Jul
31

A few things you didn’t know about Google

A few things you didn’t know about Google

July 31
By

I’m guessing that most people who sit at a computer use Google on a daily basis. For me, I use Google for my web browser (Chrome), for my email client (Gmail), for my personal blog (Blogger), and even for the operating system on my phone (Android). Though Google does many amazing things, it seems that somehow they continue to astound me almost daily. There’s always something new and exciting going on in the land of Google, whether it’s the launch of a new product, the sacrifice of an old one, or even a great new doodle to keep me entertained for a short time.

Digging around a little bit, I was able to find some really neat things about Google that a lot of people might not know about. Let’s have a gander.

Cultural Institute

Google’s Cultural Institute represents the partnership of hundreds of museums, cultural institutions, and archives around the world. Together with Google, these various organizations are able to host the treasures of the world online for everybody to see. Features include things like digital tours through museums, artwork selections in gigapixel format, photographs of artifacts, and even things like the story of the Eiffel Tower, which starts you off with a Google street view tour of the top of the modern-day tower, and moves you through everything from engineering diagrams of the structure to photographs of the building in progress (it’s way cool). Google also allows you to save and create your own galleries so you can view and share any of your favorite culture items any time you’d like. Google’s Cultural Institute is great for anybody interested in learning about culture and history.

Official Blog

I thought if I googled Google, the universe would collapse on itself, but luckily, I’m still here writing. What I found when I searched Google (I was searching specifically for blogs) was that Google has an official blog on their blogging platform Blogger. Their blog is somewhat like the Recovery Zone in that they share not only interesting product updates and news, but tech-culture pieces as well. The most recent post was an article about a new campus Google opened in Tel Aviv, Israel, which is a school for people starting their own businesses and that caters to moms. Campus for Moms covers everything a growing start-up would need to know, and also features mattresses, diaper-changing facilities, and bean bags so that new mothers and pregnant mothers can be comfortable during educational sessions.

Google’s blog is updated periodically and generally contains some very interesting content and offers an intriguing insight into the lives of Googlers around the world—it’s definitely worth checking out.

Data Centers

When your company hosts archived versions of the world’s websites, you need a few data centers. Based on estimates from datacenterknowledge.com, Google has around twenty.

These places are engineering marvels. Not only do they feature the sharpest of cutting edge technologies, they’re also very efficient and downright amazing to look at—the aisles of servers look like the inside of some advanced spaceship. Have a look at these photos and you can see just how amazing they are, or take the Google Street View tour for an inside look (with a few Easter eggs).

Giving

Google has some amazing non-profit programs that range from grants to company-wide service projects to matching employee’s charity donations. Google also provides many of its products for free to non-profits, and supports partners through grants, technical support, and training. Altogether, they’ve raised over $50 million to various non-profits in employee gift matching.

A benefit to the disaster recovery sector is Google’s efforts to create disaster response tools like Google Person Finder, and interactive crisis maps that can display useful geographical information like evacuation routes and power outages. They’ve even got Google Public Alerts that provide warnings before disasters cause damage so that people have ample time to prepare, and so they know what to do during the emergency.

A few other things:

Keep– A neat note-taking app like Evernote, but tied to your Google account. Notes sync between your phone, tablet, and the cloud, and so they are available from any computer with Internet access.

Sites– Allows user to build and host websites using Google—it’s a very simple solution for both novices and more experienced people in web design.

Trends– Allows you to see what the most popular search terms on Google are at any given time.

Blog Search: Allows you to search all the blogs of the Internet to discover one on almost anything you can think of.

Want even more about Google? Here’s a bit about Google Fiber from a Provo native.

Photo Credit: Yahoo! Inc via Compfight cc