The continuing rollout of 45° “birds eye view” images across the globe has now revealed a real-life tragedy. On the railroad track near Sanford Avenue in the city of Richmond, California, we can clearly see a corpse lying on the rails.1
The ever increasing resolution of Google’s imagery has continued to reveal greater detail people’s lives – particularly through the Street View imagery – but this is the first time an aerial photgraph of such a graphic nature has been published on the site.
We can’t be sure about the details of the scene – there’s no sign of injury from this distance – but the number of police officers and vehicles (both marked and unmarked) suggests that this is unlikely to have been a case of accidental death.
The location however gives us more indication of what might have happened here. This track forms the apex of an area that is known locally as the “Iron Triangle“2. It’s a high crime area in the middle of a city that was in 2007 rated as the 9th most dangerous city in the United States.
There’s nothing to see in the aerial image facing east, but we can have a look from this direction on Street View – of course the imagery was captured on a different day, so nothing is revealed about the crime itself.
Can anyone locate a news report or press release about the incident so we can try and work out what actually happened here? The time stamp on Google Maps claims this image was taken in 2012, but it’s unclear how accurate this is, so a specific date could be hard to pinpoint.
Thanks to @KeirClarke.
You're reading an entry from Google Sightseeing, which is copyright © 2012 Alex Turnbull & James Turnbull and must not be reproduced without permission.
Starting today, we will begin rolling out updates to your Impression Share metrics, which include new ad group-level impression share metrics as well as revised campaign-level impression share metrics. We've also changed the frequency with which we update this data to once a day. These updates will be in effect in all accounts globally over the next few days.
For more information on Impression Share, please visit the AdWords Help Center.
Posted by Andrew Truong, Inside AdWords Crew
To find out more about our community activities in Boston, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter.
For Rebecca, Boston was love at first sight. Ten and a half years ago, she came to a Red Sox game one day from her home in Pawtucket, RI, walked through the Northeastern (NU) campus, and ended up applying and moving in six months later. Since then, she’s lived at NU by Fenway, in Southie, back to the NU area, and finally settled in Brookline three years ago. When she’s not working diligently in the Concert Operations office at Berklee College of Music, you’ll find her with beer-in-hand—which makes perfect sense, since Rebecca runs the local chapter of ladies-only beer-enthusiast group, Girls' Pint Out.
What's your favorite thing about sharing reviews on Places?
I love finding new spots based on other people. I'm typically the friend to introduce folks to new places, but sometimes it's nice to open the app and just let it guide me to the next (beer) bar.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
If the sun is out, there's a good chance you can find me on a patio, with a beer, being the obnoxiously loud-laugher. I've been known to be on the Eastern Standard patio with the heaters well into November. I also run the local chapter of Girls' Pint Out, where I plan social and educational events for women (we include the boys sometimes, too!) to learn about and try new craft beers with an emphasis on local breweries. We've been around about a year and a half now and it's an incredible time.
Share an ultimate insider tip for your city:
Avoid the tourist spots. Go to the bars where you'll find the owner behind the bar, where they go out of their way to shake your hand, where the menu is local, the beer is local, and the music is cranked. Hit up the random spots near DTX, away from the hustle of Newbury Street.
If you could see any celebrity's reviews on Places, who would you choose and why?
Julia Child! If I could go everywhere she did while she lived in Cambridge, I'd feel a bit more complete at the end of the day.
Do you have any secret talents?
Other than invisibility and time travel? Sadly, no.
—especially for the community manager or social media folks. It's hard to be everywhere at one time!
What would your superpower be?
Being in two places at once! This city is incredible for events
Do you have any pets?
I do! An absurdly bratty cat, Sophie, who spends her time pretending to be a dog and playing fetch.
What’s your ultimate guilty pleasure?
A night off, a terrible Bravo tv show, a Narragansett lager, and Cheerios.
What are some of your local favorites?
Stoddard Fine Food & Ale - I stumbled upon this spot for a beer event and haven't stopped making the trip back as much as I can ever since. Delicious food (the lobster scallion hush puppies are magic), always changing beer list (great focus on local breweries), and the staff is just incredible. A great spot for after work, weekends, or if you're me - any time.
Vee Vee - Incredible spot with a seasonal menu (kudos for so much local food) and delicious beers on tap. The staff is friendly and welcoming.
The Haven - I can't tell you enough about how you need to get here immediately and eat the burger. Great spot, cozy decor (favorite winter spot), and an incredible staff.
Samuel Adams Brewery - Great tour. The cost is free, but a suggested donation which goes to local charity is $2. It's great to learn about the brewing process and try some beers on tap that you may not be able to find anywhere else. Great store inside to pick up some Sam swag (totes, tees, Barrel Room Series beers). Hop on the trolley to Doyle's after, order a Sam and get a free Perfect Pint Glass.
Salty Pig - Salty meat, stinky cheese, delicious beer. Bonus points for housemade pickles.
Posted by Adri Cowan, Boston community manager
—especially for the community manager or social media folks. It's hard to be everywhere at one time!
Four years ago, I was a brand-new Ph.D. student at the University of California, Santa Barbara and when our research group (the RACELab) heard about Google App Engine, we were intrigued. We thought it presented a new model that enabled apps to scale the right way without severely constricting the types of programs users would write.
Wherever possible, we implement support for the App Engine APIs with alternative open-source technologies. We’ve added support for nine different databases, database-agnostic transactions, a REST interface that users of any programming language can communicate with (via an App Engine app), and the ability to run high performance computing programs over the whole thing and talk to it from your App Engine app. And here’s my favorite part - it all deploys automatically! You don’t need to tell it what block size you want for the distributed file system, or the size of the read buffers: we configure the necessary services automatically. Since AppScale is completely open source, if you don’t like the defaults, change them!
After creating our own system to run Google App Engine apps, I wanted to see how Google does it. Therefore, I decided to become an intern on the App Engine team and see if I could give them (and by extension, the App Engine community) something amazing over the summer. I started off with some work on the MapReduce API, making the sample app much easier to use and prettier all around. I also made a YouTube video showing how it all works and how easy it is to run MapReduce jobs over App Engine.
I then looked at a recurring question that App Engine users encounter: “How can I get my logging information for my application to answer data analytic questions?” It was an excellent problem to tackle, as we have users who want to be able to determine application-specific queries that Google Analytics or the Admin Console don’t answer. Currently users have to use appcfg to grab all their application’s data to a remote machine and run some analysis script over it.
To solve this problem, I created the Logs API, which gives applications programmatic access to their logs from within App Engine itself. Applications can use it to query small numbers of logs within a single request, and they can utilize the Pipeline, MapReduce, or Backends APIs if they have lots of logs they want to analyze. Logs contain both request-level information (e.g., the URL accessed, the HTTP response code returned) as well as logging info generated by the application (the logging module in Python, the Logger class in Java, and the logging methods that Go’s appengine package provides). The Logs API is available for use as of App Engine 1.6.1 by programmers using the Python, Java, or Go runtimes, in both the production environment and the local SDK.
I had a great time putting the Logs API together, and had a unique experience interning with the App Engine team. Programming in Python, Java, and Go on a daily basis was an exciting new challenge, and I loved it!
Interested in interning with the App Engine team? Check out google.com/students for more information on internships.
(Cross-posted on the Lat Long Blog.)
When we initially announced the Business Photos pilot program, we wanted to give business owners an easy way to get customers in the door online using interactive, high-quality, 360-degree images of places on Google Maps and on Google Search results. With thousands of businesses under our belt — from salons to gift shops — we’ve been hearing the same question again and again from both business owners and photographers alike: How can I participate?
It’s simple. Visit our new website and search for a Google Trusted Photographer in your area. Either email or call a photographer in your area to schedule a time and agree on a price that you will pay the photographer for a photoshoot of your business. This self-serve model makes for easier scheduling and quicker turnaround, while also supporting the local photographers in your community. During the hour it should take for the shoot, you can collaborate with the photographer about how best to display and capture your business. When finished, the photographer will upload the images to Google, and shortly thereafter, you’ll see 360-degree panoramic views of your business on Google.com, Google Maps and on your Google Places listing.
Trusted Photographers are available in 14 U.S. cities, as well as in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and France. Don’t see a photographer in your area? Let us know, as that will help us determine where more Trusted Photographers are needed.
Posted by Gadi Royz, Product Manager, Google Maps
When we launched Google+ pages in November, we also released Google+ badges to promote your Google+ presence right on your site. Starting today in developer preview (and soon available to all your users), we're adding more options for integrating the Google+ badge into your website. You can configure a badge with a width that fits your site design and choose a version that works better on darker sites. You'll also see that Google+ badges now include the unified +1 and circle count that we added to Pages last month.
If you’re still considering whether to add a Google+ badge on your website, consider this: We recently looked at top sites using the badge and found that, on average, the badge accounted for an additional 38% of Google+ followers. When you add the badge visitors to your website can discover your Google+ page and connect in a variety of ways: they can follow your Google+ page, +1 your site, share your site with their circles, see which of their friends have +1’d your site, and click through to visit your Google+ page. These activities can help you expand your audience by enabling your users to share and recommend your content.
The Google+ badge makes it easy for your fans to find and follow you on Google+. With these additional options, we hope it's even easier to create a badge that fits your website.
Follow the conversation on Google+.
Posted by Lucy Hadden, Software Engineer, Google+
More and more people are falling in love with Valentine’s Day. According to a recent survey by ORC International, Valentine’s Day is now the number two gift giving holiday, right behind Christmas, with 88% of Americans saying they plan on giving a present to their loved ones. This should be great news for businesses, but marketers still have trouble making a love connection with consumers based on charts that look more like dated EKG readings than real-time insights into the heart of the consumer.
Since getting the affections of one person is hard enough, below are some timely insights from Google’s “database of intentions” to keep you ahead of the game as you create your Valentine’s Day campaigns.
Search is where the heart is
Already we’re seeing Google searches related to Valentine’s Day increase 35% compared to last year. Not only are more people searching, they’re searching earlier - last year people began looking for Valentine’s Day ideas on January 9th. This year the upward trend began two days earlier, on January 7th.
Across categories, jewelry is seeing a 42% increase in mobile and desktop queries compared to January of last year; gifts jumped 27%, and flowers saw an 18% spike.
Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice
The results from this graph show women look for gift ideas earlier and more often than their male significant others. Maybe men are more last minute about buying gifts than women, but it doesn’t mean they’re cheap about it! In 2011 the average man spent $158 for Valentine’s Day, about $80 more than women.
Looking for a change of heart?
Valentine’s Day is less than three weeks away, which means that this is the great opportunity for marketers to influence people with their products since consumers are still searching for ideas. If you look at the word cloud below (spoiler alert!), a good chunk of people are searching for “diy valentines gifts” and “valentines day baskets,” which means there will be quite a few people unwrapping homemade gifts or pre-made gift baskets this year. The biggest cluster of phrases, “valentines day border,” “valentines day drinks,” and “valentines day meals,” signal that people are also planning on celebrating in style. Now would be a good time to promote recipes and decoration ideas in your campaigns.
For more useful trends and tips for your campaign, download and review the 2012 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions Deck on Think Insights. Hopefully it helps you steal away some hearts!
By Christina Park, Product Marketing Manager, Think with Google
For most companies using Google Analytics, reporting on website traffic and performance for a few web properties is a straightforward task. However, if your company manages hundreds of web properties, delivering useful and timely reports can become a significant challenge. For many, the only apparent solution is to manually export analytics data for each web property, then combine and compare that data to answer relevant business questions. It’s a slow and costly process and you spend most of your time creating reports instead of carrying out meaningful analysis.
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) faced precisely this challenge when it made the decision to use GA Data Grabber by AutomateAnalytics.com. GA Data Grabber works within Excel and uses the Google Analytics API. Users create or choose reports and GA Data Grabber automatically retrieves the Google Analytics data from any number of websites. And with multi-login capabilities, users can seamlessly combine data between Google Analytics profiles that reside under different Google Accounts.
Designed for non-technical users, GA Data Grabber generates great-looking visualizations and can automatically highlight important changes in key metrics over a date range. It’s also possible to use Excel’s visualization and data processing features. For example, formulas can be added to calculate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) based on any set of metrics.
Amy Sample, Director, Web Analytics, Public Broadcasting Service explains the challenges that PBS faced and how GA Data Grabber was able to help. “The PBS.org and PBSKIDS.org web sites are made up of hundreds of individual companion sites to broadcast programs. From a business perspective, there is a need to evaluate performance of individual program sites relative to each other.” As is common for many large organizations, PBS has separate Google Analytics accounts for each program site. “While multiple accounts works well to evaluate the site content and performance, it makes it difficult to look at all of the sites side-by-side without a lot of manual effort. Our previous attempts to create this type of report were time-consuming and often subject to data input errors.”
“Using Google Analytics, combined with GA Data Grabber, we were able to create a benchmark report for our program sites. The monthly report pulls a standard set of KPIs from each of the program accounts and ranks the programs by traffic. The report is used as a management tool by both the PBS.org and PBSKIDS.org teams to monitor monthly performance of programs. The teams have also used it to identify opportunities for programs that are no longer being broadcast but still getting significant online traffic. Our program producers use the report to benchmark their performance against other sites of similar content or size and determine ways to improve audience engagement. As a result of using GA Data Grabber to pull the data, we can produce this report quickly and accurately on monthly basis.”
GA Data Grabber
Mikael Thuneberg, Founder & CEO of AutomateAnalytics.com has been using the Google Analytics API since its launch. “I’ve been very happy with the API. Having developed for several other APIs, I can say that the Google Analytics API is by far the easiest to develop for. It’s logically structured and flexible, the documentation is excellent, and it’s easy to get help through the forum. I’ll certainly continue developing for the Google Analytics API. I’ve expanded to other APIs as well, but Google Analytics is still by far the most important one for my business.”
If you’re interested in developing solutions for the Google Analytics platform, visit Google Analytics Developer Program.
Posted by Pete Frisella, Google Analytics API Team
If you’re looking for new ways to get around for fun or to work, or might be trying to live a greener lifestyle in 2012, why not try biking? In March 2010 we introduced biking directions and since then Google Maps has been sharing biking directions with cyclists across the U.S and Canada.
Since no bike path is the same, many users have requested an easier way to differentiate the different types of bike routes that are available. Starting today, a new legend feature can help you understand what the different colors on the bike maps symbolize.
- Dark green is for dedicated trails and paths
- Light green is for roads with dedicated lanes
- Dotted green is for roads that are friendly for cyclists
You can view this legend by clicking on the widget in upper right corner of Google Maps and selecting the Bicycling layer. You can also access biking directions on your Android device or by going to maps.google.com on your mobile browser.
Whether you want to drive, take transit, walk or even bike, Google Maps can help you get around. To see how it works on your Android phone take a tour here.
Posted by Dave Kim, Product Marketing Manager, Google Maps