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A new machine learning app for reporting on hate in America

Category: Google | Aug 18, 2017

Hate crimes in America have historically been difficult to track since there is very little official data collected and what does exist, is incomplete and not very useful for reporters desperate to find out the facts. This led ProPublica — with the support of the Google News Lab — to form Documenting Hate earlier this year, a collaborative reporting project that aims to create a national database for hate crimes by collecting and categorizing news stories related to hate crime attacks and abuses from across the country.

Now, with ProPublica, we are launching a new machine learning tool to help journalists covering hate news leverage this data in their reporting.

The Documenting Hate News Index — built by the Google News Lab, data visualization studio Pitch Interactive and ProPublica — takes a raw feed of Google News  articles from the past six months and uses the Google Cloud Natural Language API to create a visual tool to help reporters find the news happening all over the country, from Oklahoma to Florida, California to Kentucky. It’s a constantly-updating snapshot of data from this year, one which is valuable as a starting point to reporting on this area of news.

The Documenting Hate project was in response to the lack of national data on hate crimes. While the FBI is required by law to collect data about hate crimes its database is patchy and almost unusable for reporters because local jurisdictions aren’t required to report incidents up to the federal government.

All of which underlines the value of the Documenting Hate Project, which is powered by a number of different news organisations and journalists who collect, and verify reports of hate crimes and events. Documenting Hate is informed by both reports from members of the public and raw Google News data of stories from across the nation.

The new Index will help make this data easier to understand and visualize.  It is one of the first visualisations to use machine learning to generate its content using the Google Natural Language API, which analyses text and extracts information about people, places, and events. In this case, it helps reporters by digging out locations, names and other useful data from the 3,000-plus news reports – the feed is updated every day, and goes back to February 2017.

The feed is generated from news articles that cover events suggestive of hate crime, bias or abuse — such as anti-semitic graffiti or local court reports about incidents. And we are monitoring it to look out for errant stories that slip in, ie searches for phrases that just include the word “hate” — it hasn’t happened yet but we will be paying close attention.

The Documenting Hate coalition of reporters has already covered a number of stories on this area, including an examination of white supremacism in Charlottesville, racist graffiti

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2017/07/06/phoenix-couple-reports-anti-semitic-graffiti-over-july-fourth-weekend/453709001/

, aggression at a concert in Columbus, Ohio and the disturbing rise of hate in schools.

Users of the app can filter the reports by searching for a keyword in the search box or by clicking on algorithmically-generated keywords. They can also see reports by date by clicking ‘calendar’.

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The Hate News Index is available now and we will be developing it further over the next few months as we see how journalists use it day to day to unearth these stories of hate and help collate a national database to monitor.

The ProPublica-led coalition includes The Google News Lab, Univision News

http://www.univision.com/

, the New York Times, WNYC, BuzzFeed News, First Draft, Meedan, New America Media, The Root, Latino USA, The Advocate, 100 Days in Appalachia and Ushahidi. They are also working with civil-rights groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, and schools such as the University of Miami School of Communications.

As part of our mission to create new resources for the journalism community, we are also open-sourcing the data on our GitHub page — let us know what you do with it by emailing newslabtrends@google.com.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/uuEHovicHoE/

#teampixel, unique in every way.

Category: Google | Aug 17, 2017

There is no theme for this week’s #teampixel feature, instead, the common thread binding them together is that each photo is unique. We’re continually impressed by our community’s work that transports us to faraway lands and different civilizations, allowing us to see the world through someone else’s eyes. So this week, let’s celebrate their diversity, and how together…we are better.

Show #teampixel some love by visiting the feed and like their photos. Who knows — you might even make a new connection. ;)

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Left: A Pacific Northwest at Crescent Lake by @John.z.wang. Right: Cathedral Caves in New Zealand by @mathuraaa.

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Picturesque Peyto Lake in Canada by @dunaril.

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Left: A bee’s eye view by @ferydaboss. Right: An inviting path in the Outwoods by robcheeseman19.

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Hawa Mahal palace in Jaipur, India by @ebite.

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Left: We’d sit down for an afternoon snack any time with @theculinarybee. Right: A rainbow colored building in Singapore by @sophiashahaha.

Have a Pixel? Upload them to Instagram with #teampixel and you might be featured next.  

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/Q6u2qKh7cjU/

Meet the sixth graders who built a potable water dispenser

Category: Google | Aug 17, 2017

Schools in Latin America and around the world are searching for ways to take student impact beyond the classroom. In Mexico, we wanted to explore how teachers and students are using technology to empower a rising generation of innovative changemakers—and this week, we’re sharing some of the stories we found. Tune into the hashtag #innovarparami to see how education leaders in Latin America are thinking about innovation.

For Enrique Cordero, a GEG (Google Educator Groups) teacher and IT administrator, the only thing better than teaching students is the opportunity to learn from them. He believes that children are innate inventors; educators should help students preserve their natural propensity to imagine—and create—the world as it isn’t yet.

So he designed a course at the American School of Puebla called “Solving the World’s Problems,” where he asks kids to identify the issues that they see as pressing and challenges them to think up solutions. Field research plays a central role in the course, and during a field trip to a community near the school one day, students heard first-hand accounts about the difficulties that communities face when they lack access to potable water.

These sixth graders built a dispenser to make drinking water accessible.

The field trip inspired Paco and Rodrigo, two of Enrique’s sixth graders, to invent something that could make drinking water accessible to all. They sketched a prototype on their computers and worked with Enrique to bring it to life. Their design has evolved into a water distiller that they aspire to install in under-served neighborhoods around the globe.

Most people ask what world what we’re leaving for our kids. I ask what kids we’re leaving for our world.

Enrique

The diverse approaches to inventing and problem-solving that Enrique sees in the classroom have cemented his belief that Paco and Rodrigo are just two of the thousands of students well-positioned to dream up and build a better future. To Enrique, innovation means “planting a grain of sand in your students’ minds, and helping them turn that little grain into something amazing.” Follow the hashtag #innovarparami to see how other people are defining—and cultivating—innovation.

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Enrique coaches students through a brainstorm during his Innovation Class.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/DomL-zpyKto/

Get on the same page: new Google Docs features power team collaboration

Category: Google | Aug 16, 2017

Getting people on the same page for a project can be tough. It requires managing a ton of opinions and suggestions. The last thing you should have to worry about is making sure your team is literally working on the same document. That’s why we built our powerful real-time editing tools to help with this—Google Docs, Sheets and Slides—so that teams can work together at the same time, using the most up-to-date version.

Today, we’re introducing new updates to better help with “version control,” to customize tools for your workflows, and to help teams locate information when they need it.

Track changes, make progress

It can take dozens of edits to make a document just right—especially a legal agreement, project proposal or research paper. These new updates in Docs let you more easily track your team’s changes. Now, your team can:

  1. Name versions of a Doc, Sheet or Slide. Being able to assign custom names to versions of your document is a great way to keep a historical record of your team’s progress. It’s also helpful for communicating when a document is actually final. You can organize and track your team’s changes in one place under “Version history” (formerly known as “Revision history”) on the web. Select File > Version history > Name current version. For even quicker recall, there’s an option to select “Only show named versions” in Docs, Sheets or Slides.

  2. Preview “clean versions” of Docs to see what your Doc looks like without comments or suggested edits. Select Tools > Review suggested edits > Preview accept all OR Preview reject all.

  3. Accept or reject all edit suggestions at once in your Doc so your team doesn’t have to review every single punctuation mark or formatting update. Select Tools > Review suggested edits > Accept all OR Reject all.

  4. Suggest changes in a Doc from an Android, iPhone or iPad device. Click the three dots menu in the bottom right of your Doc screen to suggest edits on-the-go. Turn on the “Suggest changes” toggle and start typing in “suggestion mode.”

Compare documents and review redlines instantly with Litera Change-Pro or Workshare Add-ons in Docs.

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Here’s a quick way to preview and accept all changes (or reject them) and name versions of your document

Use new templates, add-on time-saving functionality

Teams use templates in Docs and Sheets to save time on formatting. At the same time, developers are building add-ons to customize functionality. We thought, why not bring these two together? That’s why today, we’re introducing new templates with built-in add-ons and the ability to create your own, so your templates not only look good—but they make sure the work gets done.

These templates allow you to customize and deploy tools specific to your organization’s workflows. We’ve launched five examples of this in the general template gallery, like the new Mutual Non-disclosure agreement (NDA) template from LegalZoom and DocuSign. With this template, businesses can quickly create an NDA and collect signatures using the DocuSign Add-on for Docs. Bonus: it also automatically detects the required signature fields on the template, which saves even more time when you request signatures. This is just one of a few new templates—we’ve also worked with Lucidchart, PandaDoc, EasyBib and Supermetrics to help you save time and maximize efficiency throughout your team’s workflows.

In addition, you can also create your very own template with built-in Add-on customized to your company’s workflows. For example, create a Sheets template paired with an add-on to gather internal approvals or an invoice template in Docs (paired with an add-on) that pulls information from your CRM system.

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The new mutual NDA template from LegalZoom and DocuSign lets you collect NDA approvals stat.

Find the information you need, when you need it

Sometimes the hardest part of creating a proposal or client presentation is tracking down the information you need to include in it. Starting today for G Suite Business and Enterprise customers, Google Cloud Search will integrate with Docs and Slides via the Explore feature. Using Machine Intelligence, Cloud Search surfaces relevant information to help you work more efficiently throughout your day.

To get started, open the Explore tab in Docs or Slides and type what you’re looking for. Cloud Search will show you important details from your information across your G Suite apps including Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Sites and more, to help you create top-notch Docs and presentations.

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Now you can use Google Cloud Search through the explore features in Docs and Slides.

Teams are using Docs to collaborate in creative ways. Check out this post for inspiration, or visit the Docs site to get started.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/auE-wLr3pF0/

All your questions answered on Google Maps and Search

Category: Google | Aug 16, 2017

When deciding where to go and what to do, we often ask ourselves lots of questions before making a decision. Soon, you’ll be able to ask those questions, get the answers you need, and even answer other people’s questions about places on Google Maps for Android and mobile Search.

To ask or answer a question—or read the existing questions and answers about a place—simply search for the location on Google Maps or Search and open the local business listing. Then scroll down to the “Question & answers” section where you can add a question, answer someone else’s question, or upvote informative ones by tapping the thumbs up icon. Upvoted questions and answers will appear toward the top of the section so that the most helpful content is most accessible.

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To make sure “Questions & answers” contains the most accurate and useful local info possible, business owners can add frequently asked questions and answers as well. In addition, when you ask a question about a place, we notify the business owner and other in-the-know users to see if they have knowledgeable answers to contribute. When your question is answered, we notify you too.

No matter where you’re headed or what you’re looking to do, Google Maps and Search highlights the information you need to make quick decisions and discover the world around you.

*This feature is rolling out to Google Maps and mobile Search users worldwide. 

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/ZOsFTypeaQE/

There’s no place like home, in Google Earth

Category: Google | Aug 16, 2017

When you opened Google Earth for the very first time, where did you go? For most people there’s a common destination: Home. The definition of “home” changes by country, culture and climate. So as part of the relaunch of Google Earth back in April, we introduced This is Home, an interactive tour to five traditional homes around the world. You could step inside the colorful home of Kancha Sherpa in Nepal, or head to the desert and learn how an extended drought changed the lives of the Bedouin people.

Since then, we’ve traveled to dozens more homes across six continents and today we’re bringing 22 new homes and cultures to explore in Google Earth.

Kenya

This is Ngaramat Loongito, Kenya, home to a Maasai community. Photo courtesy of Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust

Start with a Torajan home, built to withstand Indonesia’s wet season. Then head to Fujian Province, China, to peek inside the immense walls the Hakka people built to keep away bandits, beasts and warlords. See the shape-shifting yurt homes Mongolian country-dwellers use to move where their herds roam. Visit a village on Madagascar’s southwest coast where the Vezo people live off the third largest coral reef system in the world. Finally, see how a Paiwan shaman has integrated her spirituality into the walls of her home in Taiwan.

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To tell these stories, we worked with partners and communities to digitally preserve homes of different cultures in Street View. Many of these homes belong to indigenous people, such as The Garasia people of India, the Chatino people of Mexico, the Torajan people of Indonesia, and the Māori people of New Zealand. Their homes represent their unique cultural identity and ways of relating to the environment.

Mongolia

This is Emchiin Uveljee, Mongolia. Family member Buyansanaa stands amidst a sea of livestock outside their yurt home, built to fit with their nomadic lifestyle.

Canada

This is Sanikiluaq, Canada. Inuit educator, Lisi Kavik, stands outside the community’s learning igloo, where she shares stories and traditions from her ancestors. When built correctly, an igloo can support the weight of a person standing on the roof.

Taiwan

This is Tjuvecekadan, Taiwan: Tjuku, the community’s shaman, stands outside her home made from the local slate stones.

Fujan

This is Chengqilou, Fujian Province, China: Jiang Youyu is one of a dwindling number of people to live inside the immense, circular walls the Hakka people built to keep bandits, beasts and warlords out of their homes.

Greenland

This is Igaliku, Greenland, home to Malene Egede and her trusty farm helper, Qooqa.

New Zeland

This is Manutuke, New Zealand. Ngati Maru member Albert Stewart stands outside the marae that represents this Māori subtribe’s communal meeting place. Here, the Ngati Maru can meet, eat & sleep while celebrating Māori culture and ceremonies such as tribal meetings, family reunions and Kapa haka (Māori performing arts).

Nepal

This is Namche Bazaar, Nepal. Kancha Sherpa and his wife, the late Tashi Tshering Sherpa, sit in their “khangpa ma” or main room where the family eats, entertains and sleeps.

Madagascar

This is Lamboara, Madagascar. Madame Kokoly lives in a Vezo community, where they depend on sea for their survival. Photo courtesy of Blue Ventures.

Indonesia

This is North Toraja Regency, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Marla’s family has lived in a traditional tongkonan home known for their soaring rooflines for five generations.

Some of the images and stories provide a snapshot in time of cultures, who face economic, environmental and population pressures. For example, the Inuit people of Sanikiluaq have been building igloos for schoolchildren to learn in for decades, but in recent winters, conditions haven’t been cold enough to create the right type of snow. It’s important to document these lifestyles now, because some may be disappearing.

Thank you to the families who shared their homes, their customs and their culture with the world!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/zAcqVN9TpVI/

Meet the fifth grader turning water bottles into light bulbs to brighten communities

Category: Google | Aug 16, 2017

Schools in Latin America and around the world are searching for ways to take student impact beyond the classroom. In Mexico, we wanted to explore how teachers and students are using technology to empower a rising generation of innovative changemakers—and this week, we’re sharing some of the stories we found. Tune into the hashtag #innovarparami to see how education leaders in Latin America are thinking about innovation.

Twelve-year-old Bryan Gonzalez was traveling through a neighborhood near his school when the unlit windows of several homes caught his attention. When his parents and teachers explained to him that those homes lacked electricity, he started to search for information about access to lighting in communities in Mexico and around the globe. His research led him to discover that nearly 15 percent of the world’s population lives without light.

Believing that every community deserves access to commodities as basic as lighting, Bryan decided to turn his annual school science project into a mission to defeat darkness. With the support of his peers, teachers and parents, Bryan began to brainstorm sustainable, affordable methods to illuminate the world around him.

His solution? Converting water bottles into light bulbs!

This fifth grader uses water bottles to brighten communities. #innovarparami

Bryan recently implemented his prototype in the field for the first time, and we captured the experience as he began to install his homemade light bulbs in the very houses that had initially inspired him to take on his project. In the moments after Bryan installed his lightbulbs, community members began to process the impact of Bryan’s invention. Families reflected on the difficulties inherent in relying on candlelight to assist kids with homework, the daily pressure to finish working by sunset because no work could get done in the dark, and what unlit houses and streets meant for the physical safety of children and parents alike. “Things are going to be different now. This 12-year-old boy has changed this family’s life,” said Doña Sofía, a mother and grandmother, as she embraced him.

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This image was captured just moments after Doña Sofía’s house had lighting for the very first time, thanks to Bryan’s efforts.

Seeing his efforts materialize into real-world impact has been extremely gratifying for Bryan, but he knows this is just the beginning. As Bryan sets his eyes on new horizons, he hopes to start inspiring other young people around the world to implement the prototype in homes that lack electricity in their own communities.

Your age doesn’t matter. Your idea does.

Bryan

Bryan’s definition of innovation is “finding creative ways to help a community solve their problems.” Follow the hashtag #innovarparami to see how other people are defining—and cultivating—innovation.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/JQ6hxSC8o98/

Achoo! Watch out for seasonal sniffles with pollen forecasts on Google

Category: Google | Aug 16, 2017

While most of you out there are enjoying the dog days of summer, some are bracing themselves for the fall allergy season that’s right around the corner. In fact, one in five Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. Across the U.S., we see that search interest for allergies spikes each year in April and May and then again in September. To help you get ahead of your seasonal allergies symptoms, now when you search on mobile for pollen or allergy information on Google, you’ll see useful at-a-glance details on pollen levels in your area.

To make the most up-to-date and accurate information available, we’ve worked with The Weather Channel to integrate their pollen index and forecast data information directly into Google. To see more pollen and allergy details, you can tap the link within the pollen experience.

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In addition, when the pollen count in your area is particularly high, you can receive reminders in the Google app. To opt in to these notifications, just search for pollen levels, pollen forecast or a similar query on Google, then tap “turn on” when prompted.

With this pollen info, you can better understand and prepare your seasonal allergy symptoms. Stop sneezing and go out and enjoy those fall colors!

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/f1kBktMQEjg/

Around the Globe – Improved Operations for Girl Scouts Japan

Category: Google | Aug 15, 2017

For this segment of G4NP Around the Globe, we’re highlighting Girl Scouts of Japan: a nonprofit that supports more than 30,000 young women across the country with its vibrant community and empowering programs. With such a large network of members, the nonprofit needed technology to effectively keep members updated on events, ensure personal information stays secure, and manage their Local Council’s communications. The suite of tools provided by Google for Nonprofits has allowed Girl Scouts of Japan to improve their productivity and increase their member base, giving them more time to focus on supporting young women.  

Operations – G Suite

GSuite has helped Girl Scouts of Japan operate more efficiently and provide a positive experience for their members. More than 7,000 attendees signed up through Google Forms for e-learning programs about safety procedures before they headed off on a scouting adventure. Google Sheets helped the chapter to quickly access and organize this data. And by migrating to Gmail, the nonprofit feels secure with their custom Google privacy settings and the tool’s ability to weed out spam and malware.

Girl Scouts of Japan has also used technology to revolutionize a central component of the global Girl Scout organization: badges. Typically, Girl Scouts can earn woven badges for their vests by completing tasks or trainings. With the help of Google tools, Girl Scouts of Japan has created an interesting twist to this tradition: using Forms to create quizzes on their Google Site and reward women with digital badges.  

Furthermore, the nonprofit creates engaging content with Google Sites and shares their manuals and materials on Google Drive so each Local Council can always access the most updated trainings. With G Suite scaled to the entire organization, the nonprofit seamlessly keeps all communications and information safely stored in one place—allowing them to spend less time handling administrative tasks, and more freedom to plan engaging events.

Girl Scouts Japan - Virtual Tour of WAGGGS World Centers

Girl Scouts Japan – Virtual Tour of WAGGGS World Centers

Visibility – Google AdGrants, YouTube, Google Maps

Girl Scouts of Japan recognized an opportunity to connect with their young target audience by building a strong online presence. Ad Grants helps them reach new members with over 3,000 monthly visitors to their site—a 500% increase in just two months. To further enhance their online engagement, the nonprofit created a YouTube channel to showcase their thriving community and impactful programs with original content. Their videos showcase the strength of their community and the empowering programs they provide. And with Google Maps, members can easily find events happening nearby, resulting in over 18,000 views about event information.

Lastly, to spread awareness and encourage women to get involved, Girl Scouts of Japan uses Google Earth to provide a global view of their expansive network. Using instructions from Earth Outreach tutorials, they created this Virtual Tour to share with members to encourage a global perspective and community of Girl Scouts.

From G Suite to YouTube, Girl Scouts of Japan has successfully harnessed the power of technology to cultivate a strong community of women who support each other and grow together. Read the full story by visiting our Community Stories page on our Google for Nonprofits site.

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To see if your nonprofit is eligible to participate, review the Google for Nonprofits eligibility guidelines. Google for Nonprofits offers organizations like yours free access to Google tools like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Ad Grants, YouTube for Nonprofits and more. These tools can help you reach new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and tell your nonprofit’s story. Learn more and enroll here.

Footnote:  Statements are provided by Nonprofits that received products as part of the Google for Nonprofits program, which offers products at no charge to qualified nonprofits.

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/eZmC9LmuaUg/

Chillax, it’s National Relaxation Day!

Category: Google | Aug 15, 2017

Even though the calendar says it’s only Tuesday, we say it’s time to kick back and relax. After all, National Relaxation Day comes but once a year! And if you’re like the 44% of Americans who feel more stressed than they did five years ago, you may be in need of a break. To help you unwind, we’ve put together some tips and tricks to calm down, free up your mind, and release the stress.

Starting off in Google Search, we have some go-to guides to help you chill out. First, try typing “breathing exercises” into Google, and you’ll see a nice guided exercise right at the top of search results. Cue exhale…and inhale! For the established (or aspiring) yogis out there, you may also want to check out some of the yoga positions that are just a tap away. And don’t worry, if you’re not up for the Chakrasana, Bālāsana still counts. Namaste.

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More of a video viewer? You’re not alone. Guided meditation videos on YouTube are on the rise, with an 84% increase in views since last year. Some popular picks include Blissful Deep Relaxation by The Honest Guys and Guided Meditation for Sleep… Floating Amongst the Stars by Jason Stephenson. Oooohhhmmmmm.

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If you want to pamper yourself on National Relaxation Day, head over to Google Maps. You can now book appointments at spas and salons across the U.S. To get started, do a quick look for a nearby salon, barbershop or spa and look for the “book” button on the business listing. You can also visit the Reserve with Google site to browse recommendations or find serene spots you never knew existed.

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This is just a sample of the serenity that awaits. And if you’re stuck at  your computer, here’s a pro tip: take a breather with the Mindful Break Chrome extension that gives you tips and guides you through some short breathing exercises. Ready, set, chillax!  

From: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MKuf/~3/AtoXm4XF18g/