edit Google Maps data using Google Map Maker. Today Chris played host to a community Map Up event in Cambridge Bay, where village elders, local mapping experts and teenagers from the nearby high school gathered around a dozen Chromebooks and used Map Maker to add new roads, rivers and lakes to the Google Map of Cambridge Bay and Canada’s North. But they didn’t stop there. Using both English and Inuktitut, one of Nunavut’s official languages, they added the hospital, daycare, a nine-hole golf course, a territorial park and, finally, the remnants of an ancient Dorset stone longhouse which pre-dates Inuit culture.

Catherine Moats, a member of the Google Map Maker Team, working with Chris Kalluk and others at the Community Map Up.



Now we’re pedaling the Street View trike around the gravel roads of the hamlet and using a tripod—the same used to capture business interiors—to collect imagery of these amazing places. We’ll train Chris and others in the community to use some of this equipment so they can travel to other communities in Nunavut and continue to build the most comprehensive and accurate map of Canada’s Arctic. As Chris put it to us, “This is a place with a vast amount of local knowledge and a rich history. By putting these tools in the hands of our people, we will tell Nunavut’s story to the world.”

The Street View Trike collecting imagery of Cambridge Bay.



So stay tuned, world. We look forward to sharing with you the spectacular beauty and rich culture of Canada’s Arctic—one of the most isolated places on the planet that will soon be, thanks to the people of Cambridge Bay, just a click away.

Posted by Karin Tuxen-Bettman, Google Earth Outreach team

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long Blog and new Google Canada Blog)


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The U.S. election, live on YouTube

agosto 22

Today we’re introducing the YouTube Elections Hub, a one-stop channel for key political moments from now through the upcoming U.S. election day on November 6. You can watch all of the live speeches from the floor of the upcoming Republican and Democratic National Conventions, see Google+ Hangouts with power brokers behind the scenes, and watch a live stream of the official Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. You won’t need to go anywhere else for the must-watch moments of this election cycle…they’re all happening on the Hub live.

In addition to videos from politicians and parties, a diverse range of news organizations—both established names in media and sought-after new voices—are sharing their coverage of the political process on the new hub. You’ll find live and on-demand reporting and analysis from ABC News, Al Jazeera English, BuzzFeed, Larry King, The New York Times, Phil DeFranco, Univision and the Wall Street Journal. Each will put their own stamp on the Presidential race—from the conventions to the debates to election night.

Of course, we’ll have special live coverage around the Republican National Convention from August 27 to 30, the Democratic National Convention from September 4-6, the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates in October, and election night. Bookmark the Elections Hub now for a front row seat along the road to the White House.

Posted by Olivia Ma, YouTube News Manager

(Cross-posted from the YouTube Blog)


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Mapping the Motor City with Google Map Maker

agosto 22

Hailed as the birthplace of the automotive revolution, the city of Detroit, Mich. is taking its transportation legacy down new paths. As Detroit embraces a greener, non-motorized outlook, cycling is steadily increasing in popularity. The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance is facilitating this transition by creating an interconnected statewide system of trails and greenways, including the development of bike paths throughout the Detroit area.

As these new bike paths change the city’s landscape, Motor City residents need a more comprehensive map showing bike friendly routes. Todd Scott, the Detroit Greenways Coordinator, discovered that he could use Google Map Maker—a free tool that allows anyone to make contributions to Google Maps—to add new information on biking paths and trails in and around Detroit. Adding new bike paths not only makes the map more accurate, it also improves biking directions, making it even easier for people to find the quickest routes through town. Anyone can also enhance existing trails by including details such as the official name, surface type and bicycle suitability. Keeping Google Maps updated with the latest information means everyone in the community is able to find and enjoy these new additions to the trail system.

Learn more about Todd Scott and his mission to improve the map for cyclists in Detroit.

Building a more comprehensive, accurate and usable map for local cyclists is just one part of Todd’s mission. From the smallest town to a rapidly evolving city like Detroit, maps reflect the heart of a community. Whether you’re improving directions, adding local businesses or mapping an entire area from scratch, your local expertise will help make life easier for not only you, but all Google Maps users. As Todd says, “It goes beyond map making. It’s a way to take back your neighborhood.”

How are you mapping your world? Join the Map Maker Community and tell us your story.

Posted by Lori Savageau, Map Maker Community Manager


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Google for Entrepreneurs goes to San Diego to empower veterans and military families

agosto 17

In addition to all they do for their country overseas, service members are also a markedly entrepreneurial group: although veterans represent only 6% of the U.S. population, they account for an impressive 13.5% of all U.S. small business owners. This entrepreneurial spirit is contributing to business growth around the country, and last week we decided to head down to San Diego to see how Google for Entrepreneurs and Startup Weekend could help.

On August 9, Google for Entrepreneurs, along with the Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families and Startup Weekend, hosted a series of events focused on giving business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs from the military community the training and tools they need to take advantage of the web to build and grow businesses. More than 200 service members learned about free tools to create a web site, track and measure their web presence and market their product or service.

Engaged and full of pride, the veteran-owned businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs came from across California. Misty Birchall, a Navy veteran and founder of PubCakes, delighted attendees when she gave us a taste of her passion for combining baking and craft beer. Marine Corps sergeant turned organic farmer Colin Archipley brought many participants from Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training, an entrepreneurial incubator program he founded to help transitioning veterans train for careers in sustainable agriculture. Even the underdogs (and undercats) were well-represented—Precious Paw Prints, an online retailer selling creative pet accessories owned by Marine veteran Kiersten Carlin, shared that small business can win by providing a higher level of quality and service that larger brands cannot.

Over the following weekend, aspiring entrepreneurs from the veterans community attended the local Startup Weekend, where they formed teams to turn their idea ideas into products. By Sunday night, five teams had launched businesses.

Being a successful entrepreneur means having an appetite for risk, an ability to navigate ambiguity and a passion to get things done at all costs; it’s no mystery why such a large number of small businesses are started by veterans or service-disabled veterans. They certainly have what it takes to be entrepreneurs.

You can read more about our recent programs for members of the veterans’ community here.

Posted Bridgette Sexton, Global Entrepreneurship Manager


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Tour Brazil and prehispanic Mexican cities with more Street View imagery in Google Maps

agosto 17

Our ongoing effort to build great maps—ones that are accurate, easy to navigate and cover every corner of the world—continues to progress. Over the last few months, Google Maps has taken people everywhere from the Amazon to Antarctica, and we’re continuing to add imagery of even more places around globe. Beginning this week, you can dive even deeper into Latin America with new Street View imagery of Brazil and Mexico.

Street View first became available for Brazil in 2010, and as of this week, we’ve grown our collection of panoramic imagery to more than 70 cities throughout the country. You’ll now find colonial cities like Fortaleza, architecturally compelling cities like Brasilia and coastal landmarks like Recife, Natal and Salvador. You can even virtually travel to the west side of Brazil and visit Foz de Iguaçu, or if you’re planning an upcoming trip, preview the the area around your hotel as well as nearby shopping malls, historic monuments, restaurants and more. With so many upcoming events, like the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, we’re excited to share the riches of Brazil’s cities not only with tourists from around the world, but also with locals who might want to visit a city, neighborhood or landmark they’ve not yet experienced.

Street View imagery of Brazil available before mid-August 2012

Street View imagery of Brazil available beginning mid-August 2012


We’ve also introduced Street View imagery of 30 Mesoamerican archaeological sites in Mexico. Start your adventure by exploring Kukulkan’s Temple, a 1,100-year-old pyramid whose peak is reached by climbing 365 steps, one for each day of the year. When visitors clap their hands, the architectural acoustics at the base of the pyramid’s steps are designed to mimic the sound of the Quetzal, a bird that the Mayans regard as representative of their gods.

View Larger Map
Chichén Itzá, Mexico

Find hundreds of magical stories like this one by visiting the colossal pyramids of Teotihuacan, emblematic sites for the Mayans such as Chichen Itza or seaside archaeological jewels like Tulum. These and other famous sites from around the world can be seen in our Street View Gallery.

We’re always improving the comprehensiveness of our maps so you can experience more imagery from around the world. Whether you’re planning a visit to one of these areas or touring these locations from the comfort of your armchair, we hope you enjoy these captivating new images of Latin America.

Posted by Ricardo Blanco, Communications Manager for Google in Latin America


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Voice Search arrives in 13 new languages

agosto 17

“Norwegian restaurants in New York City.” I can type that phrase fast, but I can say it even faster—and when I’m on the go, speed is what I’m looking for. With Voice Search, you can speak into your phone to get search results quickly and easily. Voice Search is already available in 29 languages, and today, we’re bringing support to 13 new languages for Android users—bringing the total to 42 languages and accents in 46 countries. In fact, 100 million new speakers can use Voice Search now, with the addition of:

  • Basque
  • Bulgarian
  • Catalan
  • European Portuguese
  • Finnish
  • Galician
  • Hungarian
  • Icelandic
  • Norwegian
  • Romanian
  • Serbian
  • Slovak
  • Swedish

Each new language usually requires that we initially collect hundreds of thousands of utterances from volunteers and, although we’ve been working on speech recognition for several years, adding these new languages led our engineers and scientists to tackle some unique challenges. While languages like Romanian follow predictable pronunciation rules, others, like Swedish, required that we recruit native speakers to provide us with the pronunciations for thousands of words. Our scientists then built a machine learning system based on that data to predict how all other Swedish words would be pronounced.

This update has already started to roll out, and will continue to do so over the course of the next week. How you get started with Google Voice Search depends on what kind of phone you have. If your phone runs Android 2.2 or later, and you see the microphone icon on the Google Search widget on your homescreen, all you have to do is tap the icon to start a voice-powered search. Otherwise, you can install the Voice Search app from Google Play. Note that you can only speak one language into the app at a time, and you may need to change your language settings to use one of these new languages.

As with other languages we’ve added, one of the major benefits to Google’s cloud-based model is that the more people use Voice Search, the more accurate it becomes.

Posted by Bertrand Damiba, Product Manager

(Cross-posted on the Android blog)


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