This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label “Google Apps highlights" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

Over the last couple of weeks, we introduced several new capabilities in Google Docs for documents and drawings, and added the ability for organizations to tailor Google Apps to meet the needs of different groups within their organizations. We also launched a new version of Google Apps to meet the security and policy needs of government agencies in the U.S.

Document translation and undo smartquotes in Google Docs
On Tuesday we introduced automatic document translation to the new document editor in Google Docs. This allows you to instantly convert your document into any one of the 53 languages, powered by the technology behind Google Translate. And while we were at it, we added the ability for you to change smartquotes—angled quotation marks—back to straight quotation marks by pressing Ctrl-Z (Cmd-Z on a Mac).

Zoom and more in drawings
Last Monday, we also made improvements to the drawing editor in Google Docs, too. You can zoom in several different ways now: with the toolbar zoom icon, by drawing a rectangle around the area to zoom, zoom options in the “View” menu and with zoom keyboard shortcuts. We also introduced several changes to the shape-drawing tools, including pie and arc drawing improvements, the ability to duplicate shapes while resizing and rotating, new line ending decoration controls and new style options for the corners of shapes.

User policy management
One of the top requests from businesses, organizations and schools using Google Apps has been the ability to enable different applications for different groups within the organization. For example, a K-12 school may choose not to give Chat to students, but still allow faculty and staff to instant message with each other. Last Tuesday we launched user policy management, which lets administrators divide their users in to organizational units, and give each group access to different sets of services.

Google Apps for Government now available
On Monday we announced Google Apps for Government, a new version of Google Apps specifically tailored to the policy and security needs of federal, state and local governments in the United States. In addition to the applications and administrative controls available in the business edition of Google Apps, the service for government agencies has received Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification and accreditation from the U.S. General Services Administration, the first such certification for any cloud computing messaging and collaboration suite.

Who’s gone Google?
To go along with the launch of Google Apps for Government, we’re excited to share stories from two government organizations who are now using Google Apps. The U.S. Navy InRelief program is using Google Apps to improve coordination in disaster relief efforts, and the Berkeley Lab, a member of the National Laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, is using Google Docs and Sites to support better collaboration among scientists and researchers.

We’re also thrilled to welcome another new crop of schools to Google Apps. Haverford College, Wayne County Community College District and Westwood College are all going Google!

I hope you're making the most of these new features, whether you're using Google Apps with friends, family, coworkers or classmates. For more details and updates from the Apps team, head on over to the Google Apps Blog.

(Cross-posted from the Lat Long Blog)

What do Alex Trebek, teachers and Googlers have in common? Last week, these individuals and groups all came together at the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA to celebrate exploration and learning.

Google hosted its first Geo Teachers Institute, an intensive two-day workshop in which 150 educators received hands-on training and experience with Google Maps, Google SketchUp and Google Earth, including features like Mars, Moon and SkyMaps. Attendees from around the globe not only learned how these products work, but also discovered tips and resources for introducing these tools to students and using them to conceptualize, visualize, share and communicate about the world around them. Through this event, teachers were hopefully inspired to bring the world's geographic information to students in compelling, fresh and fun ways.

John Hanke, VP of Product Management, addressing the audience of educators

As part of our continued effort to collaborate with teachers and help students get a better sense of places across the globe, we also announced that Google Earth Pro is now available to educators for free through the Google Earth for Educators site. Educators from higher educational and academic institutions who demonstrate a need for the Pro features in their classrooms can now apply for single licenses for themselves or site licenses for their computer labs. A similar program exists for SketchUp Pro through the Google SketchUp Pro Statewide License Grant, which is currently being provided via grants to 11 states, and available to all others at the K-12 level at no cost.

In conjunction with these exciting Geo-related events and announcements, the Geo Education team also thought it’d be timely and fun to test Googlers’ geographic knowledge by hosting the company’s first-ever Google Geo Bee. With help from National Geographic, 68 teams relived their school years and took a written geography exam, competing for a spot on stage with Alex Trebek, who hosted the main event. The competition was based on the group version of the National Geographic Bee for students, which Google has sponsored for the past two years. Questions included those like “Which country contains most of the Balkan Mountains, which mark the boundary between the historical regions of Thrace and Moesia?” and “Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the United Kingdom, is located in which mountain chain?”

The winners of our Google Geo Bee: Ian Sharp, Marcus Thorpe and Rob Harford

The final three Google teams (the Tea-Drinking Imperialists, the Geoids and the Titans) all showed off their geographic literacy and answered a plethora of diverse and complex questions. In the end, it was the Tea-Drinkers who emerged the winners when they figured out that Mecca was the answer to the clue, “Due to this city’s location on a desert trading route, many residents were merchants, the most famous of whom was born around A.D. 570.” And they didn’t just walk away with bragging rights; thanks to Sven Linblad from Linblad Expeditions, they also won an amazing adventure trip to either the Arctic, the Galapagos or Antarctica.

Through all of these education efforts — for teachers, students and grown-up Googlers alike — we hope people of all ages never stop exploring.

This is part of our summer series of new Search Stories. Look for the label Search Stories and subscribe to the series. -Ed.

Having been a new dad for six months now, I’ve quickly come to learn two valuable parenting lessons. First, being a father is truly a full-time job—and second, sleep is completely overrated. Whether buying the latest bottles, binkies, blankets and bibs, or just blogging about the whole magical journey, becoming a father has been the most invigorating and moving experience of my lifetime.

This week, I’m excited to help introduce our latest search story, New Baby. The video really captures the joys (and costs!) of becoming a new parent. I’d like to share my heart-felt compassion with new dads everywhere (and of course, my wife and the other mothers out there who are the true heroes.) We will all rest when they head off to college—in the meantime, enjoy!

Humans have always been fascinated by the night sky. And Googlers are no exception. Over the years, Google engineers have used their 20 percent time to create Google Sky, Moon, Mars and most recently Google Sky Map for Android. This handy app, built by engineers in our Pittsburgh office, turns your Android-powered phone into a live map of the night sky. You just point your phone to the sky and it gives you information about the stars and planets that you’re looking at. Since we introduced the app a year ago, Sky Map has been downloaded more than 5 million times.

On Sunday night we had a wonderful opportunity to share our passion for astronomy with our community in Pittsburgh at the Deep Sky Urban Star Party, held in the abandoned swimming pool at Leslie Park in Lawrenceville. We loaded up a bunch of Android phones with Sky Map and joined the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh—who brought along their telescopes—and several hundred local residents for a night of stargazing.

As a Sky Map engineer the biggest thrill I get is when we get emails from people who have used our app to show a planet to their children for the first time. At the Star Party we were delighted to have the chance to show people around the night sky in person. It was great to meet so many people who were both excited by astronomy and interested in Google’s technology. Thanks for all of your ideas for new features, and a big thank you to the Leslie Park Pool Collective and all involved for organizing such a fun event.

Photos by Jason Parker-Burlingham

Last November, we added legal opinions to Google Scholar. Legal opinions consider serious issues and help refine the laws that govern our country—but they can also be surprisingly entertaining. We’ve shared some of these for your summer reading pleasure on the Google Scholar blog.

Rimes v. Curb Records, Inc., 2001 the opinion is written as a series of songs to be sung to tunes by LeAnn Rimes. It starts:
LeAnn Rimes
A very rich and famous star
Wasn't so rich in times afar
But what a talent she had!

Read the rest on the Google Scholar blog.

Today we’re excited to announce a new edition of Google Apps. Designed with guidance from customers like the federal government, the City of Los Angeles and the City of Orlando, Google Apps for Government includes the same great Google applications that people know and love, with specific measures to address the policy and security needs of the public sector.

We’re also pleased to announce that Google Apps is the first suite of cloud computing messaging and collaboration applications to receive Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification and accreditation from the U.S. General Services Administration. The FISMA law applies to all information systems in use by U.S. federal government agencies to help ensure they’re secure. The federal government’s General Services Administration has reviewed the documentation of our security controls and issued an authorization to operate, the official confirmation of our FISMA certification and accreditation. This review makes it easier for federal agencies to compare our security features to those of their existing systems; most agencies we have worked with have found that Google Apps provides at least equivalent, if not better, security than they have today. This means government customers can move to the cloud with confidence.

Take Berkeley Lab, a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy. It’s managed by the University of California and conducts unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Berkeley researchers collaborate with scientists around the world, so emailing version upon version of documents among collaborators and trying to juggle disparate files is difficult. Berkeley Lab researchers have been using Google Apps to share documents that live in the cloud, and can view and edit documents and spreadsheets simultaneously knowing they are always working from the latest information. (Read more from Berkeley Lab’s Chief Information Officer on the Enterprise blog.)

And we’re not stopping with FISMA certification. Google Apps for Government will continue to evolve to meet unique government requirements. Google Apps for Government stores Gmail and Calendar data in a segregated system located in the continental United States, exclusively for our government customers. Other applications will follow in the near future. The suite is a “community cloud”—as defined by the National Institute for Science and Technology—to support the needs of our government customers. Google Apps for Government is available now to any federal, state or local government in the United States.

With reviews of our security controls in place, government agencies can more easily take advantage of all the benefits of one of the world’s best cloud computing systems. Google’s cloud offers higher reliability, best-in-class disaster recovery and access to a steady stream of innovation—all of which can provide substantial improvements over existing systems in addition to significant cost savings. And with no hardware or software to install and maintain, Google Apps for Government allows agencies to redeploy resources to technology projects core to their mission of serving the public. This new edition should give governments an even stronger case for making the move to the cloud.

Update July 27: Clarified details regarding the source of our certification and accreditation.

[Cross-posted on Google Public Policy Blog

Bending, walking, breathing, hearing, seeing and sleeping are simple things that are often taken for granted, as are thinking, learning, and communicating.

Twenty years ago today, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. This milestone legislation bans persons or companies from discriminating against anyone with limited abilities. It’s hard to imagine a world in which the right to participate in activities commonly enjoyed by the bulk of the population are denied or inadequately accommodated, but that was the case before ADA.

The efforts of the advocates who came to Washington two decades ago to rally for their civil rights has transformed so much of the modern world around us. As someone who’s worn hearing aids since I was 13, for example, I very much appreciate that most television programs and DVDs or Blu-Ray disks are captioned. On my way home, I might pass through a door that I know is wide enough for a wheelchair -- because the ADA set the building codes that require it. I see service animals on the DC Metro, accessible checkout aisles at my grocery store, ramps on sidewalks, and designated parking in movie theater lots: all there because of the important provisions included in the ADA.

Whereas the ADA set legal standards for ensuring equal rights for Americans with disabilities, Google is keenly aware that technology can help all users better enjoy the world around them. From opening millions of titles of printed content to persons with visual impairments through Google Book Search, to providing ready and easy-to-use captions on YouTube, to including a built-in screenreader and text-to-speech engine in Android, to introducing new extensions on Chrome to make online text easier to read, we’re serious about honoring our mission to make the world’s information universally accessible and useful. You can keep up with our progress at

Congratulations to all those who work to make the ADA a living, breathing reality. For all the years I’ve been working on policy in Washington, it’s still rare to see a law that has had as positive and fundamental an influence on our lives as this Act. There still is work to be done to meet the goals of ADA, and we are committed to doing our part.

This is one of a regular series of posts on search experience updates. Look for the label This week in search and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

As we seek to expand the most comprehensive search experience on the web, we've made a number of recent enhancements to your search results. Ultimately, what you're looking for isn't limited to text websites; you may be looking for a tweet, a video or a place—and we want to make sure you can find all of it. This week, we've made it easier to find definitions and images.

Dictionary search feature enhancements
When it comes to dictionary-related searches, both content and precision are vital. Recently, we expanded our dictionary search feature to all global English users, giving you quick and easy access to even more useful dictionary information. We added implicit triggering, which means you can simply search for [flummox] and find the definition, you don't have to search for [define flummox] or [what is flummox]. We've also improved the definition result snippet to show more details such as parts of speech and pronunciation. Stay tuned for more enhancements here, including an expanded mobile experience.

Example search: [stupendous]

Our biggest redesign yet for Google Images
Our focus on comprehensiveness extends itself to our other search properties, including Google Images. Over time, Google Images has become a very popular source of visual information. For many of you, Google Images has become a great tool for inspiration, learning, and even shopping. And, today, we've indexed more than 10 billion images -- so you can imagine the depth.

With this in mind, we have introduced a new design for Google Images. You'll now see a dense, tiled layout that makes it easy to view many images—up to 1,000—on a single scrollable page. In addition, we made the thumbnail previews on the results page larger, so all you have to do is hover over an image to get an even larger view. You'll also find more information about the image, and other image-specific features in the thumbnail preview. Once you click an image, you'll be taken to a new landing page that displays a large image directly over the website that hosts the image—so you can instantly learn more about the source and context.

Example search: [sunflowers] or [new york]

We hope you enjoyed this week's changes making your web experience even more comprehensive. Stay tuned for more search enhancements next week.

(Cross-posted from the YouTube Blog)

On behalf of Ridley Scott, Kevin Macdonald, LG, the Sundance Film Festival and all of us at YouTube, thank you to everyone who took part in “Life in a Day.” Using the footage you shot, Kevin will now begin to build the world’s largest user-generated documentary, capturing what it was like to be alive on July 24, 2010.

Remember that even though filming day is over, you have until July 31 at 11:59 p.m. PST to upload your video to the Life in a Day channel. Be sure to subscribe as well, so you can receive directorial updates from the cutting room floor. If your video is selected for inclusion in the final film, you'll be hearing from Life in a Day Films, so be on the lookout for an email.

We'll be in touch again in early January with more details on the film's premiere at Sundance.

Congratulations to everyone.

(Cross-posted from the YouTube Blog)

What are you doing today? Something routine like cooking breakfast or taking the dog for a walk? Or is it something extraordinary like your child's first soccer game or your wedding day?

Whatever it is, big or small, we hope you’ll capture it on video and take part in "Life in a Day", a user-generated documentary that will tell the story of a single day on Earth, as seen through your eyes. You have until 11:59 p.m. local time to film something, so get going. For more information, visit the Life in a Day channel.

Get out those cameras and let's make film history.

This year we held the third edition of the Google Online Marketing Challenge — a global university competition that gives students hands-on exposure to online marketing. Each team receives the equivalent of $200 to work with a local company and create an online marketing campaign. Teams have three weeks to mastermind a strategy before submitting a campaign report to an international judging panel of professors.

We’re delighted that 3,034 teams from 60 countries participated in the 2010 Challenge, representing an increase of 39 percent from last year and making the Challenge one of the world’s largest university competitions.

The global winners of the Challenge are Lauren Williams, Ganesh Chaudhari, Jeeana Atmarow, Allison Miller, Mohammed Assiri and Hui Min Chua from the University of Western Australia, who promoted the kids’ novel The Adventures of Charlie & Moon. Over the three week campaign, the novel’s website saw a huge jump in visits—nearly 800 percent. The team will visit the Googleplex in Mountain View, California and each of the members will receive a laptop for their great performance in the Challenge.

We also had three regional winners: for the Americas, the winning team comes from Carnegie Mellon University in the U.S. and a team from the Warsaw School of Economics in Poland won in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). In the Asia Pacific region, the winners come from the Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia. Find more details about our winners here.

Since we first held it in 2008, the Google Online Marketing Challenge has grown each year, allowing thousands of students globally to learn about online advertising and help small businesses to improve their online presence. The education they’ve already received becomes real in the Challenge: real money, real campaigns, real businesses and real results. And the hands-on experience with online marketing gives them real skills they can use in their careers.

If you’re interested in competing in the 2011 Challenge, register now. We’ll open the sign-up period in the fall.

(Cross-posted from the YouTube Blog)

For artists, YouTube is a 21st century canvas. Since the YouTube Play project was announced last month, more than 6,000 videos ranging in genres, topics and budget have been submitted from 69 countries, and the YouTube Play channel has received over 2 million views.

Today, we’re unveiling the jury for YouTube Play, which includes some of the world’s leading artists, from international film festival winners and renowned photographers to performance and video artists on the cutting edge of art.

YouTube Play jurors include musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson; musical group Animal Collective; visual artists Douglas Gordon, Ryan McGinley, Marilyn Minter and Takashi Murakami; artists and filmmakers Shirin Neshat, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Darren Aronofsky; and graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, with Guggenheim Chief Curator and Deputy Director Nancy Spector serving as jury chairperson.

Over the course of the next few months, these jurors will watch countless hours of videos submitted by the international YouTube community and select the most creative and inspiring work to showcase at the Guggenheim museums in October.

Already, this campaign has drawn some remarkable talent, and we’re looking forward to seeing more of your submissions in our quest to find the most creative video art in the world and showcase it alongside van Gogh and Picasso. The deadline for getting your videos in is July 31. For more information about the jurors and to learn more about how to participate, check out

Back in June, our Zurich engineering headquarters welcomed 100 of EMEA’s brightest computer science students to our annual Europe, Middle East and Africa Scholars’ Retreat. Recipients of the Google Europe Scholarship for Students with Disabilities joined Anita Borg Memorial Scholars and Finalists for three days of workshops, technical talks, poster sessions, networking events and, of course, lots of fun! Check out our video below to hear from scholars and speakers in their own words:

Our academic scholarships are designed to support a new generation of talented, diverse computer scientists from all backgrounds. If you want to learn more, visit for a complete list of scholarships, grants and other opportunities available to students and academics.

This is part of our summer series of new Search Stories. Look for the label Search Stories and subscribe to the series. -Ed.

My sister is my best friend in the world. But that wasn’t always the case. When we were young, my sister and I always had our sibling rivalries. Quarrels over who got more (or fewer) birthday presents, ongoing debates around whose week it was to walk the dog and your average diary lock-picking weren’t uncommon. But now that we've grown older, it's become clear that those moments have brought us closer together, and today my sister is my best friend.

Our search story this week really struck a chord with me, and I’m excited to help introduce our latest video, “Brother and Sister.” It’s a fun, playful snapshot of an evolving sibling friendship. I hope you enjoy this week’s video as much as I did.

When you think about “information,” what probably comes to mind are streams of words and numbers. Google’s pretty good at organizing these types of information, but consider all the things you can’t express with words: what does it look like in the middle of a sandstorm? What are some great examples of Art Nouveau architecture? Should I consider wedding cupcakes instead of a traditional cake?

This is why we built Google Images in 2001. We realized that for many searches, the best answer wasn’t text—it was an image or a set of images. The service has grown quite a bit since then. In 2001, we indexed around 250 million images. By 2005, we had indexed over 1 billion. And today, we have an index of over 10 billion images.

It’s not just about quantity, though. Over the past decade we’ve been baking deep computer science into Google Images to make it even faster and easier for you to find precisely the right images. We not only find images for pretty much anything you type in; we can also instantly pull out images of clip art, line drawings, faces and even colors.

There’s even more sophisticated computer vision technology powering our “Similar images” tool. For example, did you know there are nine subspecies of leopards, each with a distinct pattern of spots? Google Images can recognize the difference, returning just leopards of a particular subspecies. It can tell you the name of the subspecies in a particular image—even if that image isn’t labeled—because other similar leopard images on the web are labeled with that subspecies’s name.

And our “Similar colors” refinement doesn’t just return images based on the overall color of an image. If it did, lots of images would simply be classified as “white.” If you’re looking for [tulips] and you refine results to “white,” you really want images in which the tulips themselves are white—not the surrounding image. It takes some heavy-duty algorithmic wizardry and processing power for a search engine to understand what the items of interest are in all the images out there.

Those are just a few of the technologies we’ve built to make Google Images more useful. Meanwhile, the quantity and variety of images on the web has ballooned since 2001, and images have become one of the most popular types of content people search for. So over the next few days we’re rolling out an update to Google Images to match the scope and beauty of this fast-growing visual web, and to bring to the surface some of the powerful technology behind Images.

Here’s what’s new in this refreshed design of Google Images:
  • Dense tiled layout designed to make it easy to look at lots of images at once. We want to get the app out of the way so you can find what you’re really looking for.
  • Instant scrolling between pages, without letting you get lost in the images. You can now get up to 1,000 images, all in one scrolling page. And we’ll show small, unobtrusive page numbers so you don’t lose track of where you are.
  • Larger thumbnail previews on the results page, designed for modern browsers and high-res screens.
  • A hover pane that appears when you mouse over a given thumbnail image, giving you a larger preview, more info about the image and other image-specific features such as “Similar images.”
  • Once you click on an image, you’re taken to a new landing page that displays a large image in context, with the website it’s hosted on visible right behind it. Click anywhere outside the image, and you’re right in the original page where you can learn more about the source and context.
  • Optimized keyboard navigation for faster scrolling through many pages, taking advantage of standard web keyboard shortcuts such as Page Up / Page Down. It’s all about getting you to the info you need quickly, so you can get on with actually building that treehouse or buying those flowers.

And for our advertisers, we’re launching a new ad format called Image Search Ads. These ads appear only on Google Images, and they let you include a thumbnail image alongside your lines of text. Check out our Help Center for more info on how try them out; we hope they’re a useful way to reach folks who are specifically looking for images.

These upgrades are rolling out in most of our local interfaces worldwide over the next few days. We hope they not only make it easier to search for images, but also contribute to a better aesthetic experience. We see images as a major source of inspiration, a way of connecting the world—and their growth is showing no signs of slowing down. We’ll work to make sure Google Images continues to evolve to keep up.

When we decided in 2007 to voluntarily become carbon neutral, our intent was to take responsibility for our carbon emissions and promote sustainable environmental solutions. We approach this goal in three ways. First, we minimize our energy consumption; in fact, we’ve built some of the world’s most energy efficient data centers. Second, we seek to power our facilities with renewable energy, like we did in Mountain View, CA with one of the largest corporate solar installations. Finally, we purchase carbon offsets for the emissions we cannot directly eliminate.

We just completed a substantial 20-year green Power Purchase Agreement that allows us to take responsibility for our footprint and foster true growth in the renewable energy sector. On July 30 we will begin purchasing the clean energy from 114 megawatts of wind generation at the NextEra Energy Resources Story County II facility in Iowa at a predetermined rate for 20 years. Incorporating such a large amount of wind power into our portfolio is tricky (read more about how the deal is structured), but this power is enough to supply several data centers.

The wind farm, which began operation in December 2009, consists of 100 GE 1.5MW XLE turbines.

By contracting to purchase so much energy for so long, we’re giving the developer of the wind farm financial certainty to build additional clean energy projects. The inability of renewable energy developers to obtain financing has been a significant inhibitor to the expansion of renewable energy. We’ve been excited about this deal because taking 114 megawatts of wind power off the market for so long means producers have the incentive and means to build more renewable energy capacity for other customers.

We depend upon large quantities of electricity to power Google services and want to make large actions to support renewable energy. As we continue operating with the most energy efficient data centers and working to be carbon neutral, we’re happy to also be directly purchasing energy from renewable resources.

Over time we’ve improved search by deepening our understanding of queries and web pages. The web isn’t merely words—it’s information about things in the real world, and understanding the relationships between real-world entities can help us deliver relevant information more quickly. Today, we’ve acquired Metaweb, a company that maintains an open database of things in the world. Working together we want to improve search and make the web richer and more meaningful for everyone.

With efforts like rich snippets and the search answers feature, we’re just beginning to apply our understanding of the web to make search better. Type [barack obama birthday] in the search box and see the answer right at the top of the page. Or search for [events in San Jose] and see a list of specific events and dates. We can offer this kind of experience because we understand facts about real people and real events out in the world. But what about [colleges on the west coast with tuition under $30,000] or [actors over 40 who have won at least one oscar]? These are hard questions, and we’ve acquired Metaweb because we believe working together we’ll be able to provide better answers.

In addition to our ideas for search, we’re also excited about the possibilities for Freebase, Metaweb’s free and open database of over 12 million things, including movies, books, TV shows, celebrities, locations, companies and more. Google and Metaweb plan to maintain Freebase as a free and open database for the world. Better yet, we plan to contribute to and further develop Freebase and would be delighted if other web companies use and contribute to the data. We believe that by improving Freebase, it will be a tremendous resource to make the web richer for everyone. And to the extent the web becomes a better place, this is good for webmasters and good for users.

We look forward to working with the talented Metaweb team. We’ll be sure to share details on our progress in the coming months. In the meantime, if you’re interested to learn more about Metaweb’s technology, we encourage you to read their post and do check out the helpful video there.

This is part of a regular series of Google Apps updates that we post every couple of weeks. Look for the label “Google Apps highlights" and subscribe to the series. - Ed.

Over the last couple of weeks we rolled out some nice updates in Gmail, improved on Google forms, added new mobile device security features and celebrated many new applications recently added to the Apps Marketplace. Enjoy!

Rich text signatures in Gmail
You’ve been able to add plain text signatures to your messages in Gmail for some time, but last Thursday we stepped it up a notch by adding rich text signatures, one of our most requested features. Now you can create signatures with different fonts, font sizes, font colors, links and images. The feature also supports different signatures for different custom “From:” addresses that you’ve configured. Head over to the “Settings” page in Gmail to get started.

HTML5 features in Gmail on Safari
Gmail has recently added some new interactive features, like drag-and-drop attachments and images, and new windows that “outlive” your original Gmail window. These features are possible thanks to HTML5, but until this week, Safari users have been left out. All of that changed on Monday, and users of Safari 5 can now enjoy these helpful HTML5 features, too.

Simpler page navigation in Google forms
With Google forms (part of Google Docs), you can quickly create and send surveys to your contacts or publish surveys on the web. We started out offering simple one-page forms, but last week we made some big improvements to our logic branching capabilities. Now you can easily create multi-page surveys that adapt depending on how people answer your questions. Try it out for yourself in the form-based choose your own adventure game that we built.

More security controls for mobile devices
Businesses and schools using Google Apps often want the ability to centrally manage mobile devices that their users connect to Google Apps, and on Tuesday we rolled out several new device management capabilities. Organizations can now require devices to use data encryption, auto-wipe devices after a certain number of failed password attempts, require device passwords to be changed periodically and more.

Apps Tuesday: 10 new additions to the Apps Marketplace
Some technology companies burden IT departments with software patches and fixes every month, but our cloud computing approach means that customers get improvements automatically with Google Apps. In addition to all the new features built by Google, this month we added 10 new applications from third-party software companies to the Apps Marketplace. Third-party apps integrate seamlessly with Google Apps and can be activated by administrators with just a couple clicks.

Who’s gone Google?
More and more organizations are getting with the times and switching to Google Apps. Today we welcome Vektrex, Rypple, XAOP, Limbach Facility Services, Riley Chartered Accounts and tens of thousands of other businesses worldwide that have moved to the cloud with Google since my last update here.

More universities are preparing to reopen their doors in the fall with new campus technology tools, too. We’re excited to have University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts, Universitat de Girona in Spain and The College of St. Scholastica join us!

I hope you're making the most of these new features, whether you're using Google Apps with friends, family, coworkers or classmates. For more details and updates from the Apps team, head on over to the Google Apps Blog.

Last weekend, Spain won the 2010 World Cup. For the month leading up to the final, Googlers joined the world in cheering for their favorite teams. Around our campus, games were watched on computer screens and on cafe video screens. Code went unwritten. Emails went unanswered.

Throughout the world, real life also slowed during World Cup matches. Which teams had the most loyal fans? Which game captured the attention of world the most? To answer these questions, we looked at counts of queries using Google. People search using Google day and night—except for football fans when a game is on.

These graphs show the volume of Google queries for some of the World Cup matches:

On June 15, as Brazil played its first game against North Korea, the volume of queries from Brazil, shown using a red line, plummeted when the match began, spiked during halftime, fell again and then quickly rose after the match finished.

Queries from Spain during its June 25 game against Chile also decreased during the game, except during halftime. After some post-game querying, Spaniards went to sleep and queries dropped again.

To measure which country has the most loyal fans, we computed the proportional drop in queries during each of its team’s matches compared with normal query volume. Brazil topped the charts with queries from that country dropping by half during its football games. Football powerhouse and third-place winner Germany came in second, followed by the Netherlands and South Korea.

In fourth place, South Koreans were remarkably loyal even though some games began at 3:30am Seoul time. Japan, Australia and New Zealand, also affected by time-zone differences, expressed much less interest. A few countries searched more, not less. But only Honduras and North Korea increased significantly.

During the knockout rounds, each match’s losing team is eliminated from the tournament. As fewer and fewer teams remain, we expected increased worldwide interest in each remaining game. Unsurprisingly, worldwide queries slowed the most during the final game between the Netherlands and Spain, but the round-of-16 Germany v. England game had the second largest query decrease. Semi-finals and quarter-finals were all popular except for semi-final Uruguay v. Netherlands, during which queries actually increased.

In Latin American countries, search volume dropped more steeply leading into and out of matches while, in Europe, searches ramped down and up more gradually. Of course, for games that went into extra time and penalty shootouts the drops deepened the longer the match went on, including Paraguay v. Japan, Netherlands v. Spain, and Uruguay v. Ghana as seen here:

Finally, no blog post about the World Cup would be complete without a look at what did drive people to search—after the final match, of course. Although he won neither the Golden Boot (for the most World Cup goals) nor the Golden Ball (for best player) last weekend, Spain’s David Villa is winning in search compared to the recipients of those two honors—Germany’s Thomas Müller and Uruguay’s Diego Forlán—and Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder. All of these men competed for the Golden Boot with five goals apiece.

Similar to when Carlos Puyol headed in the single goal that put Spain in the final, people flocked to the web to search for information on Andres Iniesta, the “quiet man” who scored the one goal that led his country to its first World Cup championships. They were also interested in Dani Jarque, a Spanish footballer who died last fall and whose name was emblazoned on Iniesta’s undershirt, which he displayed after his goal. And after the match, searches for keeper Iker Casillas skyrocketed to a higher peak than any other popular footballer—including household names like Ronaldo, Villa and Messi—reached during the Cup. Sometimes, it seems, goalies get the last word.

We hope you enjoyed our series of posts on World Cup search trends and we’ll see you in Brazil in 2014!

This week I sent a note to Googlers about some of the Chrome team's favorite extensions. So many of them asked if they could share the list with people outside the company that I thought I would just do it for them. Here it is. We're proud of the Chrome browser and the great extensions that its developer community has created, and we hope you enjoy them! They can all be found at
  • Opinion Cloud: Summarizes comments on YouTube videos and Flickr photos to provide an overview of the crowd’s overall opinion.
  • Google Voice: All sorts of helpful Voice features directly from the browser. See how many messages you have, initiate calls and texts, or call numbers on a site by clicking on them.
  • AutoPager. Automatically loads the next page of a site. You can just scroll down instead of having to click to the next page.
  • Turn Off the Lights: Fades the page to improve the video-watching experience.
  • Google Dictionary: Double-click any word to see its definition, or click on the icon in the address bar to look up any word.
  • After the Deadline: Checks spelling, style, and grammar on your emails, blog, tweets, etc.
  • Invisible Hand: Does a quick price check and lets you know if the product you are looking at is available at a lower price elsewhere.
  • Secbrowsing: Checks that your plug-ins (e.g. Java, Flash) are up to date.
  • Tineye: Image search utility to find exact matches (including cropped, edited, or re-sized images).
  • Slideshow: Turns photo sites such as Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, and Google Images into slideshows.
  • Google Docs/PDF Viewer: Automatically previews pdfs, powerpoint presentations, and other documents in Google Docs Viewer.
  • Readability: Reformat the page into a single column of text.
  • Chromed Bird: A nice Twitter viewing extension.
  • Feedsquares: Cool way of viewing your feeds via Google Reader.
  • ScribeFire: Full-featured blog editor that lets you easily post to any of your blogs.
  • Note Anywhere: Digital post-it notes that can be pasted and saved on any webpage.
  • Instant Messaging Notifier: IM on multiple clients.
  • Remember the Milk: The popular to-do app.
  • Turns the web into a music library.

We recently told you about CS4HS, our workshop program for high school and middle school computer science teachers in the U.S. We now have some additional news to share: our 2010 EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) CS4HS awardees have been selected!

The CS4HS program provides funding to European, Middle Eastern and African universities which work in tandem with local high schools and middle schools to engage pre-university students in computer science. Awardees meet strict requirements: the projects must be scalable, impact a wide cross-section of students from all backgrounds, conform to a “train the trainer” model and, most importantly, interest and inspire the next generation of computer scientists.

The application review team said that many of the projects receiving funding directly address the training of computer science teachers in secondary schools. They were particularly excited by the Makerere University and University of Cape Town projects, both of which propose to spread best practice amongst educators in Africa—a new region for CS4HS.

You can find a list of all 14 awardees and their projects on the EMEA section of the CS4HS site.

We introduced the Google Fellowship program last year in the United States to broaden our support of university research. The students who were awarded the 2009 fellowships were a truly impressive group, many having high profile internships this past summer and even a few with faculty appointments in the upcoming year.

Universities continue to be the source of some of the most innovative research in computer science, and in particular it’s the students that they foster who are the future of our field. This year, we’re going global and extending the fellowship program to Europe, Israel, China and Canada. We’re very happy to be continuing our support of excellence in graduate studies and offer our sincere congratulations to the following PhD students for receiving Google Fellowships in 2010:

Google European Doctoral Fellowships
  • Roland Angst, Google Europe Fellowship in Computer Vision (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Arnar Birgisson, Google Europe Fellowship in Computer Security (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden)
  • Omar Choudary, Google Europe Fellowship in Mobile Security (University of Cambridge, U.K.)
  • Michele Coscia, Google Europe Fellowship in Social Computing (University of Pisa, Italy)
  • Moran Feldman, Google Europe Fellowship in Market Algorithms (Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel)
  • Neil Houlsby, Google Europe Fellowship in Statistical Machine Learning (University of Cambridge, U.K.)
  • Kasper Dalgaard Larsen, Google Europe Fellowship in Search and Information Retrieval (Aarhus University, Denmark)
  • Florian Laws, Google Europe Fellowship in Natural Language Processing (University of Stuttgart, Germany)
  • Cynthia Liem, Google Europe Fellowship in Multimedia (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands)
  • Ofer Meshi, Google Europe Fellowship in Machine Learning (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
  • Dora Spenza, Google Europe Fellowship in Wireless Networking (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy)
  • Carola Winzen, Google Europe Fellowship in Randomized Algorithms (Saarland University / Max Planck Institute for Computer Science, Germany)
  • Marek Zawirski, Google Europe Fellowship in Distributed Computing (University Pierre and Marie Curie / INRIA, France)
  • Lukas Zich, Google Europe Fellowship in Video Analysis (Czech Technical University, Czech Republic)
Google China PhD Fellowships
  • Fangtao Li, Google China Fellowship in Natural Language Processing (Tsinghua University)
  • Ming-Ming Cheng, Google China Fellowship in Computer Vision (Tsinghua University)
Google United States/Canada PhD Fellowships
  • Chong Wang, Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Machine Learning (Princeton University)
  • Tyler McCormick, Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Statistics (Columbia University)
  • Ashok Anand, Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Computer Networking (University of Wisconsin)
  • Ramesh Chandra, Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Web Application Security (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
  • Adam Pauls, Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Machine Translation (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Nguyen Dinh Tran, Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Distributed Systems (New York University)
  • Moira Burke, Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Human Computer Interaction (Carnegie Mellon University)
  • Ankur Taly, Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Language Security (Stanford University)
  • Ilya Sutskever, Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Neural Networks (University of Toronto)
  • Keenan Crane, Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Computer Graphics (California Institute of Technology)
  • Boris Babenko, Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Computer Vision (University of California, San Diego)
  • Jason Mars, Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Compiler Technology (University of Virginia)
  • Joseph Reisinger, Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Natural Language Processing (University of Texas, Austin)
  • Maryam Karimzadehgan, Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Search and Information Retrieval (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
  • Carolina Parada, Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Speech (Johns Hopkins University)
The students will receive fellowships consisting of full coverage of tuition, fees and stipend for up to three years. These students have been exemplary thus far in their careers, and we’re looking forward to seeing them build upon their already impressive accomplishments. Congratulations to all of you!

(Cross-posted from the Google Translate Blog)

We believe that translation is key to our mission of making information useful to everyone. For example, Wikipedia is a phenomenal source of knowledge, especially for speakers of common languages such as English, German and French where there are hundreds of thousands—or millions—of articles available. For many smaller languages, however, Wikipedia doesn’t yet have anywhere near the same amount of content available.

To help Wikipedia become more helpful to speakers of smaller languages, we’re working with volunteers, translators and Wikipedians across India, the Middle East and Africa to translate more than 16 million words for Wikipedia into Arabic, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Swahili, Tamil and Telugu. We began these efforts in 2008, starting with translating Wikipedia articles into Hindi, a language spoken by tens of millions of Internet users. At that time the Hindi Wikipedia had only 3.4 million words across 21,000 articles—while in contrast, the English Wikipedia had 1.3 billion words across 2.5 million articles.

We selected the Wikipedia articles using a couple of different sets of criteria. First, we used Google search data to determine the most popular English Wikipedia articles read in India. Using Google Trends, we found the articles that were consistently read over time—and not just temporarily popular. Finally we used Translator Toolkit to translate articles that either did not exist or were placeholder articles or “stubs” in Hindi Wikipedia. In three months, we used a combination of human and machine translation tools to translate 600,000 words from more than 100 articles in English Wikipedia, growing Hindi Wikipedia by almost 20 percent. We’ve since repeated this process for other languages, to bring our total number of words translated to 16 million.

We’re off to a good start but, as you can see in the graph below, we have a lot more work to do to bring the information in Wikipedia to people worldwide:

Number of non-stub Wikipedia articles by Internet users, normalized (English = 1)

We’ve also found that there are many Internet users who have used our tools to translate more than 100 million words of Wikipedia content into various languages worldwide. If you do speak another language we hope you’ll join us in bringing Wikipedia content to other languages and cultures with Translator Toolkit.

We presented these results last Saturday, July 10, at Wikimania 2010 in Gdańsk, Poland. We look forward to continuing to support the creation of the world’s largest encyclopedia and we can’t wait to work with Wikipedians and volunteers to create more content worldwide.

(Cross-posted from the European Public Policy blog)

In recent months, I’ve got to know a group of people in the Hague who are working on an ambitious project to make the rich fabric of Dutch cultural and political history as widely accessible as possible - via the Internet.

That team is from the National Library of the Netherlands, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB), and as of today, we’ll be working in partnership to add to the library’s own extensive digitisation efforts. We’ll be scanning more than 160,000 of its public domain books, and making this collection available globally via Google Books. The library will receive copies of the scans so that they can also be viewed via the library’s website. And significantly for Europe, the library also plans to make the digitised works available via Europeana, Europe’s cultural portal.

The books we’ll be scanning constitute nearly the library’s entire collection of out-of-copyright books, written during the 18th and 19th centuries. The collection covers a tumultuous period of Dutch history, which saw the establishment of the country’s constitution and its parliamentary democracy. Anyone interested in Dutch history will be able to access and view a fascinating range of works by prominent Dutch thinkers, statesmen, poets and academics and gain new insights into the development of the Netherlands as a nation state.

This is the third agreement we've announced in Europe this year, following our projects with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and the Austrian National Library. The Dutch national library is already well underway with its own ambitious scanning programme, which will eventually see all of its Dutch books, newspapers and periodicals from 1470 onwards being made available online. By any measure, this is a huge task, requiring significant resources, and we’re pleased to be able to help the library accelerate towards its goal of making all Dutch books accessible anywhere in the world, at the click of a mouse.

It's exciting to note just how many libraries and cultural ministries are now looking to preserve and improve access to their collections by bringing them online. Much of humanity's cultural, historical, scientific and religious knowledge, collected and curated over centuries, sits in Europe's libraries, and its great to see that we are all striving towards the same goal of improving access to knowledge for all.

Google and other technology companies have an important role to play in achieving this goal, and we hope that by partnering with major European cultural institutions such as the Dutch national library, we will be able to accelerate the rapid growth of Europe's digital library.

(Cross-posted on the Google Research Blog)

It can’t have been very long after people started writing that they started to organize and comment on what was written. Look at the 10th century Venetus A manuscript, which contains scholia written fifteen centuries earlier about texts written five centuries before that. Almost since computers were invented, people have envisioned using them to expose the interconnections of the world’s knowledge. That vision is finally becoming real with the flowering of the web, but in a notably limited way: very little of the world’s culture predating the web is accessible online. Much of that information is available only in printed books.

A wide range of digitization efforts have been pursued with increasing success over the past decade. We’re proud of our own Google Books digitization effort, having scanned over 12 million books in more than 400 languages, comprising over five billion pages and two trillion words. But digitization is just the starting point: it will take a vast amount of work by scholars and computer scientists to analyze these digitized texts. In particular, humanities scholars are starting to apply quantitative research techniques for answering questions that require examining thousands or millions of books. This style of research complements the methods of many contemporary humanities scholars, who have individually achieved great insights through in-depth reading and painstaking analysis of dozens or hundreds of texts. We believe both approaches have merit, and that each is good for answering different types of questions.

Here are a few examples of inquiries that benefit from a computational approach. Shouldn’t we be able to characterize Victorian society by quantifying shifts in vocabulary—not just of a few leading writers, but of every book written during the era? Shouldn’t it be easy to locate electronic copies of the English and Latin editions of Hobbes’ Leviathan, compare them and annotate the differences? Shouldn’t a Spanish reader be able to locate every Spanish translation of “The Iliad”? Shouldn’t there be an electronic dictionary and grammar for the Yao language?

We think so. Funding agencies have been supporting this field of research, known as the digital humanities, for years. In particular, the National Endowment for the Humanities has taken a leadership role, having established an Office of Digital Humanities in 2007. NEH chairman Jim Leach says: "In the modern world, access to knowledge is becoming as central to advancing equal opportunity as access to the ballot box has proven to be the key to advancing political rights. Few revolutions in human history can match the democratizing consequences of the development of the web and the accompanying advancement of digital technologies to tap this accumulation of human knowledge."

Likewise, we’d like to see the field blossom and take advantage of resources such as Google Books that are becoming increasingly available. We’re pleased to announce that Google has committed nearly a million dollars to support digital humanities research over the next two years.

Google’s Digital Humanities Research Awards will support 12 university research groups with unrestricted grants for one year, with the possibility of renewal for an additional year. The recipients will receive some access to Google tools, technologies and expertise. Over the next year, we’ll provide selected subsets of the Google Books corpus—scans, text and derived data such as word histograms—to both the researchers and the rest of the world as laws permit. (Our collection of ancient Greek and Latin books is a taste of corpora to come.)

We've given awards to 12 projects led by 23 researchers at 15 universities:
  • Steven Abney and Terry Szymanski, University of Michigan. Automatic Identification and Extraction of Structured Linguistic Passages in Texts.
  • Elton Barker, The Open University, Eric C. Kansa, University of California-Berkeley, Leif Isaksen, University of Southampton, United Kingdom. Google Ancient Places (GAP): Discovering historic geographical entities in the Google Books corpus.
  • Dan Cohen and Fred Gibbs, George Mason University. Reframing the Victorians.
  • Gregory R. Crane, Tufts University. Classics in Google Books.
  • Miles Efron, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois. Meeting the Challenge of Language Change in Text Retrieval with Machine Translation Techniques.
  • Brian Geiger, University of California-Riverside, Benjamin Pauley, Eastern Connecticut State University. Early Modern Books Metadata in Google Books.
  • David Mimno and David Blei, Princeton University. The Open Encyclopedia of Classical Sites.
  • Alfonso Moreno, Magdalen College, University of Oxford. Bibliotheca Academica Translationum: link to Google Books.
  • Todd Presner, David Shepard, Chris Johanson, James Lee, University of California-Los Angeles. Hypercities Geo-Scribe.
  • Amelia del Rosario Sanz-Cabrerizo and José Luis Sierra-Rodríguez, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Collaborative Annotation of Digitalized Literary Texts.
  • Andrew Stauffer, University of Virginia. JUXTA Collation Tool for the Web.
  • Timothy R. Tangherlini, University of California-Los Angeles, Peter Leonard, University of Washington. Northern Insights: Tools & Techniques for Automated Literary Analysis, Based on the Scandinavian Corpus in Google Books.
We have selected these proposals in part because the resulting techniques, tools and data will be broadly useful: they’ll help entire communities of scholars, not just the applicants. We look forward to working with them, and hope that over time the field of digital humanities will fulfill its promise of transforming the ways in which we understand human culture.

In February we announced our plans to build experimental, ultra-high speed broadband networks. Over the past several months, our team’s been hard at work reviewing the nearly 1,100 community responses to our request for information—not to mention the nearly 200,000 responses from individuals across the U.S.

Throughout this process, one message has come through loud and clear: people are hungry for better and faster Internet access. With that in mind, today we’re launching a new site called Google Fiber for Communities, where you can learn more about fiber networks and keep up-to-date on our project. You’ll also be able to advocate for common-sense federal and local policies that would help fiber deployments nationwide.

We also wanted to thank every community and individual that submitted a response, posted a YouTube video, started a website, joined a rally or otherwise let their voice be heard. We were so honored by the grassroots enthusiasm across the country for this project that we put together a short video to say thank you:

As we explained back in March, we plan to name our target community or communities by the end of the year. We still have some work ahead of us before we’re ready to make that announcement, but in the meantime, we hope this site helps to keep the conversation going.

While many IT departments spend the second Tuesday of the month patching the operating systems on their servers, Google Apps customers running their business in the cloud have some free time to evaluate and roll-out new applications. Lucky for them, today there are 10 new apps available today in the Google Apps Marketplace.

Several of the new applications help you manage communications more effectively, from tracking contact with customers and partners to de-cluttering your inbox:
  • Bantam Live: Bantam Live provides easy CRM and team collaboration to track contacts, prospects, deals and organize projects, tasks and events. It integrates with Google Apps and social networks to import and aggregate contacts.
  • Etacts: This application and Gmail contextual gadget enable you to instantly find out who you talk to the most and who you’ve neglected.
  • Organizer by OtherInbox: Organizer automatically organizes low priority email out of the way, leaving your inbox much smaller so it's easy to find the important messages from real people.
For a complete list of all 10 applications launching on the Google Apps Marketplace today, read our post on the Google Enterprise Blog. If you’ve #gonegoogle and tried the #appsmarketplace, let others know what you recommend via Twitter or Google Buzz, and submit your suggestions for additional apps.

App Inventor is a new tool in Google Labs that makes it easy for anyone—programmers and non-programmers, professionals and students—to create mobile applications for Android-powered devices. And today, we’re extending invitations to the general public.

For many people, their mobile phone—and access to the Internet—is always within reach. App Inventor for Android gives everyone, regardless of programming experience, the opportunity to control and reshape their communication experience. We’ve observed people take pride in becoming creators of mobile technology and not just consumers of it.

For the past year, we’ve been testing App Inventor in classrooms around the United States, and we’ve found that it opens up the world of computer programming to students in new and powerful ways. David Wolber, professor of computer science at the University of San Francisco and part of the initial pilot program, says “students traditionally intimidated by technology are motivated and excited to program with App Inventor.” One student from Professor Wolber’s class told us: “I used to think that no one could program except CS people. Now, I've made dozens of applications for the Android phone!” Another student, who struggles with dyslexia, was inspired by App Inventor to take more computer science classes and is now learning Python. Check out this video to hear more about App Inventor for Android at University of San Francisco.

Visit our site to learn more about App Inventor and see sample apps. To request an invitation, fill out this form and you’ll soon be on your way to building mobile applications. And check out the video below to see how it works. We can’t wait to see what you create!