Saturday, June 25, 2005

A Barrage of New Google Stuff

  • Google Maps now shows the outlines of all the world's countries, sans their actual detailed maps (currently, the only countries with maps are the U.S. and the U.K.). Better yet (for U.S. and U.K. users, anyway), Maps now shows directions of one-way streets.
  • Even better, Satellite Maps is now offering much more detailed views of almost every country on the planet, allowing you to zoom close enough to actually see roads and large buildings, but not close enough to see houses, except for some lucky countries. You could even use the search function for some internationally popular places (try Vatican City, Vatican).
  • Here's a Google Search tip: type the name of anyone internationally popular, and add the keyword dob. DOB stands for date-of-birth, and that's exactly what you see atop the results. The keyword "date of death" (including the quotation marks) can also be used.
  • Blogger finally has an image upload feature. So now we don't have to use third party services (Flickr, etc.) to post images in our blog posts. I don't have access to any of my photos right now (I'm on a school PC), so maybe I'll just test this later.
  • This is a bit old, but what the heck: Google Print now has its own search box. Before this, Google Print results only show randomly in Google searches. Now, you could search through Google's millions of scanned book pages (though, obviously, you still can't read whole books; that'd be illegal for Google to allow).
  • Finally, Google is planning some very interesting things for the future. For example, they are going to photograph places in the U.S. in various angles in order to create a 3D-view of those places, which will then be integrated into Google Maps. The recently released Google Video will evolve into a video distribution platform (this video upload program is the first step). There is also a future update to Google's Language Tools that's going to be a lot more accurate than even the best machine translation tools on the planet today.