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Googleplex

Google Description:

Google, founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Stanford University graduate students in computer science in 1995, is a play on the word googol. It refers to the number represented by the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros. Google's use of the name is a reflection on how they approach information retrieval on the web! Google began as a terabyte of disks stored in Larry Page's dorm room with 2 employee's. Andy Bechtolsheim , one of the founders of Sun Microsystems, was the first to invest in Google, investing $100,000. Google Inc. officially opened its doors in Menlo Park, California during September 1998. Google.com, still in beta, was answering 10,000 search queries each day. By 1999 the service was answering more than 500,000 queries per day! And by 2000 the service was answering 18 million user queries every day! The number grows exponentially each year. Google now employs 10,674 people all over the world. Google reported revenues of $3.21 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2006, an increase of 67% compared to the fourth quarter of 2005!

Applications:

Search Engine-

Google’s search engine is unique compared to other search engines because Google indexes and caches 14 file types, of those include HTML, PDF, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, Flash SWF, plain text files, etc. The search engine is customizable to a certain degree. Users can set a default language, number of results per page, and set up the “SafeSearch” feature that uses filtering technology. To store these preferences, Google places long-term cookies on a users’ computer. They have been criticized by some because using those tactics also enables them to track over time users’ search terms. Google’s search engine can also check a pages’ content. Most would simply scan for page-based text but what Google does is use technology to analyze the full content of a page and factor in the precise location of each word (PageRank). Also, to ensure that the results returned are the most related to a person’s question; Google analyzes the content of fellow web pages.

Acquisitions-

Google has acquired several companies since beginning in 2001. The early companies that Google acquired were mainly small start-up companies like Pyra Labs, the creators of blogger, a weblog publishing platform.
On October 9, 2006, Google announced that it would buy YouTube, the ever popular online video site, for 1.65 Billion dollars. The site will still exist and will not merge or join with Google Video. In the same month, Google purchased JotSpot, a platform for web-based Wikis, geared towards small and large businesses.
On March 17, 2007, Google announced it was acquiring two more companies, one is Gapminder’s Trendalyer software, a company that specializes in developing IT for statistics in visualization and animation. The other is Adscape Media, which is a small in-game advertising company.

Earth-

Google Earth was created by Keyhole, Inc. and was first called Earth Viewer. Google Earth obtains images from satellites, aerial photos, and GIS 3D Globe. It allows users to search for addresses, enter coordinates, or browse to a location. Google has provided a layer allowing one to see 3D buildings for many major cities in the US and Japan. Google Earth supports managing three-dimensional geospatial data through Keyhole Markup Language (KML). It is available in a free version and in licensed versions for commercial use.

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Mail-

Gmail started off as an internal email client for Google employees years before it was ever released to the public. It was released globally on February 14, 2007 so that anyone could register for an account. During the development process, Google took into account the problems and complaints that people had with other popular email clients such as Yahoo and Hotmail. Currently GMail offers 2.8 GB of free storage, but users can pay a yearly price to receive up to 250 GB. Along with being able to send and receive emails, you can also chat with people through Gmail. It does not require downloading any new software, you can chat directly through the website. This makes it easy if you just want to ask someone a quick question while they are online, and you can save the chat just as you can an email. Gmail has a built in virus scanner that checks all sent and received messages so you don't have to worry about getting viruses from unknown senders. You can also search for emails that you have misplaced or forgotten the subject of. Just by remembering key words or the basic topic of the conversation, you can search and find what you are looking for.

Images-

Search engine for images. The user is able to view as icons, and then enlarge, or visit the hosting site. On 9Aug2005 Google announced that they currently had 2,187,212,422 unique images indexed. Google has a very high quality of images, due to the human labor that indexes every single one. In fact, it takes multiple humans coming into contact with every picture, to censor, and to label in understandable ways. Google hosts a game, that puts two random players together. These two players are shown an image, they then type in a name for it, if the names from both players match, then both players earn points. It is an innovative method to accurately label with human involvement, but without having to pay. http://images.google.com

Picasa-

Picasa is a full fledged photo editing suite that lets the user view, organize, edit, and share their digital photos. Picasa was originally developed by a company called Idealab. It was acquired by Google in July 2004 and was released for download free of charge. The software was initially created only for the Windows Operating System. Versions for both Linux and Macintosh users have only recently been offered. Picasa is Google's next addition in its strive to organize the world's data.

Some of the features of Picasa are listed as follows:
Organize:
  • Easily find pictures
  • Move and re-name pictures from inside Picasa
  • Make an album
  • Add a star rating
  • Keep one picture in multiple albums
  • Password-protect collections
Edit:
  • Removing red eye, crop, and add picture tags
  • Add effects to pictures
  • Write captions that stay with the picture
  • Zoom, Pan, Tilt pictures
  • Picasa's EXIF which lets the user see camera data that has been stored in a picture's original file
Share:
  • Send photos via email
  • Put pictures on your own site (free of charge)
  • Make slide shows
  • Move to any device or folder
Print:
  • Export pictures in multiple formats

Video-

Google Video was launched in the early months of 2006 and allows users to search and view available videos freely. Google Video also has a deal where it gives users and media publishers the ability to publish their own content. But, in August of 2007, Google announced that it was going to shut down their video rental and sale program and offer refunds to customers that had purchased videos to own. These refunds mostly consisted of Google Checkout credits.

Maps/Directions-

Just like most online maps, like MapQuest, Google Maps can be used to locate a business and get driving directions to and from a location. Google Maps can be viewed four different ways. You can view them in default, satellite, hybrid, and on some occasions, street view. Default view is just a typical street map, satellight gives you high-resolution aerial views, and hybrid is a combination of both satellite and default views. In the hybrid view you can view the satellight images with the street map overlaying it so street names are visible. Street view was released in late May of 2007 and allows for a 360 degree view of some streets from the ground level. Currently the only locations with street view are New York City, San Francisco, Miami, Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Diego, Los Angelas, and Houston. Google has plans to add street views for other large cities, but no specific dates have been released yet.

Google Traffic was released in February of this year. This new feature of Google Maps allows you to get up-to-date information about traffic in more than 30 different cities. This traffic information gives you the current traffic speed and is color coordinated based on the speed and amount of traffic. If the road is red, then there is bumper to bumper traffic, yellow means you may run into some problems, and green means you have nothing to worry about.

In late 2006 Google Maps for Mobile was released allowing users with any Java based cell phone or mobile device to views the maps and get directions right from their phone.

Future / Current projects-

Google Books Library Project: This will provide an opportunity for users to read online digital copies of older or should I say out-of-copyright books from libraries worldwide. The libraries that are participating in this partnership are numerous university libraries and the New York Public Library. The ideas for library research are yet to be understood, but the project is much like going to a local library and getting information that way.

Google and NASA: The project is based on NASA wanting to give the public access to the enormous amount of data and images that NASA has about the Earth and outer space. They have a formal agreement with Google so that images and material from missions can be viewed on the internet. "This agreement between NASA and Google will soon allow every American to experience a virtual flight over the surface of the moon or through the canyons of Mars," NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin said in a statement. Google will use NASA images, under their arrangement, on its Google Earth website. Some of the research they have already done on a global-imaging project is being implemented right now via the Global Connection.

Future Project: Google is currently in early discussions with a group that is looking at laying high-speed transpacific cables undersea that could result in Google becoming an investor in the project. "Additional infrastructure for the Internet is good for users and there are a number of proposals to add a Pacific submarine cable," said a Google spokesman. These talks correlate with speculators findings that Google has interests in the telecommunications industry.

700mhz wireless band-

This frequency range is said to be unique in that it has the ability to penetrate walls, thus making it the ideal candidate for pervasive wireless. Google announced its intention to buy this band, which will go up for auction in the early months of 2008. One of the stipulations that the FCC attached to this bundle, was that part must be left open for competing companies. This would allow competition to bloom, and thus would benefit the consumer. During the month of August07, Verizon wireless submitted paperwork to sue the FCC, not wanting this limitation.
Rumors surround this topic, but the general consensus is: A wireless phone network, or a wireless internet network spanning the country.

Google Phone-

What began as a rumor in 2006 is now comfirmed by the technology Giant. Dubbed the Google Phone, not much information is know for certain. Some news sites have noted partnerships with HTC and mobile/telecom giant Orange, but neither has admitted to anything. Speculations about software still remains uncertain though Google has announced that the phone will have search engine, email client, and web browser capabilities. As far as price, Google is aiming to keep cost down by making up revenue using the same method it does online, using advertisements. Critics have claimed that though this method would indeed keep costs down, it will also limit the phones market to people who do not mind spending their time dealing with advertisements in exchange for low cost and functionality. Google has admitted that the G-Phone will not be revolutionary, though technology buffs agree that the phone will benefit from Googles position as an internet giant. Googles experience in information exchange will help G-Phone get an edge in mobile itnernet speed and functionality while the recent acquistion of Youtube will allow Google to implement its useage exclusively for the phone, ideally to attract customers. The G-Pone is expected to be released sometime in 2008.

Terminology:

GIS 3D

Citations/References:

http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/09/01/google-image-labeler/
http://www.google.com/corporate/execs.html#sergey
http://earth.google.com/tour/
http://images.google.com/imagelabeler/
http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/050809-200323
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_search
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Books_Library_Project
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/18/AR2006121801119.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Google#Acquisitions
http://picasa.google.com
http://www.news.com/Google-picks-up-photo-management-firm/2100-1025_3-5267730.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gmail#Development_
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2007/02/stuck-in-traffic.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_maps#Development_history_until_recent_issues
http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9028763
http://gigaom.com/2006/12/17/google-phone/

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