Tuesday, April 30

Official Google Blog

Official Google Blog


Matt Harding: Around the world, one dance at a time with Google Maps

Posted: 29 Apr 2013 09:00 AM PDT

Today is International Dance Day, a celebration of a universal art form that spans cultures and countries. But dancing isn't just limited to holidays. Since 2003, Matt Harding has famously been dancing his way across the globe with people from all walks of life and sharing to millions on his YouTube channel. His mission is simple: Dance. Dance with everyone. Dance everywhere. Dance to spread joy.

Matt's journey began with a serendipitous, single dance step in Hanoi. While traveling through Southeast Asia, his friend encouraged him to dance for the camera—and he just kept dancing. At first, he was amused by the idea of capturing himself dancing in front of famous landmarks and in famous cities around the world. Since then, Matt's videos have evolved beyond a single man dancing; his videos now focus on individuals that gather together to share in the fun of dance, as you can see in his 2012 YouTube film.

The joy that goes into Matt's work is apparent—and well documented. However, there's also a fair amount of planning involved to choreograph his efforts. Matt relies on Google Maps for comprehensive, accurate and useful tools to execute and track his steps.



Before he sets off on each adventure, Matt uses Google Maps to scout various locations. Using Street View and photos in Google Maps, he finds landmarks and points of interest around the globe that are prefect dance spots. For instance, he came across Piazza del Popolo while exploring Rome with Street View. These tools come in handy to help Matt choose a backdrop to highlight his assembly of exuberant, local dancers.


Piazza del Popolo in Rome - View Larger Map

Scouting is only part of the process. Once Matt has coordinated a group in a city, he helps everyone get to the designated destination by creating a customized My Map and sharing it with the participants so they can easily navigate to the planned meetup location. The end result is something everyone around the world can relate to.



Follow Matt as he continues to travel the world on his site www.wherethehellismatt.com.

Keep dancing!

Google Now on your iPhone and iPad, with the Google Search app

Posted: 29 Apr 2013 08:37 AM PDT

Many of us can no longer imagine life without our smartphones. We use them for all sorts of things, like getting reminders of important calendar appointments (say, a first date), and driving directions to the Italian restaurant where your table for two awaits. Today, with the launch of Google Now on iPhone and iPad, your smartphone will become even smarter.

Google Now is about giving you just the right information at just the right time. It can show you the day's weather as you get dressed in the morning, or alert you that there's heavy traffic between you and your butterfly-inducing date—so you'd better leave now! It can also share news updates on a story you've been following, remind you to leave for the airport so you can make your flight and much more. There's no digging required: cards appear at the moment you need them most—and the more you use Google Now, the more you get out of it.

Google Now for iPhone and iPad is available as part of the updated Google Search app. Together, Google Now and voice search will make your day run a little smoother.


In addition to the handy cards in Google Now, the Google Search app still gives you instant answers to all your questions. Try tapping the microphone and speak to your phone—you'll get quick answers spoken back to you. For example, ask Google, "Do I need an umbrella this weekend?" and you'll get the forecast. Or ask "Who's in the cast of 'Oblivion'?" to decide if you want to see it. Voice Search is particularly handy on the go—try "Show me nearby pizza places" and you'll see a map of restaurants around you with directions, phone numbers, ratings and hours.



Get the Google Search app with Google Now from the App Store. Drag it to the tray, open it, sign in and you're ready to go.

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