Mobifun’s Weblog

Do Fun with your Mobile….

Google is enhancing its Google Maps Service With Street Views

In an unprecedented campaign, Google is enhancing its Google Maps service with a new Street View feature that allows you to view crisp, navigable photos of roads in nine major cities across the United States, including San Francisco, New York, San Diego, and Denver. (To see the full list, go to maps.google.com and click the Street View link on the upper-right corner.)

Once you zoom in close enough, you can click the Street View link and look around the location, or click an arrow to see the next Street View photo.

To snap the pictures, Google mounted digital cameras on the roof of passenger cars — reportedly Chevy Cobalts, according to the tech blog Gizmodo — and drove around San Francisco and San Diego.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company partnered with Immersive Media for the underlying photo technology and has worked with third-party firms for street-level photography for the additional cities outside of California. Only San Francisco and San Diego use high-resolution street-level images, however. Other cities use lower-res captures.

Street View could be a boon for “landmark drivers” who prefer driving instructions such as “Turn left at the large brick church, and drive until you get to the pizza place on the corner” as opposed to “Meet me at Second Street and Fourth Avenue.” It certainly reveals how far Google will go to prove its mapping prowess — and, incidentally, attract users to more localized advertising.

According to Greg Sterling at Sterling Market Intelligence in Oakland, Calif., Google has a Business Referral Representative program that sets a precedent for localized involvement. That program involves Google representatives providing local business information and photos to Google for a fee. Sterling said that precedent for collecting local information and photos is being continued with the Street View program. Street View is “about creating more utility for consumers, which in turn will lead indirectly to ad revenue over the longer term. Google has long focused on small businesses and local users, so this is just trying to take those efforts to the next level,” Sterling said.

Still, regardless of whether Street View is purely a mapping enhancement or a new play for ad revenue, there is tough competition from Microsoft and others. There are also some nagging privacy issues to deal with, plus the sheer magnitude of the project

August 24, 2007 Posted by | Gadget, google, Google Maps | 1 Comment

Google may Bid For Wireless Spectrum in U.S.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt told a conference of regulatory and industry leaders in Aspen today that his company would “probably” move ahead with plans to bid in the upcoming wireless spectrum auction. The company wanted to spend at least $4.6 billion on wireless spectrum if FCC would agree to certain conditions, but late last month, the FCC stopped short of setting ground rules sought by Google that would require winning bidders in auctions for 700 megahertz radio spectrum to resell access to rivals at wholesale rates.

August 22, 2007 Posted by | google, wireless | Leave a comment

The Google Phone (See the Pics)

For those of you who practiced some serious restraint and decided to save your pennies for the second gen iPhone, behold the next superstar device which might make you change your mind: The Google phoneProjected to be a more powerful phone than iPhone – that would surely steal the limelight away from Macintosh. This is also expected to come out early next year .

Google Phone Concept 1

T3 (UK)

Concept 2

IntoMobile

Concept 3

August 15, 2007 Posted by | google, Google phone | 2 Comments

Google has acquired an aerial photographer!

Todays hot newsisthatGoogle’s acquisition of ImageAmerica, a company that builds high resolution cameras for the collection of aerial imagery. So if you didn’t like photos of the front of your house or car or you standing in front of a porn shop, just wait.

Arnold from Search Engine Journal notes, “Google Earth and Maps will soon be rolling out this high-res aerial imagery in the days to come. Google is hoping to strenghten its dominance on web satellite imagery and image mapping technology. ImageAmerica is expected to enhance the depth and quality of Google Earth and Maps imagery.”

I remember when the “party” area where I lived a few years ago considered installing cameras to monitor the streets outside the bars. The community was completely against it with privacy concerns being the number one factor. It will be interesting to see what type of backlash Google will see in the future as they continue their attempt to control every piece of data in the world. By data I don’t mean bits and bytes on a computer but everything we do. I remember a movie (can’t remember the name) where a camera followed behind the man as he moved and kept a full history. We are almost there folks.

July 23, 2007 Posted by | google | 1 Comment

Google Working on New Mobile Content Service?

An interesting move from Google, even though Yahoo tried doing this a bit and then backed off it: WSJ says Google is working on a hybrid mobile content search service that will help consumers find and purchase mobile content such as ringtones and games…this is separate from its pure mobile search efforts that it has been working on and deploying over the last few years.

Among the plans: users would search for a piece of content and would get back a list of companies that provide it, with links. Later one Google would charge for premium placement. In some senses this is similar to Google’s effort in music industry, where if users search for an artist on the service, it comes back with options to buy songs from various stores, among other results. Not sure if this music directory service has been a huge hit…probably not.

The story says Google has been working with content companies on this for months now, but the project has been delayed due to technical difficulties (read: porting it to all kinds of devices, I presume), and there is no clear timeline on a launch. Sounds like one of those side project Google allows its employees to work on. More when we find out

July 17, 2007 Posted by | google | Leave a comment

Making the most out of the Google and Yahoo Image Search traffic

Google Image Search traffic is not to under-estimated. In some of the relatively busy sites I run traffic from Google Image Search accounts for almost 10% of the incoming traffic. The Image Search folks usually do not stick around very long, but there are a few quick tips you can implement to make the most of that traffic.

With a perfect post on “17/19 Ways to Get More Traffic to Your Site Using Google Images“, Dosh Dosh has done a great job of listing the ways you can increase traffic from the Image Search sites (which he can actually implement on his lovely Anime images on every post). Obvious tips include using the ALT and image-name wisely with relevant text & keywords as well as setting the image preferences in Google Webmaster Tools, but there were a few less-known tips that are worth mentioning.

Read more

July 17, 2007 Posted by | google | Leave a comment

Adsense for mobile

After years of anticipation, Google is currently sending out invitation emails to some publishers for an AdSense for Mobile beta test. Google’s invitation reads:

“As part of our efforts to develop new and improved AdSense products for our partners, we will begin a limited beta test for AdSense for mobile. AdSense for mobile allows publishers to monetize their mobile websites through the placement of targeted text ads.”

Google already has an extensive FAQ page for publishers looking to create mobile ads for AdSense.

July 16, 2007 Posted by | google | Leave a comment

Internet activity is highest U.K. and Swedish users, google most popular property

 Comscore  has released its First Comprehensive Review of Pan-European
Online Activity report according to which

Google most popular property in 13 of 16 countries tracked by comScore.

U.K. and Swedish Web users spend more time online than U.S. counterparts.

The comScore study compares activity across the 16 countries where comScore tracks Internet usage with panel-based measurement and highlights the differences in Internet development by country.  This harmonized view of European online visitation reveals the following:

·          The Netherlands and Scandinavian countries have the highest percentage of their populations using the Internet, ranging from 68 percent to 83 percent.

·          Germany has the largest online population: 32.6 million people age 15 and older.

·          The U.K. has the most active online population, with the highest average number of daily visitors (21.8 million), the highest usage days per month (21 per user), and the highest average time spent per month per user (34.4 hours).

·          European users average 16.5 usage days per month. Countries that have usage days below the European average are Russia (11.4 average usage days), Austria (12.0), Italy (12.9), Ireland (13.0), Portugal (13.4), Norway (14.7), Denmark (14.7), Switzerland (15.1), Belgium (15.5) and Finland (16.4).

·          The average Swedish user views 4,019 pages per month and views more pages than any other country – 51 percent above the European average of 2,662 pages per month.

The study also revealed that Google is the most popular property in 13 of the 1p6 countries, followed by Microsoft in most countries. Yahoo! remains the 3rd most popular property across Europe, despite making the top 3 list in only three countries – Ireland, Italy and Spain.

Pan-European and US Breakdown of Online Audiences, age 15+*

July 12, 2007 Posted by | google | Leave a comment

Googles acquires another company Postini

Google is acquiring communications security company Postini for $625 million in cash. Google plans to tie Postini’s security features into its Google Apps, which includes Gmail, Calendar, Talk, Docs & Spreadsheets, and Personal Start Page. In a Google blog posting explaining the reasoning behind the purchase, Dave Girouard, VP and general manager for Google Enterprise claimed that more than 1,000 small businesses sign up for the Google’s services daily, but large businesses have been reluctant to move to hosted applications due to security concerns and corporate compliance. The hope is that Postini’s services will help assuage those fears. Release..more after jump.

July 10, 2007 Posted by | google, Postini | Leave a comment

Endeca the next Google?

Endeca is going to be the next billion-dollar company in Boston. They are focusing on enterprise search, which very few people pay attention to because it’s not sexy like Web search…And I think they will go public soon,” said Dodge.

Endeca, a company that offers customized search engines for the enterprise, among other services, will do about $100 million in revenue this year, according to Don Dodge, a manager of search and the director of business development for Microsoft’s emerging business team.

Who do you think are the next big search companies to watch? Who’s going to go public? How are we going to monetize video search? Is it better to be a video search engine, or allow people to watch the video on your site once they find it?

Via Cnet

June 29, 2007 Posted by | Endeca, google | Leave a comment

Google vs Microsoft.. hard to find rivals

We know that Google and Microsoft are ferocious competitors in the online search business and With the recent anti-trust complaint by Google on Microsoft Windows Vista’s search issues one needs to undersatnd how much are Google and Microsoft rivals, this can be felt with the post that was posted on a blog which i really think the blog was specifically made for this (only one post + the name suggests) which is really making waves on every 2nd email.

 Google has a good standing in the geek community. People rarely go after Google. I find it very Ironic that people hold double standards when it comes to Apple Vs Microsoft Vs Google.

June 28, 2007 Posted by | google, Google vs Microsoft | Leave a comment

Google Asks Court to extend

Google has asked that the consent decree governing the antitrust settlement between the Department of Justice and Microsoft be extended. Citing concerns over how Microsoft has handled the desktop search function in Vista, Google told the judge that “more may need to be done to provide a truly unbiased choice of desktop search products.” The request comes just a couple of weeks after Google filed an antitrust complaint asking that the DoJ force Microsoft to alter Vista’s desktop search behavior. In the confidential complaint, Google argued that Microsoft’s search could not be be turned off and made indexing by rival programs (such as Google’s) much more difficult.

Google’s request for the Department of Justice to extend its oversight of Microsoft comes less than a week after Microsoft announced that it was going to make some changes to the default search option in Vista. The company agreed to allow users to specify which program they want to use to perform desktop searches, but that Vista would still retain its own built-in search results in the upper right-hand corner of the explorer window

June 27, 2007 Posted by | google, Microsoft | Leave a comment

3 High Profile Engineers Leave Google

Gilad in his yesterdays post said that When Vanessa Fox, lead developer at Google Webmaster Central, left Google last week to work at Zillow, I considered it a minor event and didn’t even report, but the report this morning at SEL of Two Top Google Engineers Leave Google really makes one ask whether we are watching a developing trend or just a coincidence?The two developers, Bret Taylor and Jim Norris, were largely responsible for the development of Google Maps as well as other Google products. Both have left Google to work at Benchmark Capital, a venture capital firm.

June 22, 2007 Posted by | google | Leave a comment

Google Stares Down Microsoft And Wins

micogoogle.pngFew un anounced changes are to be made in vista.

 Microsoft has agreed to make changes to Vista in response to a complaint by Google alleging that Vista’s inbuilt search functionality competed unfairly with Google Desktop Search.

According to a NY Times report, Google’s complaint was made confidentially in line with rules established as part of a previous settlement over anti-competitive behaviour by Microsoft. The settlement between state prosecutors, the Justice Department and Microsoft will avert the prospect of litigation over the matter.

June 20, 2007 Posted by | google, Microsoft | Leave a comment

YouTube in 9 more domains

Today at a Google press event in Paris, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen are announcing the launch of nine new domains in Brazil, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Ireland, and the UK.

In response to many requests, each new site is fully translated and localized for each country including content (Featured Videos, Director Videos, Promotions), as well as the interfaces, search, user support, and such community features as video ratings, sharing, and content flagging. And these new localized versions are built using Google search technology, so you can quickly find more of what you want to see. Perhaps best of all, you can continue to use youtube.com, or move to one of these localized sites — and switch seamlessly between the two. Happy creating, viewing and sharing!

June 20, 2007 Posted by | google | 1 Comment