5 Cool Things We Have Seen From Google This Week

by Felicity Dudley on Thursday 1 June 2017

10 Years of Google Maps

It's hard to believe, but this week Google’s Street View service reaches its 10th birthday. Google co-founder Larry Page’s vision was to ‘map the world’ when launching the tool in 2007. Camera-equipped cars have since travelled 83 countries and 10 million miles publishing imagery for the site. Interactive-imagery of famous landmarks such as the Taj Mahal and El Capitan Mountain in California are also a feature.

To mark the birthday, eagle-eyed users will notice that the tiny yellow man at the bottom of Google Maps has been given a party hat and balloons. Happy birthday Google Maps!

Google Personal Launch

Google has launched a new tab to sit alongside Maps, News, Images and Video, called Personal. Personal will sit immediately to the right of these options, and is designed to showcase a list of items related to your search query that are personal to you. For example, if you were to search for the term ‘Shoreditch’ it will pull out all images that you have taken in the area, along with any gmail mentions of the word, and any calendar events that are relevant.

Personal has been criticised by privacy campaigners, stating that the company is becoming ‘increasingly intrusive’. Google however have tried to tackle this by creating ‘custom encryption technology’ and have tried hard to reassure users by displaying the message ‘Only you can see these results’ throughout the feed. Personal isn’t available to all users yet as it’s being rolled out gradually.

New Update for Artists

In the past week an update has been released which aims to improve how the system ‘understands and recognises’ artwork to offer more relevant and insightful results when searching for art related terms. When searching for an artist such as Gustav Klimt, an interactive knowledge panel will appear that will highlight ways to explore his pieces on a deeper level. According to the search engine, results will now include more information about the artwork, offering up details on materials used to create specific pieces of art, when it was created and where it resides now.

This new development is thanks to the Google Search and Google Art and Culture teams joining forces.

Start Tracking Offline Sales

At Google’s Marketing Next conference this week, the company announced the launch of a new tool which will aim to help stores log their offline sales and attribute them to online activity. This means that companies who are currently asking customers for their email addresses upon purchase are able to ‘import store transactions’ into Google Adwords and compare what is being purchased against advertising spend.

As the move was announced, the search engine giant also revealed that the amount of customer spending data that it already has available amounts to around 70% of both credit and debit card sales in the USA.

Celebrating ICC Champions Trophy

 This morning Google’s latest doodle has been released and it is highly addictive. In celebration of the start of the ICC Champions Cricket Trophy, the search engine giant has created a simple game in which users have to tap the logo to swing the bat and watch to see if you smack the ball.

England are getting the tournament underway today when they take on Bangladesh at the Oval at 10.30am. I think we will stick to the online version for now, good luck England!