Wednesday, October 31

Official Google Blog

Official Google Blog


More Art Project online for you to explore

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 08:24 AM PDT

Back in April we announced a major expansion of the Google Art Project. Since then 15 million people have explored the paintings, sculptures, street art and photographs contributed by our partners. From today the number of treasures you can view is increasing by more than 10% as 29 new art organizations from 14 countries bring their collections online.

A wide range of global institutions, large and small, well-known and less traditional, are represented. Explore contemporary works at the Istanbul Modern Art Museum, admire works from the Art Gallery of South Australia (who have contributed almost 600 objects) and access the treasures of the famous Museum of Palazzo Vecchio in Italy and Princeton University. This round has also seen contributions from more unusual sources including a collection from the National Ballet of Canada, pre-Columbian art from Peru and decorative arts from China.


Now that the total number of objects online is more than 35,000, we've turned our attention towards thinking of different ways for you to experience the collections.

The first is a great educational tool for art students, enthusiasts or those who are simply curious. A "Compare" button has been added to the toolbar on the left of each painting. This allows you to examine two pieces of artwork side-by-side to look at how an artist's style evolved over time, connect trends across cultures or delve deeply into two parts of the same work. Here's an example: place an early sketch of Winslow Homer's 'The Life Line' from the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum next to the completed painting from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Comparing them in this way allows you to see how the artist's vision altered (or not) over the life of the work.


Beyond following us and discussing great art on our Google+ page, we have also created a Hangout app within the Art Project so that you can share your favorite collections and perhaps give your friends a personal guided tour. If there is a budding museum guide or an art critic within any of you it can finally be unleashed! Watch this video to see how it works.



Around 180 partners have contributed their works to the Art Project so far, more than 300,000 of you have created your own online galleries and we've had more than 15 million visitors since our last launch in April. The cultural community has invested great time and effort to bring these masterpieces online. Watch this space for more to come.

Public Alerts on Google Search and Maps for Android for superstorm Sandy preparedness information

Posted: 30 Oct 2012 09:04 AM PDT

Earlier today we posted about efforts to provide information to those affected by the former hurricane and now superstorm Sandy.

We also want to let you know that Public Alerts are now available on Google Search & Maps in your browser, on Google Maps for Android and also on Google Now for Android devices running Jellybean.

Public Alerts provide warnings for natural disasters and emergency situations. They appear based on targeted Google searches, such as [Superstorm Sandy], or with location-based search queries like [New York]. In addition to the alert, you'll also see relevant response information, such as evacuation routes, crisis maps or shelter locations.

We were planning on announcing the new features in a few days, but wanted to get them out as soon as possible so they can be helpful to people during this time.

This is part of our continuing mission to bring emergency information to people when and where it is relevant. Public Alerts are primarily available in English for the U.S., but we are working with data providers across the world to expand their reach.

If you are searching for superstorm Sandy, you'll see content at the top of the Search page specific to this crisis. For other searches, you'll see public alerts where and when they are live.


Public Alerts on desktop search

Public Alerts on mobile

Desktop search showing content for Sandy-related query

We're able to gather relevant emergency safety information thanks to a strong network of partners, including NOAA and USGS. Their commitment to open standards like the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) is what makes this all possible. We've also developed partnerships to bring you even more relevant alerts in the future, including local emergency data from Nixle.

To learn more about Public Alerts, visit our Public Alerts homepage. If you're a data provider, and would like to contribute to our efforts, please see our FAQ.

We hope that this information makes it easier for you to stay safe.

Get Ready to Vote with Google

Posted: 29 Oct 2012 03:45 PM PDT

Every four years in the United States, people prepare to head to the polls and increasingly search for information about how to register to vote, where to vote and who is on their ballot. Even though it is 2012, important voting information is disorganized and hard to find on the Internet. To help voters research candidates and successfully cast their ballot on Election Day, we've launched our new Voter Information Tool.


You can enter your address to find information on your polling place, early vote locations, ballot information with links to candidates' social media sites and voting rules and requirements. The tool is easy to embed on any website and is open source so developers can modify it to create custom versions. We're working with a number of media partners to ensure the tool is accessible across the web, and partners like Foursquare and AT&T are doing great work building apps on our Civic Information API.

We hope this tool will help make getting to the polls and casting your ballot as simple as possible.



(Cross-posted on the Politics and Elections blog)

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