Tag Archives: Lat Long

Planting some green this Earth Day

Cross-posted on the Lat Long and Google Green blogs

Since 1970, people all over the world have recognized April 22 as Earth Day, an opportunity to appreciate and generate awareness about the natural environment. Here at Google we strive to do our part to make sure our planet is healthy for years to come. From investing in renewable energy to building products that help people be greener in their own lives, we’re building a better web that’s better for the environment.

Today, we’re celebrating Earth Day in a variety of ways. The coming of spring inspired us to grow our annual Earth Day doodle right in our backyard. We planted seeds on a balcony at our Mountain View headquarters and watched them grow into what you see today. We’re also partnering with Friends of the Urban Forest to help make San Francisco schools a little greener.

To help you start a garden of your own, we’ve put together an Earth Day resource page. Explore community gardens and farmers’ markets on our interactive map, get discounted seeds to plant flowers, herbs and vegetables in your own backyard and connect with other gardeners for planting tips and inspiration.

We hope you find these resources useful and enjoy gardening as much as we do. On our Mountain View, Calif. campus, we have community gardens where Googlers can grow and harvest their choice of herbs and vegetables. Company-wide, we focus on getting organic, locally-grown produce for our cafes. We purchase food directly from farms near our campuses, and learn about how our suppliers raise, farm and harvest their food—all to ensure that we’re eating sustainably and being good to the environment.

We hope this Earth Day you are inspired to add a little green to the planet. Earth Day may only be a single day, but the actions we take can last for years to come.

Connect with people and places you love this Valentine’s Day

A few months ago, we shared an engagement story about a Google engineer who used Google Maps to help coordinate an elaborate proposal to his girlfriend. It served as a great example of how Google Maps can be more than just a handy tool for directions; it can help connect you to the places and people you love.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we were once again reminded of the unifying power of maps through our ongoing work with one of America’s most famous malls, the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. We recently collaborated with the Mall of America to conveniently bring its indoor floor plans and My Location information to Android mobile users. As the largest indoor retail space in the United States—complete with a theme park and aquarium—finding your way around the Mall of America can be challenging. So we mapped it, enabling you to quickly and easily see where you are and what’s around you from the palm of your hand.

Check out the video below to see how the enormous Mall of America can be scaled down to a romantic setting for two.

Whether it’s through a customized scavenger hunt, search results for a local store with the perfect gift or the best directions to get to your date on time, we hope Google Maps helps you navigate your way to a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

(Cross-posted from the Lat Long blog)

Map Maker Graduation Part V: from Afghanistan to Antarctica

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long blog)

Google Map Maker enables local experts to create maps and share their local knowledge with the world. These citizen cartographers help keep maps of their areas accurate and up to date. They add missing roads and new businesses—and even map areas that have little to no data yet on Google Maps.

Today, our latest crop of countries, territories and an entire continent are graduating from Map Maker—meaning the user-generated maps of these countries will now appear on Google Maps: Afghanistan, Antarctica, Ecuador, Georgia, Guatemala, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Honduras, Iraq, Norfolk Island, Saint Pierre & Miquelon and Saudi Arabia.

Here are some before and after pictures that highlight how much detail Map Maker users have added to Google Maps for these regions (as well as some time-lapse videos):

Baghdad, Iraq

Kabul, Afghanistan

Tbilisi, Georgia

Each region has an impressive mapping story—from the Georgian Government’s initiative to improve their country’s map, to the group led by six students in Herat, Afghanistan who mapped their entire city in a matter of weeks.

Thank you to the Google Map Maker contributors who create better maps for these regions and others; their ongoing efforts can be seen at Map Maker Pulse. We encourage all local mappers to continue improving the maps of these areas and the more than 180 other regions of the world on Google Map Maker.

+Snippets on Google Maps: if you can see it, you can share it

We recently launched +snippets for users and publishers, making it easy to visit a webpage and then share it on Google+. We want to make sharing across Google just as easy, so today we’re bringing +snippets to Google Maps.

Suppose you’re planning a weekend trip to Napa. Your packing list probably includes driving directions, hotel information and a list of nearby wineries. Many of you visit Google Maps for this kind of information already. But with +snippets, Google+ users can easily share directions or places (for example) with fellow travelers. Just click “Share…” in the Google+ bar at the top of the screen, and whatever you see on Maps is what you’ll see in the sharebox—ready to share with your circles:

+Snippets on Google Maps: Directions, Places, search results

With today’s launch, Google Maps joins other Google products like Books, Offers and Product Search in having +snippets. And like Maps, what you see onscreen is what you share—just click on “Share…” in the Google+ bar to reveal the +snippet:
+Snippets on Google Books, Offers and Product Search

We’ll be rolling out +snippets to many more Google products in the future, so stay tuned. In the meantime, we can’t wait to see how other publishers customize their own +snippets, all across the web.

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long blog)