Google Friends Newsletter - February 2007


Search KMLs on Google Earth

KML is the XML file format people use to create overlays to enhance the geographic imagery with a vast array of detailed information. For instance, open up Google Earth, type in a query like [lord of the rings], and the results from the web (in KML files) for your query will appear in a folder below the local results as placemarks. The placemarks are based on the area in your view, so searching for [lord of the rings] while you're viewing South Africa will get you no results - but when you're viewing New Zealand,  the same query will show you top 10 placemarks (green icons) from the region and by clicking on "see more" you can find tons more placemarks. With the latest version, you can search across all of the KML available on the web using either keywords or geographic locations. Our users have created millions of KML files, so start searching today.


Open sign-up for Gmail

No more waiting for an invitation: You can now sign up for your own Gmail account. Sign-ups are open worldwide in more than 40 languages. Now everyone can get the benefits of Gmail: fast and accurate search, a ton of free storage, chatting within Gmail, and access from your mobile phone. You can still invite your friends, but now you can also just tell them to visit the Gmail homepage. Don't miss the 4-part Gmail Theatre video, featuring our engineers and a cast of puppets, now playing on YouTube.

North America Updates on Google Maps

We're often freshening up the map data available on Google Maps. This month, we've added building footprints for the urban cores of 38 U.S. cities, giving Google Maps a better sense of scale, providing extra visual detail and enabling you to navigate using buildings as landmarks. For example, search for [empire state building] and zoom in all the way to get to the heart of New York City. We've also added transit information for 8 major U.S. cities (New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.), as well as nationwide Amtrak coverage.

Share videos on orkut

A new feature of orkut makes it easier to share funny and memorable videos. Instead of sending video links via instant message or emailing them to your friends and family, from orkut you can add video links from YouTube or Google Video to your video playlist to share with anyone who visits your profile. And if you find videos that you like on your friend's profile, all you have to do is click the "Add to my
favorites" button to make them appear on your playlist.

Google Maps on Windows Mobile(tm) devices

Those of you with Windows Mobile(tm) devices can now search for local businesses and get real-time traffic reports using Google Maps. This edition also includes some custom features: contacts integration, GPS support, draggable maps, and tap and hold menus. And since Google Maps for mobile is available on more than 300 phone models, chances are good everyone can download the application and always know where they are when they're on the go.


+Tell us your Google story+
We admit it: we love learning about all the things people use Google to do. Such as ... how to find a lost tortoise. Here's a story we got from Jim Lyness:  "After Christmas, my son Sam wanted a turtle. We bought a Russian Tortoise instead, and named him Rocky. Well, one day, we let Rocky out for a stroll around the house. We could not find him that night, and into the following day. After the boys went to school, my wife Susan and I were stumped. Did Rocky get out the front door? Susan googled [how to find a Russian Tortoise] and bang -- we had a game plan. Russian Tortoises like warm, dark spaces. We started in the boys' bedroom, again. We pulled the bunk bed back and there was Rocky at the head of the bed. Case solved. When we tell friends and family about googling How to Find a Russian Tortoise, they bust a gut in laughter! "

If you have a story about how Google search has made an impact on something on your world, we'd love to hear it. Use either of the links
below - either submit your tale through a web form or upload your story on video to YouTube. (If you shoot video, be sure to tag it
"google testimonial" when you upload it.)

Web form:

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