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Change is Made with Code

Category: Google | Sep 21, 2016

What would the world look like if only 20 percent of women knew how to write? How many fewer great books would there be? How many important stories would go unreported? How many innovations would we lose? How many brilliant women would be unable to fulfill their potential?

That’s not just a theoretical question. Today, only a small minority of women know how to write code. That limits their ability to participate in a growing part of our global economy. It limits their ability to affect change as entire industries are transformed by technology. And it limits their potential to impact millions of lives through the power of code.

To change this trajectory, we need to do all we can to inspire women and girls that learning to code is critical to creating a brighter future for everyone. That’s why I’m excited to share that, today, Google’s Made with Code, together with YouTube, is teaming up with the Global Citizen Festival and millions of teen girls to ignite a movement for young women to change the world through the power of code.

Over the last five years, millions of Global Citizens have influenced world leaders and decision makers, and contributed to shaping our world for the better. As we’ve seen this movement grow, we’ve learned about some incredible women who saw problems in their communities and realized that the biggest impact they could have was through computer science. They’ve used an interest in computer science and tech to help the homeless, stop sexual assault, and bridge the gender gap in technology – check out their stories here:

These women are doing big things, blazing a path for the next generation of girls, but they can’t do it alone. The vast potential around using code to improve the world cannot be realized if there are only a few voices influencing how it’s shaped. That’s why, today, we’re inviting teen girls everywhere to join the movement. Our new coding project gives young women a chance to make their voice heard by coding a statement about the change they want to see in the world.
This week, hundreds of thousands of girls from around the country have already used code to share their vision for a better, more inclusive, more equitable world:

These coded designs will be displayed onstage at the Global Citizen Festival, as symbols of the many different voices from teen girls, standing up for the change they want to see in the world.

Together with musicians, sisters, YouTube sensations and newly minted coders,
Chloe x Halle, teen girls are getting their start in code

Our efforts go well beyond this project. Made with Code is joining forces with Iridescent and UN Women to support the launch of the Technovation Challenge 2017 which gives girls the opportunity to build their own apps that tackle the real-life issues they see around them.

Please tune into the Global Citizen Festival livestream at on September 24 to catch all the action. And, more importantly, join us and encourage the young women in your life to try out coding and contribute their ideas for how to make a better future.

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Bringing education to refugees in Lebanon with the Clooney Foundation for Justice

Category: Google | Sep 20, 2016

The world is facing the largest refugee crisis since World War II. Last September, we invited people around the world to help us in supporting organizations on the ground — with matching every dollar. Since that time, has committed more than $16.5 million to refugee relief efforts, focused on immediate humanitarian assistance, information and connectivity, and education.

Clooney Foundation for Justice Grant
Today, we’re supporting the Clooney Foundation for Justice with a $1 million grant focused on education for refugee children in Lebanon. More than half of global refugees are under the age of eighteen, and in Lebanon, which is hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees per capita in the world, nearly half of those are Syrian refugee children who are currently out of school.

The Clooney Foundation for Justice is teaming up with SABIS, a global education network that has already taught many refugee children in Lebanon. SABIS is taking its accredited teaching methodology and making it accessible to more refugees in Lebanon by setting up semi-permanent schools in areas with a high concentration of refugee children. This grant will support expanding their efforts to develop a new school model, using digital tools, for up to 10,000 out-of-school children in Lebanon. Through our employee volunteering program, we’ll also provide technical expertise to help with everything from connectivity to cloud storage by having Googlers helping both on the ground and remotely.

This grant builds on our work with organizations who also support refugees in Germany, France, Turkey and Greece with access to education and learning opportunities. Collectively, our efforts across humanitarian assistance, connectivity and access to information and education will help more than 1 million refugees.

Information and Connectivity
In October 2015, we granted NetHope $900,000, and our employees from around the world helped set up WiFi hotspots and charging kits at key transit points along the refugee route in Europe. So far, more than 300,000 refugees have been able to access NetHope’s WiFi to access vital information. Googlers also helped build the site with the International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, and others. The site is now accessible in 18 locations in Greece, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, and is being used more than 1,000 times a day.

We’re also working to help refugees in the United States get mobile connectivity by partnering with the International Rescue Committee to donate 1,000 Nexus devices and Project Fi wireless service to refugees in 24 cities across the country.

In January, together with NetHope, we launched “Project Reconnect” — an effort to to equip German NGOs with 25,000 Chromebooks that help refugees learn more about local languages, resources, and job opportunities. To date, more than half of them have been delivered and used by nonprofits in Germany. Last year, we also gave a grant to Libraries without Borders to send their Ideas Boxes to create safe learning and playing spaces for children in refugee camps. These Ideas Boxes have been visited thousands of times in camps from Lesbos and Athens in Greece to the refugee camp of Grande Synthe in France and in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Discovering the resources of the Ideas Box in the Eleonas refugee camp, in Athens, Greece

A White House call to action
In June, we signed on as a founding partner of the White House’s Private Sector Call to Action for Refugees, an effort by the administration to bring together a cross-section of businesses to help make significant commitments that will have a measurable impact on refugees both in the United States and around the world. We’re participating in the conversation at the White House Summit on Refugees today in New York, and will continue to build on our efforts.

You can learn more about grantees and their work at, and you can donate directly on our site and via the White House’s

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A faster way to share photos and videos, and all-new movies

Category: Google | Sep 19, 2016

Sharing all the photos from your weekend with friends can be hard: Not everyone uses the same apps, texting can be slow, and email has attachment limits.

Now, with Google Photos, you pick the photos, tap “share” and select the people you want to share with, instead of the apps — and we take care of the rest. If your friends are on Google Photos, they’ll get a notification. If you share via phone number, they’ll get a link to the photos and videos via SMS. And email addresses will get an email with a link from Google Photos. So you can spend less time toggling from app to app to share photos — dealing with failed texts or email attachment limits along the way — and more time enjoying life’s photo-worthy moments.

We’re also upping our game when it comes to automatic creations. Google Photos has always made movies for you using your recently uploaded photos. Now we’re going further, with new movies that are based on creative concepts — the kinds of movies you might make yourself, if you just had the time. And they’re not only limited to your most recent uploads.

One of the first concepts is designed to show your child growing up right before your eyes. Here’s an example:

We’re rolling out a couple more concepts this week, with more coming soon. Look out for a concept to commemorate the good times from this summer, and another one for formal events like weddings. And you don’t need to do a thing — these movies get made automatically for you.

These updates are rolling out today across Android, iOS, and the web.

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See more, plan less – try Google Trips

Category: Google | Sep 19, 2016

Whether you’re juggling work, school, family, or just the demands of daily life, everyone needs a little break and a new adventure sometimes.

But knowing what to do once your vacation starts can turn what’s supposed to be fun into a lot of work. You might get recommendations from friends, professional travel guides, or online reviews — but figuring out how to squeeze everything you want to do into a finite window of time can be stressful, especially when you’re in a new place, often with limited access to the web. In fact, a GoodThink study showed that 74% of travelers feel the most stressful aspect of travel is figuring out the details.

We wanted to reduce the hassle and help travelers enjoy their hard-earned vacations. So today, we’re introducing a new mobile app to help you instantly plan each day of your trip with just a few taps of your finger: Google Trips.

Google Trips is a personalized tour guide in your pocket. Each trip contains key categories of information, including day plans, reservations, things to do, food & drink, and more, so you have everything you need at your fingertips. The entire app is available offline — simply tap the “Download” button under each trip to save it to your phone.

Choose your own adventure
For the top 200 cities in the world, Google Trips shows you a variety of day plans featuring the most popular daily itineraries. We’ve automatically assembled the most popular sights, attractions, and local gems into a full day’s tour — all based on historic visits by other travelers. Say you’re visiting Barcelona. You can choose from multiple day plans, like “Eixample District,” which maps out the can’t-miss buildings by Antoni Gaudi, the famous Spanish architect.

Plan each day of your trip like magic
Everyone has different interests and time constraints. No matter how popular an itinerary is, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for the perfect day or the perfect trip. Google Trips can help you build your day around places you already know you want to visit.

Say your friends told you that you have to see the Sagrada Familia — and you’re looking for suggestions on things to do around that spot. Press the “+” button in the day plans tile to jump into a map view containing all the top attractions in your destination. If you’re time constrained, you can specify above the map whether you have just the morning or afternoon, versus a full day. Then simply tap and pin the Sagrada Familia to build your itinerary around it. Google Trips automatically fills in the day for you. If you want more options, tap the “magic wand” button for more nearby sights. You can pin any new spots you like, and if you want even more, each tap of the “magic wand” instantly gives you a new itinerary with updated nearby attractions like Palau Macaya or Parc del Guinardo, so you can build your own custom itinerary in minutes while munching on your morning churro.

All your travel info, all in one place
Keeping track of all your flight, hotel, car and restaurant reservations when you travel can be tough. With Google Trips, all your travel reservations are automatically gathered from Gmail and organized for you into individual trips, so you don’t have to search and dig up those emails. They’re waiting for you within the reservations tile, even without WiFi.

Vacations are a chance to recharge and experience new places and cultures. For your next trip, let us help you see all the sights you want to see, without all the work. Google Trips, available now on Android and iOS, has you covered from departure to return.

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Experience British political history with Google Arts and Culture

Category: Google | Sep 15, 2016

The storied halls of 10 Downing Street aren’t often open to the public. Those who want to see inside the Prime Minister’s residence and office usually have to wait for a rare open house…

…until today. Visitors from anywhere in the world are now invited to experience one of the UK’s most important political buildings on Google Arts and Culture.

Walk through historic rooms and hallways and get up-close looks at more than 50 photographs and works of art. Take a peek into the cabinet room, where the Prime Minister has held weekly cabinet meetings since 1735, or look around Margaret Thatcher’s office. Stroll down the grand main staircase, stopping to study the carefully ordered portraits of the house’s previous residents. Once you’re ready for some fresh air, you can wander through the gardens, where Winston Churchill liked to nap.

There are also two brand new online exhibits. The first introduces two of Britain’s most iconic leaders, Winston Churchill and Harold Wilson. The second highlights three of the building’s most historic rooms: the Cabinet Room, the Study and the Grand Staircase.

And if you want the full immersive experience, be sure to try it out using a Google Cardboard virtual reality viewer, complete with the built-in audio tour, with the Google Arts and Culture app on Android and iOS.

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Start sketching what you see for the future

Category: Google | Sep 14, 2016

If it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it: your favorite art contest is back! Today we’re kicking off the 2016 Doodle 4 Google contest, where art-loving K-12 students from across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico are invited to bring their imagination to life in a doodle of the Google logo, using any medium they choose. The winning masterpiece will hang on the Google homepage for a day, where millions will enjoy it.

We like to think about what’s next. So we’re asking kids to imagine what awaits them in the years to come and represent that vision of this year’s theme: “What I see for the future…” Yes, that means anything they see — even if it includes flying dogs, living on a shooting star, the trip of their dreams, or for the true Futurists out there — perhaps a distant world filled with dazzling new technology of all shapes and sizes.

This year’s contest is going to be one for the record books; the future and the ways to depict it are limitless. That’s why we’ll have an all-star group of judges including our very own Google Doodlers help select the National Winner. In addition to the homepage showcase, the winner will receive $30,000 towards a college scholarship, and the opportunity to work with the Doodle team at the Googleplex in Mountain View. As an added bonus: Their home school will get to spend $50,000 on technology to help foster the next generation of professionals (and who knows, maybe future Googlers, too!).

Submissions are open until December 2, 2016. So for you parents, teachers, babysitters, camp counselors or non-profit leaders out there: Encourage your kids and students to apply. We can’t wait to see what wonders await in their dreams for the future.

And now, we bid you farewell as we’re Van Goghing, Goghing, Gone.

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National Museum of African American History and Culture finds a new way to tell stories

Category: Google | Sep 14, 2016

Next week marks the grand opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). A museum 100 years in the making, the NMAAHC is much more than just a collection of artifacts. Within its walls, visitors will take part in an immersive journey into the important contributions of African Americans in the United States. It’s a mosaic of stories — stories from our history that are core to who we are as a nation. And we’re proud to help bring these stories to life with a first-of-its-kind 3D interactive exhibit and a $1 million grant from, part of our ongoing work on racial and social justice issues.

A new way to explore artifacts
A few years ago, Dr. Lonnie Bunch, the NMAAHC’s director, came to Google’s headquarters and shared his vision to make the museum the most technologically advanced in the world. I immediately knew I wanted to be involved, and pulled together people from across the company: designers who focus on user interaction, members of the Cultural Institute, engineers who work on everything from Google Maps to YouTube, and members of the Black Googler Network. For the past year, we’ve been working to deliver on Dr. Bunch’s vision.

Our team quickly learned that museums are often only able to showcase a fraction of their content and archives to visitors. So we asked ourselves: what technology do we have at Google that could help enrich the museum experience? We worked closely with the museum to build an interactive exhibit to house artifacts from decades of African American history and let visitors explore and learn about them. With 3D scanning, 360 video, multiple screens and other technologies, visitors can see artifacts like a powder horn or handmade dish from all angles by rotating them with a mobile device. The interactive exhibit will open in spring 2017.

Travis McPhail in front of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on one of many site visits to the museum in Washington, DC

Taking an Expedition through African American history
In addition to the interactive exhibit, we’re also launching two new Google Expeditions that take students on a digital journey through African American history. Earlier this year, we formed the African American Expeditions Council — a group of top minds in Black culture, academia and curation — to help develop Expeditions that tell the story of Africans in America. With participation from the National Park Service, the Expeditions team captured images of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, which commemorates the events, people and route of the 1965 Voting Rights March. A second Expedition, from the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, takes you around Dr. King’s childhood home and the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he preached.

Screenshot from the new Google Expedition highlighting the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, which commemorates the events, people and route of the 1965 Voting Rights March

Discovering and sharing new stories
At the end of this week, we’re celebrating the opening of the NMAAHC during one of the most important weeks for African Americans in D.C., the week of the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference (ALC). On Friday night of ALC, we’ll salute NMAAHC Founding Director, Dr. Bunch, and the Congressional Black Caucus. The iconic Congressman John Lewis, an Honorary Member of our African American Expeditions Council, will be on hand to talk about the impact of Expeditions in telling the story that the NMAAHC will bring to life in so many important ways.

Day to day, I work on Google Maps, where we help people around the world find and discover new places. Working on this exhibit has given me a chance to help people discover something else — the ways African American history is vitally intertwined with our history as a nation. I’m proud of the role Google has played a role in taking people on that journey.

Posted by Travis McPhail, Software Engineer, Google Maps, and Team Lead, Project Griot Travis McPhail Software Engineer, Google Maps Team Lead, Project Griot


An extinct world brought back to life with Google Arts & Culture

Category: Google | Sep 13, 2016

Many millions of years ago, dinosaurs ruled the Earth and sea dragons were not just Hollywood creations, but fearsome predators that stalked the oceans. It’s a world that vanished long ago, but one that continues to fascinate those seeking to understand the origins of life on our planet.

Starting today, anyone, anywhere can explore this world on Google Arts & Culture. We’ve partnered with 50+ of the world’s leading natural history institutions to bring this lost world to life again online. More than 150 interactive stories from experts, 300,000 new photos and videos, and more than 30 virtual tours await you…

With just a few clicks, you can come face to face with a 180 million year old giant, as virtual reality raises the colossal sea dragon from extinction. Discovered in Dorset in the U.K. and residing at London’s Natural History Museum. The Rhomaleosaurus — to give it its formal name — can now be explored in 360 degrees.

We also used VR to bring the Giraffatitan back to life in Berlin’s natural history museum. Standing at 13 meters (42 feet), it’s one of the tallest dinosaurs that ever lived. It was twice as tall as today’s giraffes, and could easily put its head through a fourth floor window.

We wanted to give you a glimpse of how these colossal creatures actually looked. So we worked with ecologists, paleontologists and biologists to put virtual skin and flesh on the preserved skeletons. From the size of the eye to the position of the snout and the bend of the neck, the texture and creases of the skin were all painstakingly recreated, and verified by a team of scientists. For the best experience, use a viewer like Google Cardboard to look the beast in the eye.

In addition to the VR experiences, this global exhibition of natural history has plenty more for experts and armchair explorers alike:

  • Turn back time by 4.6 billion years with the help of the Natural History Museum by scrolling through the history of life from the origins of the solar system, through the rise and the fall of prehistoric worlds.
  • See the giant sloth jaw that led Darwin to his groundbreaking theory of natural selection.
  • Explore the diversity of nature from the Lion fish to the Paradise Birdwing and learn from birds about the art of flirting.
  • View 3,000 species on display in one giant cabinet or find out how our own predecessors may have looked.
  • With Street View, walk around dinosaurs in New York, explore 30+ natural history museums from to Australia to Russia and even go underwater with turtles in Brazil.
  • Join YouTube’s Vsauce2 to discover the story of Martha, the last passenger pigeon.

The free collection opens today at and through the Google Arts & Culture mobile app on iOS and Android. And if you’re a teacher, there are more than 20 new Google Expeditions waiting for you and your classroom to discover. We hope you enjoy this journey through the history of nature as much as we do.

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Capture and share VR photos with Cardboard Camera, now on iOS

Category: Google | Sep 12, 2016

Whether you’re hiking on the Olympic Peninsula or attending your cousin’s wedding, go beyond the flat photo or selfie. With Cardboard Camera—now available on iOS as well as Android—you can capture 3D 360-degree virtual reality photos. Just like Google Cardboard, it works with the phone you already have with you.

VR photos taken with Cardboard Camera are three-dimensional panoramas that can transport you right back to the moment. Near things look near and far things look far. You can look around to explore the image in all directions, and even hear sound recorded while you took the photo to hear the moment exactly as it happened. To capture a VR photo, hold your phone vertically, tap record, then turn around as though you’re taking a panorama.

Bugaboo Spire in B.C., Canada captured by Googler Adam Dickinson

Starting today, you can also share your VR photos with friends and family on both iPhone and Android devices. Select multiple photos to create a virtual photo album, tap the share icon, and Cardboard Camera will generate a link (like this) that can be emailed, messaged, or posted in apps and on the web. With a VR viewer like Google Cardboard, your friends can relive those moments as if they were there.

From rock concerts to real estate to mountaintop vistas, more than 5 million moments have been captured with Cardboard Camera on Android. Share your VR photos with the #CardboardCamera hashtag—we can’t wait to see the world through your lens.

Posted by Carlos Hernandez, Software Engineer, Cardboard Camera Carlos Hernandez Software Engineer Cardboard Camera


Refreshing our Transparency Report for copyright removals

Category: Google | Sep 7, 2016

Back in 2012, as a part of our continuing effort to increase transparency around the flow of information online, we began disclosing the number of requests we get from copyright owners (and the organizations that represent them) to remove Google Search results because they allegedly link to infringing content.

The report hasn’t changed much since 2012 and was getting a little rusty. So today, we’re releasing a new version of the report that makes it easier for you to understand the data:

  • Examples of removal requests, similar to the annotations we added to government requests to remove content last year. These illustrate the range of things we’re asked to remove and the decisions we make in response.
  • A new Explore the Data page, which lets you search the database of removal requests and see a more detailed list of reporting organizations, domains, and copyright owners.
  • An explanation of how copyright notice and takedown is applied to Google Search, which we hope leads to a better overall understanding of the process.

In addition to this major overhaul, over the last two months we’ve made a few updates to other sections of the Transparency Report:

  • In late July, we published the data on government requests for user data for the second half of 2015. We coupled this update with a blog post about some of the recent advances in surveillance reform, including the Judicial Redress Act and the EU-US Privacy Shield.
  • At the beginning of August, we added added YouTube and Calendar to our HTTPS Report Card, continuing to show our progress toward secure connections for people across our products. Learn more about YouTube’s efforts on the YouTube Engineering blog.
  • A few weeks ago, we updated the government requests to remove content section with data for the second half of 2015. The data show an upward trend in governments asking us to remove content from our products and services, with content on YouTube, Search and Blogger cited most frequently.

Transparency reporting is an important way to shed light on the policies and actions of governments and corporations, and how they affect privacy, security, and the flow of information online. We’re always exploring new ways to explain legal policies and processes and will continue to add new examples and new data to our reports. You can follow us on Google+ to get the latest on updates to the Transparency Report and news on related projects.

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