Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tool: Google and Historypin launch online gallery to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Interesting platform for visualizing history in situ. AR please?

This year marks the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, celebrating Her Majesty’s 60 years on the throne. To commemorate this special occasion, we’re teaming up with Historypin to launch an interactive online gallery filled with memories of her time as Queen.

The Pinning The Queen’s History project will be made up of photographic images, videos and audio clips pinned directly onto a Google Map on the dedicated Historypin site. This will let you see historical images in modern context within Google Maps.

Throughout her six decades on the throne, The Queen has undertaken hundreds of visits around the United Kingdom and 261 official overseas visits to 116 different countries. Historypin is inviting people from around the world to submit photos, videos and other memories of The Queen during these visits.

Using Google Maps and Street View, the Historypin platform enables you to pinpoint the exact location of where the imagery was captured. They’ll be overlaid onto Street View, so you can compare glimpses of the Queen’s 60-year reign with how they look today.

The collection has been boosted by the provision of images from The Queen’s overseas visits taken by press photographers, and by photographs of items from the Buckingham Palace’s Royal Archives. Items from the Royal Archives include the sitar presented to The Queen during her visit to India in 1997, an earthenware vase presented to the Queen by the Prime Minister of Japan and a map showing the air routes around South Australia during the 1954 Commonwealth Tour.

The interactive gallery is an opportunity for anyone to contribute to and celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee on one global platform. We’re honoured that Google Maps can form the foundation of this official gallery.

Submit your memories of The Queen at

Posted by Ed Parsons, Geospatial Technologist, London

(Cross-posted from the Lat Long Blog)

Tool: Meet the web platform again for the first time

Google Code Blog
By Alex Komoroske, Product Manager

Cross-posted with the Chromium Blog

A few weeks ago one of my developer friends was gushing about the capabilities of his favorite native platform. After every point I felt obliged to point out that the web platform either already had or was actively developing precisely the same capabilities—and then some. He was incredulous. "Prove it," he said.

So I pulled together a few of my favorite examples from the cutting edge of the web platform and recorded three screencasts to help my friend—and others—meet the web platform again for the first time.

The first video, Building on Foundations, goes over how the web platform has been fixing various historical shortcomings and building upon its core strengths, like complicated graphical effects, composability, and advanced text layout.

The next video...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Find: 1-up for web games

Nice leads to web graphics tech. 

Google Code Blog
Author Photo
By David Glazer, Engineering Director, Google+

Hundreds of millions of users are already having fun playing games on the web. With GDC going on this week (#googlegdc), we wanted to give you an update on our efforts to improve the web ecosystem for game developers.

New technology capabilities

With HTML5, WebGL, and WebRTC, the browser has evolved into a feature-rich gaming platform. We are working closely with all browser vendors to further improve the web’s capabilities with new HTML5 APIs such as Gamepad, Mouse Lock, and Fullscreen.

Native Client (NaCl), a technology that enables console quality games in the browser, is also gaining traction. Starting today, the BlitzTech Gaming engine and the Havok Physics Engine have announced NaCl support, complementing a rich ecosystem of game middleware. Some of the latest games that take advantage of NaCl’s capabilities are Zombie Track Meat, Eets Munchies, Go Home Dinosaurs, Dark Legends, Air Mech, and Ubisoft’s From Dust. You can see an early preview of them at our GDC booth.

Improved distribution and monetization

Using social information in game play allows users to connect in more meaningful ways and developers to build even more compelling games. Google+ games continues to grow and attract exciting new games, including the exclusive launch of the epic fantasy title Kingdom Age last week. To help social game developers reach more users globally, all Google+ games will soon be available in the Chrome Web Store, providing an audience of hundreds of millions of users.

In addition, our In-App Payments solution recently added support for more currencies and optimized the payment flow to enable higher conversions.

Visit us at GDC and on the web

To get started working with us, you can now access a new site,, that pulls together all our technologies to help you build, distribute, promote, and monetize your games. And for those of you attending GDC this week, stop by our developer day and our booth. We are looking forward to continuing our collaboration with the gaming community and bringing the best games to hundreds of millions of Internet gamers.

David Glazer, Engineering Director for Google+ .

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor