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Go offline with Google Maps for Android
Thursday, June 28, 2012
This is a cross-post from the
Having an Internet connection has always been a key requirement for using Google Maps for Android... until now.
A few weeks ago
we told you that offline Google Maps for Android was coming. Now, you can download the latest version of the
app in Google Play
, then select and save a region of a map from more than 150 countries
(including New Zealand)
for use offline. Whether travelling internationally, carrying a WiFi-only device, heading underground on the subway or restricting your mobile data usage, you can now save up to six large metro areas (e.g., Greater London,
, or New York City and surrounding area) and use Google Maps for Android to find your way.
Let’s say you find yourself traveling to London this summer. Before you head off on your trip, simply find the area that you’ll be visiting. Then select “Make available offline” from the menu and verify the area that you would like to save.
Below the map, you’ll see we estimate the file size for you, so you know how much space it will take on your device. Once you confirm your selection the map will immediately start downloading.
Save an area and go to My Places to see all your offline maps
If you have GPS enabled on the device, the blue dot will still work without a data connection so you know where you are, and if your device has a compass you can orient yourself without 3G or WiFi connectivity.
So whether you’re traveling internationally or underground, we hope
will help you get around.
Today we’re also releasing a smoother and faster Compass Mode for Street View within Google Maps for Android. It’s the next best thing to being there, because your device becomes a window into a 360-degree, panoramic view of the outdoor or interior location through
. To experience the improved qualities of this feature you need a device with Google Maps for Android, Android 3.0 or higher and a gyroscope sensor plus version 1.8.1 of
Street View on Google Maps
See inside District wine bar in San Francisco
To learn more about Google Maps for Android features,
Posted by Jiabei Lei, Software Engineer, Google Maps Mobile
Build: Bringing LEGO bricks to Chrome
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
We love building with LEGO
bricks. We loved it as kids, and we still love it now. Visit any Google office, you’re going to see LEGO bricks all over the place.
So it’s with childish delight that today we can announce
. Over the last few months we’ve been working with LEGO Australia, thinking about what would happen if we brought bricks to the browser. Build is the result: our latest Chrome Experiment which lets you explore and build a new world of LEGO creations together online. With 8 trillion bricks, think of Build as the largest LEGO set you’ve ever seen.
Build may look simple, but this collaborative 3D building experience would not have been possible a couple of years ago. It shows how far browser technology has come and how the web is an amazing platform for creativity. We made the bricks with WebGL, which enables powerful 3D graphics right in the browser and demonstrates the
upper limit of current WebGL graphics performance.
We then mixed in Google Maps (another Aussie invention) so you can put your creation in a LEGO world alongside everyone else’s.
Right now Build is an experiment we’ve been working on in Sydney. We’re launching first in Australia and New Zealand and hope to open up in other countries soon. This year is the 50th anniversary of the LEGO brick in Australia and Build joins the celebration of the LEGO Festival of Play online.
Over the next few weeks and months we hope to see you fill the Build world up with everything from
giant mouse cursors
and even a
Share your creations with us on
and we’ll re-post the most inventive.
You can start building at
Posted by Lockey McGrath, Product Marketing Manager, Google Australia and New Zealand
Kiwi Filmmakers Among the 50 Semi-Finalists for Your Film Festival
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
may have seen
, voting is open for
Your Film Festival
, the global competition that unites the
Venice Film Festival
, Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions,
and YouTube’s community of film fans, in a quest to discover the
next great storyteller
The Scott Free team selected 50 semi-finalists from more than 15,000 short films submitted by creators worldwide. Now, it’s up to you, the fans, to vote for your favorites, and ultimately send 10 finalists to the Venice Film Festival.
We are excited that a few Kiwis are behind many of the entries. Take a look:
, Director: James Cunningham - Lost in the frozen depths of the Atlantic a German U-Boat crew find themselves on a collision course with objects stranger than they can fathom. The truth leaves them bathed in confusion in this submarine drama of domestic proportions.
Dr Grordbort presents: the Deadliest Game
, Director: James Cunningham - Lord Broadforce is showing off his collection methods of rare Venusian wildlife - all guns blazing! This sci-fi adventure on Venus is based on the world of Dr Grordbort by Greg Broadmore.
, Director: Tammy Davis - One night out stealing, two boys learn a lesson.
At the Venice Film Festival, the 10 finalist filmmakers will have their work screened as part of the opening days of the festival and judged by a grand prize jury of industry professionals, including Ridley Scott and actor Michael Fassbender. The finalists will then pitch their next film project to the Ridley Scott team, all for the chance to win a $500,000 production grant to work with Ridley Scott’s award-winning team to create a new original work for YouTube.
So what are you waiting for? Watch the entries, vote for your favorite films on the
Your Film Festival channel
, and be part of the largest online film festival ever. Voting ends 13th July, so cast your votes now!
Posted by Ernesto Soriano, YouTube Marketing Manager, recently watched
Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship
Friday, June 15, 2012
Last year, I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the recipients of the
Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship
. The scholarship, open to women at university in Australia and New Zealand, aims to encourage us to excel in computing and technology. With applications
for this year’s recipients, I wanted to share my experience as a past winner and encourage those eligible to apply.
During high school, I always felt like the odd one out. All I wanted to do was make websites and program, but none of my friends shared the same interests. Even classmates who were studying I.T. (and who were predominantly male) were interested only in the very basics of software development. At university, I was surrounded by more like-minded people, but being a female still made me the odd one out.
One of the biggest benefits of the Anita Borg Scholarship was the chance to meet other passionate women studying and working in the field. All finalists were invited on a retreat to Google Sydney’s engineering centre where we received professional development, career advice and mentoring. We heard from a panel of engineers about career options in industry and academia, tech talks on topics such as web accessibility and Programming Language Design, as well as lots of social activities and sightseeing around Sydney.
At the three-day event, I met so many other girls who were also following their dreams. It made me realise there were so many other people who shared the same aspirations, and that’s strengthened my self-esteem and motivation immensely.
The scholarship has given me incredible insight into the issues faced by women in computing, and helped me realise my own place as a role model for other girls. For me, I know that when someone asks me why I’m studying computer science, I can now point to some of the role models I’ve met from the scholarship and use them as women to look up to.
For further information on this scholarship and how to apply, you can visit
. Be quick because applications close 10 July 2012!
Posted by Sasha Bermeister, 2012 Google Anita Borg Scholarship Recipient.
Google Apps for Education helps Pt England School raise achievement levels
Friday, June 8, 2012
This is a cross-post from the
Google Enterprise Blog
Today’s guest blogger is Dorothy Burt, a professional development leader at
Pt England School
in Auckland, New Zealand. Dorothy has been a
Google Certified Teacher
Here at Pt England School in Auckland, New Zealand our motto is “Strive to succeed.” But in our low socioeconomic area – an impoverished suburb surrounded by affluence – there’s an unspoken belief that success can be associated with your ability to get out of this part of town. 90% of our 600 students are of Maori or Pasifika descent, who are often found in the lowest achieving cohort. Raising student achievement levels for this demographic is a government priority – and a continued focus for the principal, management team, teachers and parent community at Pt England school. Recognizing our students’ natural flair for technology and expressing themselves through digital platforms, we began
to get our students excited about learning and improve their achievement levels through collaborative e-learning. We haven’t looked back since.
We migrated to
Google Apps for Education
in 2008. After training our teaching staff, we quickly began to see the advantages of working collaboratively. Our migration coincided with several neighbouring schools joining together to form the
– a group that works toward raising student achievement in literacy. Using Google Apps and other tools, we sought to create confident and informed digital citizens. While we quickly noticed increased student engagement, teachers felt that there was still a missing piece. Enter the Teacher Dashboard, an add-on from the
Google Apps Marketplace
that allowed teachers to get a bird’s-eye view of classroom activity across Docs, Sites, Gmail, Blogger and Picasa. Using Google Sites, the Manaiakalani Cluster
manages the student learning environment
internally, making the feedback exchange quick and easy.
The research from test scores collated in 2011 showed significant progress in literacy. Surveys, video observations and interviews with students now demonstrate a group of young learners who are highly engaged in learning.
They have a renewed sense of pride because their test scores improved, and – more importantly to them – people all around the world were reading their blog posts and complementing their success. The teachers also feel a renewed sense of engagement with their classrooms since they can centrally track and monitor student progress via the Teacher Dashboard.
Using Google tools has provided our students with equal access to learning opportunities and opened the door for them to be excited about the learning process and share their progress with the world. As a result, these students know that they don’t need to leave their town to be successful; the world now comes to them and shows them that they are.
Posted by Dorothy Burt, professional development leader at Pt England School
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