Part of our series on how to save time this holiday season with Google Maps.
It’s crunch time. There are holiday parties to attend and last-minute gifts to be bought and wrapped. When the holidays are only days away even the small things can make a difference. So here’s another helpful trick for how you can save a few extra minutes every time you use Google Maps for directions or navigation.
You can save your home and work addresses in Google Maps, and then select “home” or “work” rather than typing the locations every single time. Just go to “your places” on the side menu and you’ll see “home” and “work” under “labeled places”. Enter the address for each and next time you’re navigating to or from home or work, you can get your directions a little quicker and easier than before.
Every minute matters. Save more every day with Maps Minutes Hacks. Next up: how to get home fast and safe on New Year’s Eve.
Posted by Olga Suvorova, Product Marketing Manager, Google Maps
We celebrated our last ‘Code the Road’ Europe stop in London where the team got an early start in our Code Lab building an Android app using the Google Maps APIs.
Ed Boiling, Maps API sales engineer, led the Code Lab workshop where developers created an Android application using the Google Maps Android API and connected it to a Google Cloud Platform datastore. The Code Lab covered concepts including using Android Studio, creating a Google Maps activity, drawing data on the map, capturing the user's location, and adding location based rules to control the application logic. It also introduced the developers to Google Cloud Platform via the Cloud Endpoints integration in Android studio, allowing them to easily add and deploy a Google App Engine based API and datastore for their application to use.
This was not before trying out a Code the Road favorite—Pegman Skydiving. Using a camera, Maps APIs, and your arms the program can detect how you might look skydiving over a specific locale.
In the afternoon Kerstin Pittl, a lead engineer for Maps APIs from OniGroup, discussed how companies can use the “blue dot” on Google Maps in their applications and how partners can help them integrate it into their map.
Pittl was followed by Dan Hubert, the founder of Appyparking. Appyparking helps drivers across the United Kingdom understand parking regulations and find open parking spaces. The app color codes parking spots to show drivers where there’s free parking, where restrictions apply and where special types of spaces – such as electric-car charging and motorbike spots – are located.
We’re already planning our next roadtrip. We hope to see you at one of our future Code the Road stops!
Posted by Michael St. Germain, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Google Maps APIs
No need for fussing or fighting, my friend. Now you can live on a Yellow Submarine, march in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Band or go to Strawberry Fields Forever. Starting on December 24, all 13 of The Beatles’ iconic original albums, plus four essential Beatles collections, will be available to stream on Google Play Music—enough music to fill up eight days a week.
The best-selling band in history, with 20 number one Billboard Hot 100 hits, The Beatles continue to be one of the world’s most beloved bands decades after their last original album. So, what lyrics take a sad song and make it better? What albums get you through a hard day’s night? Come together, right now, to take a look at some of the top Beatles searches, according to Google Trends.
Bonus: If you open up the Google app on your Android phone and say “Ok Google, play the Beatles,” There will be an answer. Let it stream.
In the words of Ed Sullivan: “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Beatles!”
Posted by Gwen Shen, Music Partnerships, Google Play
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-lAaDf35rKZo/Vo8GMQnf3-I/AAAAAAAARrk/KDMg871KKHc/s1600/Beatles_2.pngGwen ShenMusic PartnershipsGoogle Play
Sometimes language isn’t straightforward. Only a Hindi speaker could tell you that although ऊँट के मुँह में जीरा may literally mean ‘cumin seed in a camel's mouth’, it actually means ‘a drop in the ocean’ or something too insufficient to fulfill a need.
There are 22 official languages in India. And while Google Translate can help you with nine of them at the moment, languages that are under-represented on the Internet like Bengali, Telugu, and Tamil could use a little help. This is where people who are passionate about their native languages can use the Translate Community tool to make a big difference.
We’ve just kicked off our second translatathon in India, this time for nine languages — Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam and Punjabi. You can use Google Translate Community on your phone, laptop or computer. Just type, swipe or tap translations in the languages you speak. You have the option to either translate phrases directly, or validate existing translations.
Last year 20,000 people contributed over one million new Hindi translations, helping improve the overall quality of Hindi content online. We’re now including all the Indic languages that Google Translate is available in, and we look forward to seeing how people from around the world can help Google say जंगल में मोर नाचा किस ने देखा? or আপনার পায়ে কুড়ল মারা more accurately. Millions of people in India are coming online for the first time and most of them don’t speak English. Bringing more Indian language content online, and improving Indian language translation quality, will help them have a better experience on the Web.
Validate phrases with the Google Translate Community tool
Once you join the translatathon, you can Translate and validate words and short phrases up until December 30. We will then reward the 50 most active and accurate contributors with an Android One phone*.
So why not stop by and say नमस्ते, নমস্কার, வணக்கம் and help India showcase the beauty and diversity of languages online. Register and participate at g.co/translatathon and thanks in advance for your help. You’re making the web better for everyone.
*Terms and conditions apply: https://goo.gl/kEAehI Posted by Barak Turovsky, Product Lead, Google Translate
Part of our series on how to save time this holiday season with Google Maps.
This time of year, millions take a road trip home for the holidays or adventure to faraway places all over the world. Whether you’re traveling abroad or rediscovering your own hometown, it helps to be able to navigate quickly and easily, even with limited mobile data or a spotty internet connection.
Google Maps offline, now available on iOS and Android, can help you get the most out of your holiday travels. You can browse pre-downloaded map areas, search for places, get directions and turn-by-turn navigation–all offline. Because exploring the world shouldn’t require a data connection or excessive roaming charges.
To navigate offline, simply open the Google Maps app and save any area on the map while you have a connection. Search for a place like San Francisco or Mexico City, open the place card and tap the download button. You can adjust the size of the map area you want to download and name it. Once downloaded, that area will be automatically added to your Offline areas in the side menu.
Once you’ve saved a map area, you can search for places and get directions offline. Looking for that famous art gallery or a neighborhood watering hole? You can check out addresses, opening hours, phone numbers and even navigate there–all without internet access.
To explore and navigate the world offline, install the Google Maps app on your iPhone before your holiday journey, or open it on Android along the way.
Get the most of your holiday time with Maps Minutes Hacks. Next up: how to get around faster and safer.
Posted by Dai Pham, Head of Geo and Google Maps Marketing
People around the world want to know how they can help the refugees and migrants caught up in the crisis in Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa. As part of Code the Road Europe, we partnered with Ubilabs, a Google Maps for Work partner, to host a 24-hour hackathon dedicated to helping expand RefugeeMaps.eu, Ubilabs’ open sourced platform to help the refugees in Hamburg and throughout Europe.
RefugeeMaps.eu highlights local points of interest that are relevant to refugees new to a particular area, including libraries, recreational facilities and other important landmarks. The goal is to take local knowledge from volunteers and make it easy for someone new to the area to orient themselves and find resources that will help them settle in quickly.
We kicked-off the hackathon with a presentation from Barbara Kopf, a refugee activist and the manager of the institution ‘Freizeithaus Kirchdorf’. She provided context for what refugees need and how they can help. Then, we had Thomas Steiner, an engineer in the Google Hamburg office, and Martin Kleppe from Ubilabs talk about the technical aspects around the platform. To support the effort, Ed Boiling, Google Maps APIs Sales Engineer, presented 10 Google Maps APIs in 10 minutes, then it was time to start start coding.
Six groups of developers formed and spent the rest of the night designing, coding, and working together to find ways to improve RefugeeMaps.eu with, of course, lots of coffee and snacks.
After 24 hours, we all came together to review the improvements which included:
Improvement to the front end design and UX optimization based on language preferences, making it easier for refugees to navigate the platform based on their preference for Arabic, English or German.
A function that makes it easier for refugees to print out select, zoomed-in areas of the map. Not all refugees have cell phones, especially women and children, so one group decided it was important to make sure it was easy for someone to print out maps to make it truly offline.
Addition of new places. Currently, only local volunteers with access to a master spreadsheet can add locations; however, one group added a function that makes it easier for anyone to add in a location through the interface of the map. This then updates the master spreadsheet.
A native offline Android app. Offline is important for the refugees that might not have data plans, so one group created a native Android app that could be used offline.
No server solution. To make it easier to run the platform, developers made a solution that did not require a server-side.
A performance boost. Developers added back-end changes to allow for caching of resources for offline use.
Here is the improvement we made to the front end design:
We were so impressed by all of the improvements that the developers made over the 24 hour period. While the hackathon is officially over, we also extend our invitation to collaborate on the project to external developers who could not attend the hackathon. You can find the code and all info on GitHub as well as a live demo instance of RefugeeMaps.eu online.
Posted by Hena Haines, Product Marketing Manager, Google Maps APIs
Whether you’re cozied up at home or on the road, Chromecast has a bunch of new goodies for you and the family. Just in time for the holidays, we’re adding more Chromecast-enabled games for both Android and iOS to the list.
Now casting is Rovio’s Angry Birds Friends, featuring everyone’s favorite red bird, where you can compete in weekly tournaments. Also available is Ubisoft’s Driver Speedboat Paradise, where you race your boat through beautiful canals and waterways around the world.
Angry Birds Friends, by Rovio
We’re also introducing several new family-friendly Hasbro games which have been remastered for the big screen experience, including Monopoly Here & Now, Yahtzee Blitz, The Game of Life, and Scrabble Blitz 2.0. These are perfect companions for the downtime before that ball drops this New Year’s Eve. And lastly, we’re excited to introduce a new way to play Risk -- on Chromecast. Now you can compete for world domination with friends and family. (Hasbro games available in the US and CA only)
With Chromecast, you can get a great split-screen experience for your mobile games. For example, if you are playing Monopoly Here & Now, only you can see your cards on your phone while the moves you decide to make get displayed on the big screen. It unlocks fun multiplayer experiences, and the ability for you to use your phone or tablet as the controller while gameplay takes place on the TV.
Monopoly Here & Now Big Screen, by Hasbro
Many games now work with Chromecast, and many more will continue to be made available. So whether you’re playing with friends or by yourself, you can now play mobile games on the biggest screen in the house. Check out these great games and more on chromecast.com/apps.
Posted by Wendi Zhang, Chromecast Business Development Games Lead and Ultimate Bird Caster
A humble caretaker is surprised when a mysterious stranger causes mischief on the roof. He investigates, but can’t seem to catch even a glimpse of the troublemaker. And so the chase goes... room to room… up and down… The stranger remains just out of sight, leaving behind only a trail of gifts…
Meanwhile, you’re following the action at your own pace, from whatever angle you please—behind you, to your left, to your right, or in front of you. All on your mobile phone.
“Special Delivery” is the latest of several Spotlight Stories to come out of Google ATAP (our Advanced Technology and Projects group). With Google Spotlight Stories, your phone becomes a window to a story happening all around you. The sensors on your phone allow the story to be interactive, so when you move your phone to various scenes, you unlock mini-stories within the story.
We didn’t want anyone to miss Aardman’s “Pink Panther”-style holiday caper! So we also made a YouTube 360 version for other Android devices, iOS devices, and the web. You can find both versions of “Special Delivery” on the Spotlight Stories YouTube channel, and you can also watch with Google Cardboard. Next year, we’ll bring Google Spotlight Stories to more Android devices and the YouTube iOS app.
You’ll want to watch “Special Delivery” a few times to find all the surprises within the story. In the full interactive experience, you’ll encounter 10 subplots, three potential ways to view the ending, and 60+ moments where you can decide to follow the story in different ways. Each viewing is unique. We don’t want to spoil the ending, so that’s all we’ll say for now…
Posted by Rachid El Guerrab, Technical Project Lead, Spotlight Stories, Google ATAP
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mbUAzRH7Bao/VnjmzqSrsjI/AAAAAAAARm8/Sj0CZl2NS3g/s1600/SLS_SpecialDelivery_Twitter_1.gifRachid El GuerrabTechnical Project Lead, Spotlight StoriesGoogle ATAP
After a great trip to Tel Aviv, we were excited to be in Germany with our Code the Road bus. Our first stop was in Berlin, and then we were on to Hamburg for our 24-hour Hackathon.
We hosted our first event in the Factory, Germany's largest startup campus. The Factory provides working spaces, communities and events for freelancers and startups to connect and empowers entrepreneurs and innovators in a beautiful space in Berlin.
Before the event developers had a great time exploring the Code the Road bus and enjoying a coffee at our Location Cafe. They also had a chance to play multiple games including the Maps Skydiving game.
Ed Boiling and Matt Toon kicked-off the event with a great Codelab focused on building an app that allows users to check into any mountain when going on a hike or visiting a new destination. Corien, a web developer and student, said, “It was great to learn more how to use Google Maps APIs on Android, a platform I don’t usually develop on as well as learn from the other developers at the event. It was great to see everyone working together and learning a thing or two about Google Maps APIs.”
Then, we had Ed Parsons kick off our presentation by explaining how location technology is changing the way we interact with the world to create a more dynamic, emotive experience.
Next up, Oliver from Kia Motors spoke about how Kia is using Google Maps APIs in the Kia cee’d Surprise Drive digital marketing campaign. Martin Kleppe from Ubilabs followed up with the specific technical points on how this digital marketing campaign was developed with Distance Matrix API, Directions API and custom pins. He also gave our attendees some tips and tricks about how to get their maps looking snazzy with Image Tiles, clustering, Marker Images, Data Layer and more. He even share his presentation for our attendees to reference.
Shenouda, a developer from Egypt told us, “The presentations gave a great overview of the functionality of the technology and how to use the APIs to the best of their abilities.” He plans to take what he learned on styling and overlaying data on a map as well as using the Elevation API to incorporate into applications to give users a really interactive and exciting user experience.
We had a great time in Berlin. Next we were on to Hamburg and London!
Posted by Tobias Espig, Head of Global Field Marketing, Google Maps APIs
In 2011, we announced the retirement of Google Friend Connect for all non-Blogger sites. We made an exception for Blogger to give readers an easy way to follow blogs using a variety of accounts. Yet over time, we’ve seen that most people sign into Friend Connect with a Google Account. So, in an effort to streamline, in the next few weeks we’ll be making some changes that will eventually require readers to have a Google Account to sign into Friend Connect and follow blogs.
As part of this plan, starting the week of January 11, we’ll remove the ability for people with Twitter, Yahoo, Orkut or other OpenId providers to sign in to Google Friend Connect and follow blogs. At the same time, we’ll remove non-Google Account profiles so you may see a decrease in your blog follower count.
We encourage you to tell affected readers (perhaps via a blog post), that if they use a non-Google Account to follow your blog, they need to sign up for a Google Account, and re-follow your blog. With a Google Account, they’ll get blogs added to their Reading List, making it easier for them to see the latest posts and activity of the blogs they follow.
We know how important followers are to all bloggers, but we believe this change will improve the experience for both you and your readers. Posted by Michael Goddard, Software Engineer
Part of our series on how to save time this holiday season with Google Maps.
If you're headed out on vacation, visiting friends and family in a new city or re-discovering your old favorite places over the holidays, this one's for you. With the Explore feature, available on both Android and iOS, you’ll feel like a local no matter where you are this holiday season.
Android experience Android users in the U.S. can simply open Google Maps and tap “Explore food & drinks near you” at the bottom of the screen to see local recommendations. You can get results for breakfast, lunch, coffee, dinner and drinks among curated lists like “Where the locals go” or “Best spots for dinner with kids.” Once you’ve tapped on a list, you can swipe through place cards with more details like ratings, review snippets and distance from your location. Pick a place to see the address, up-to-date open hours, popular times, Street View imagery and more.
iOS experience On iOS, just open the Google Maps app and tap on “Explore around you” at the bottom of the map to see recommendations of places to indulge and imbibe along with places to see and things to do. iPhone users can sort their options by how long it would take to walk or drive to the destinations as well as time of day. Curated lists range from “Local favorites” to “Quick bites” to a special “Featured by Zagat” option. The “Play & see” list will show you places to go like museums, historical monuments, live music venues and more. Simply scroll through the place cards to see abbreviated info and tap on your favorite to get more details.
Whether you’re using Android or iOS, save time this holiday season by checking the up-to-date open hours to make sure you don’t arrive to find a closed sign in the window and reviewing the popular times to avoid holiday crowds.
Make the most of your time with Maps Minutes hacks. Next up: searching for places and getting turn-by-turn directions—all while offline.
Posted by Olga Suvorova, Product Marketing Manager, Google Maps
Posted by Lucas Garron, Chrome security and David Benjamin, Chrome networking
As announced last September and supported by further recent research, Google Chrome does not treat SHA-1 certificates as secure anymore, and will completely stop supporting them over the next year. Chrome will discontinue support in two steps: first, blocking new SHA-1 certificates; and second, blocking all SHA-1 certificates.
Step 1: Blocking new SHA-1 certificates Starting in early 2016 with Chrome version 48, Chrome will display a certificate error if it encounters a site with a leaf certificate that:
is signed with a SHA-1-based signature
is issued on or after January 1, 2016
chains to a public CA
We are hopeful that no one will encounter this error, since public CAs must stop issuing SHA-1 certificates in 2016 per the Baseline Requirements for SSL.
In addition, a later version of Chrome in 2016 may extend these criteria in order to help guard against SHA-1 collision attacks on older devices, by displaying a certificate error for sites with certificate chains that:
contain an intermediate or leaf certificate signed with a SHA-1-based signature
contain an intermediate or leaf certificate issued on or after January 1, 2016
chain to a public CA
(Note that the first two criteria can match different certificates.)
Note that sites using new SHA-1 certificates that chain to local trust anchors (rather than public CAs) will continue to work without a certificate error. However, they will still be subject to the UI downgrade specified in our original announcement.
Step 2: Blocking all SHA-1 certificates
Starting January 1, 2017 at the latest, Chrome will completely stop supporting SHA-1 certificates. At this point, sites that have a SHA-1-based signature as part of the certificate chain (not including the self-signature on the root certificate) will trigger a fatal network error. This includes certificate chains that end in a local trust anchor as well as those that end at a public CA.
In line with Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox, the target date for this step is January 1, 2017, but we are considering moving it earlier to July 1, 2016 in light of ongoing research. We therefore urge sites to replace any remaining SHA-1 certificates as soon as possible.
Note that Chrome uses the certificate trust settings of the host OS where possible, and that an update such as Microsoft’s planned change will cause a fatal network error in Chrome, regardless of Chrome’s intended target date.
Keeping your site safe and compatible
As individual TLS features are found to be too weak, browsers need to drop support for those features to keep users safe. Unfortunately, SHA-1 certificates are not the only feature that browsers will remove in the near future.
As we announced on our security-dev mailing list, Chrome 48 will also stop supporting RC4 cipher suites for TLS connections. This aligns with timelines for Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox.
For security and interoperability in the face of upcoming browser changes, site operators should ensure that their servers use SHA-2 certificates, support non-RC4 cipher suites, and follow TLS best practices. In particular, we recommend that most sites support TLS 1.2 and prioritize the ECDHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM cipher suite. We also encourage site operators to use tools like the SSL Labs server test and Mozilla's SSL Configuration Generator.
We had a fantastic start to our ‘Code the Road’ Europe tour at the Google Tel Aviv Campus. We were thrilled to have so many enthusiastic developers to help kick off our first event.
It was great to be in Tel Aviv to feel the excitement and energy of their thriving startup community and to see how these talented developers were using location and Google Maps APIs in their applications.
There we brought a Maps Dive gaming experience to the campus area as well as a full-size copy our Code the Road 1970s Volkswagen Tour bus. (The actual bus and the trailer were waiting for us in Berlin for our next stop on the 12th of November)
We also welcomed Lidor Dvir, Head of Development from Gett who shared a talk titled "Using Google Maps API to build a multi-million user product". Lidor presented on how Gett uses multiple Google Maps APIs on multiple platforms to help both users and businesses get where they need to go and get the things they need. He described how the Google Maps Places API, Directions API and Roads APIs helps users easily find the places they need to go and the best way to get there. They also use heat maps, marker clustering, customize markers and animations to layer information on the map in beautiful visualizations.
We spent the afternoon with a packed house for Codelab were we built a ‘Munro bagging’ Android app on Google Maps and Google Cloud Platform. We had a great time working with the developers helping them with the app.
Tel Aviv was just the start of our journey. The next stop was Berlin!
Posted by Tobias Espig, Head of Global Field Marketing, Google Maps APIs
We’re delighted to announce the availability of Google Play services 8.4. There’s a lot of new information to share with you about what’s available to you in this release.
Custom Email App Invites
App Invites is a technology that enables your users to share apps with people they know. In Google Play services 8.4 we’ve updated this to make it easier for them to share via email. Before this you could create a custom email that contained user defined text and an image, but now we’re allowing you to add content from the app directly into the message. It allows you to fully define the email body using HTML, and set the email subject line. So, for example, if you have a favorite cooking app that you want to share with your friends, your invite to use the app can include a favorite recipe from the app. They get the immediate benefit of being able to access the desired content, giving them a more informed choice about whether or not they decide to install the app to get richer and more content. Check out the App Invites sample on GitHub here.
Predicting User spend and churn in games
The Play Games Analytics developer experience is designed to enable game developers to better understand, manage, and optimize game experiences throughout the player lifecycle. With this in mind, we’ve extended the Player Stats API to help you better understand your players behavior, and based on this, entice them to stay in your game.
The churn prediction method will return data on the probability that the player will churn, i.e., stop playing the game. You can create content in response to this to entice them to stay in your game.
Additionally, the spend prediction method will return the probability that the player will spend something in the game. It’s up to you how to handle this data, but -- for example -- if there’s a low probability that the player will spend something, you could provide discounted in-app purchases or show ads.
Fused Location Provider Updates
The Fused Location Provider (FLP) in Google Play services provides location to your apps using a number of sensors, including GPS, WiFi and Cell Towers.
When desiring to save battery power, and using coarse updates, the FLP doesn’t use Global Positioning Services (GPS), and instead uses WiFi and Cell tower signals. In Google Play services 8.4, we have greatly improved how the FLP detects location from cell towers. Prior to this, we would get the location information relative to only the primary cell tower. Now, the FLP takes the primary tower and other towers nearby to provide a more accurate location. We’ve also improved location detection from WiFi access points, particularly in areas where GPS is not available -- such as indoors.
Maps API Improvements
Have you ever wished you could easily handle a tap on a suburb without having to add another layer on the map to intercept the taps? We’ve added an onClickListener for polygons, so you can easily add transparent polygons and intercept the taps directly. We’ve also added on click listeners to polylines and ground overlays.
Here’s how you can use a listener to detect a click on a polygon:
For more details, and an example that uses these, see the ApiDemos sample on GitHub and check out the historical changes to this sample, so you can see how the new APIs work. Also see the Release Notes.
Applications using BarcodeDetector in its default configuration (no barcode format restrictions) will automatically start decoding AZTEC codes.
Background Beacon Scanning
With Google Play services 8.4, the Nearby Messages API now supports background scanning for Eddystone, the open beacon format from Google. With this update, your app can be woken up when a BLE beacon is sighted. Back in July, Google Play Services 7.8 introduced the Nearby Messages API with a simple publish-subscribe interface. In the case of beacons, developers publish content by adding attachments to beacon records using Proximity Beacon API. These attachments are served back to your app when Nearby sights a beacon of interest.
New methods that we’ve added include a subscribe method for background beacon subscriptions where BLE scans are triggered at screen-on events; an associated unsubscribe event; and the ability to handle intents that you get when the Nearby API calls back during a background subscription.
We also have a new HistoryApi.updateData() method. This method allows you to update data in one API call without having to delete and insert with two calls.
Place Picker Autocomplete Widget
Today we are announcing the mobile autocomplete widget, the latest addition to our existing set of programmatic autocomplete features on Android and iOS, as well as the addition of Autocomplete to our place picker widget. Autocomplete functionality assists users by automatically completing the name and address of a place as they type. Widgets make it even easier for developers to add autocomplete functionality to their application with just a small amount of code. Learn more about this at this blog post.
Occasionally on the open source blog we feature the personal projects of Googlers. Today we hear from Blair Kutzman, whose loss inspired the creation of RememberMe, an open source email reminder tool.
On June 2, 2014 my cousin Jeremy Monnett was killed in a plane crash. He left behind his two sons, Miles and Brooks, and wife Kate. As much as we look to explain events like these, they unfortunately can happen at any moment and to anybody.
RememberMe is an open source project I created in memory of Jeremy that helps people keep in touch. The basic premise is simple — at a configurable interval (eg. daily, weekly, monthly, etc) an email arrives in your inbox reminding you to contact someone. The reply-to field on the mail is set so that replying will send your response to your loved one.
The loss of Jeremy reminded me of just how important it is to keep in touch with the people you love the most. I hope that by making this project public, others will create email address for young children, spouses, and journal their daily thoughts and daily activities. This provides a fabulous way both to chronicle their lives, and also share your daily thoughts.
Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2016 is officially at its halfway point. Mentors and students have just completed their midterm evaluations and it’s time for our second stats post. This time we take a closer look at our participating students.
First, we’d like to highlight the universities with the most student participants. Congratulations are due to the International Institute of Information Technology – Hyderabad for claiming the top spot for the third consecutive year!
Next, we are proud to announce that 2016 marks the largest number of female GSoC participants to date — 12% of accepted students are female, up 2.2% from 2015. This is good progress, but we are certain we can do better in the future to diversify our program. The Google Open Source team will continue our outreach to many organizations, for example, Grace Hopper and Black Girls Code, to increase this number even more 2017. If you have any suggestions of organizations we should work with, please let us know in the comments.
Finally, each year we like to look at the majors of students. As expected, the most common area of study for our participants is Computer Science (approximately 78%), but this year we have a wide variety of studies including Linguistics, Law, Music Technology and Psychology. The majority of our students this year are undergraduates (67%), followed by Masters (23%) and then PhD students (9%).
Although reviewing GSoC statistics each year is great fun, we want to stress that being “first place” is not the point of the program. Our goal is to get more and more students involved in creating free and open source software. We hope Google Summer of Code encourages contributions to projects that have the potential to make a difference worldwide. Congratulations to the students from all over the globe and keep up the good work!
This week, Las Vegas hosts the 2016 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR 2016), the premier annual computer vision event comprising the main conference and several co-located workshops and short courses. As a leader in computer vision research, Google has a strong presence at CVPR 2016, with many Googlers presenting papers and invited talks at the conference, tutorials and workshops.
We congratulate Google Research Scientist Ce Liu and Google Faculty Advisor Abhinav Gupta, who were selected as this year’s recipients of the PAMI Young Researcher Award for outstanding research contributions within computer vision. We also congratulate Googler Henrik Stewenius for receiving the Longuet-Higgins Prize, a retrospective award that recognizes up to two CVPR papers from ten years ago that have made a significant impact on computer vision research, for his 2006 CVPR paper “Scalable Recognition with a Vocabulary Tree”, co-authored with David Nister.
If you are attending CVPR this year, please stop by our booth and chat with our researchers about the projects and opportunities at Google that go into solving interesting problems for hundreds of millions of people. The Google booth will also showcase several recent efforts, including the technology behind Motion Stills, a live demo of neural network-based image compression and TensorFlow-Slim, the lightweight library for defining, training and evaluating models in TensorFlow. Learn more about our research being presented at CVPR 2016 in the list below (Googlers highlighted in blue).
In February, we announced that DoubleClick Digital Marketing, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, and the Google Display Network are going 100% HTML5. Starting June 30th, 2016, display ads built in Flash can no longer be uploaded into DoubleClick Campaign Manager…
Summer 2016 is a time of passion, excellence, and good-natured competition. For our Certified Publishing Partners, we’re excited to announce the launch of the Google Certified Publishing Partner Summer Challenge on July 1st.
After launching in October 2015, Google’s Certified Publishing Partner (GCPP) program encompasses close to 40 partners with proven expertise in driving innovation and growth for hundreds of thousands of publishers globally. Enabled by Google’s publisher solutions – Google AdSense, DoubleClick for Publishers, and DoubleClick Ad Exchange – each partner is trained to help publishers of various sizes and verticals optimize monetization strategies. Today, we’re launching this global contest to identify and recognize Certified Publishing Partners who have shown immense dedication and impressive expertise and several critical areas.
Customer Satisfaction Award: A partner who demonstrates outstanding overall quality of services for publishers, a key pillar of the Certified Publishing Partner program.
Mobile Champion Award: A partner who demonstrates strong strategy and implementation to help publishers capture mobile opportunities with strong user experiences and effective monetization.
Business Innovation Award: A partner who shows leadership in the publishing business, by demonstrating how they are innovators on all fronts from product to marketing to sales to support, and that their innovation has tangible impact on revenue and publisher satisfaction.
The contest will run from July 2016 through September 2016, with awards announced around October 2016. If you are one of our Certified Publishing Partners, you will receive an invitation to enter the contest. If you are interested in becoming a Certified Publishing Partner, apply here. Or, if you are interested in using the Certified Publishing Partner services, learn more about the program and find a partner here.
Posted by Sean Meng,
Global Program Lead, Google Certified Publishing Partner Program
About Google Certified Publishing Partnerships:
A Certified Publishing Partner can help when you don’t want to do it alone. Our publishing partners handle everything from setting up to optimizing and maintaining ads, so you’re free to spend more time publishing content on your site. Using Google best practices, our publishing partners are adept at maximizing performance and earnings with AdSense, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, and DoubleClick for Publishers. For more information, visit google.com/ads/publisher/partners/
Three years ago we launched Google Partners to help businesses connect with online professionals and agencies. Top Partners began earning their Google Partner badge by demonstrating their business was healthy, their clients were happy, and they were up to date with the latest product knowledge.
Since then, we received a number of requests from our Partners asking for a way to further differentiate themselves. Today, we’re excited to share the addition of Google Partner specializations.
The new feature is embedded into the Google Partner badge and designed to help businesses identify the right Partner for their specific business needs.
Partners can earn specializations in 5 areas of expertise:
To earn a specialization, badged Partners will need at least one certified individual and a history of consistent product performance.
“The changes to the Google Partner program are exciting for potential advertisers and our company,” says Neal Gann, CEO of Showroom Logic. “These new specializations show Google’s commitment to better serve their Partners and help us highlight what makes our technology and team so unique. It should also help prospective clients make a clear choice because it’s now easier for them to find top Partners that are aligned with their immediate goals.”
The new badge is designed to recognize Partners who manage a substantial portfolio of Google advertising campaigns and deliver great results for their customers. Premier Partners will be required to maintain additional certification requirements and will receive increased support from Google.
“Google identifying and recognizing highly experienced agencies is a great step and a distinctive honor. We are thrilled to be a part of the new designation and look forward to displaying this badge,” shares Joe Chura, CEO of Launch Digital Marketing.
We hope these updates will help businesses find the right Partner for their needs and allow our Partners to better differentiate themselves. Learn more at the new Google Partners homepage.
Posted by Allan Thygesen, VP Global Sales & Operations
Released today, the latest version of the Google Maps Android API includes several popular developer requested features including the ability to order the display of markers on the map with the new marker zIndex property, the ability to set the transparency of your tile overlays, and a new circle click listener.
Marker zIndex is one of the most requested features on our issue tracker – today’s release gives you the ability to control the order in which markers are displayed on the map [Issue 7762]. This gives you control over which tap target your user is most likely to hit by setting the zIndex property on each marker. The markers are drawn in order of the zIndex, with the the highest zIndex marker drawn on top.
Before: No control over the marker zIndex. The plane will be obscured by some of the cars.
After: The zIndex of the plane is set to be the highest. The plane is now always visible on top.
Just like polylines and polygons, apps compiled with the latest release can now have circle clickability via the OnCircleClickListener. You can enable or disable the clickability of circles by calling setClickable(boolean) on the relevant circle.
getMapAsync() now required
In December 2014 we deprecated getMap() in favor of getMapAsync(). From this release onwards, you’ll need to use getMapAsync() in order to compile your apps. Note that existing apps in the wild on your users’ devices won’t be impacted by this change as the getMap() method still exists within the Google Play Services APK that is delivered to Android devices.
If you haven’t already done so, follow these steps:
Here’s a sample fragment using the deprecated getMap(), with a fictitious doStuff() method that would implement the fragment’s initial logic:
You can see we now implement the OnMapReadyCallback interface which defines the onMapReady() method, which will be called when the GoogleMap instance is ready. We’ve also moved the call to the fictitious doStuff() method into onMapReady(), since this is where we now want to start the fragment’s initial logic.
A big thank you to Android developers everywhere for using the Google Maps Android API and submitting feedback via the issue tracker.
Our release notes contain details of bugs fixed, deprecation notices, as well as the features mentioned in this post. Take a look and start using our new features today!
Posted by Megan Boundey, Product Manager, Google Maps Mobile APIs
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