July 31, 2014

New Views of India’s Old Wonders

Even the most ambitious, iron-willed traveler might find it taxing to explore India’s archaeological sites across the subcontinent all in one go. But starting today, visitors from around the world can virtually visit far-flung historical wonders such as the Ellora Caves and Kangra Fort, simply at the click of a button.

With the support of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Google is releasing new 360-degree online imagery of 76 iconic historical sites from across India. These immersive panoramas are available for viewing through the Google Cultural Institute site as well as on Google Maps. This launch brings the number of ASI locations now online to over 100, including the heritage sites that launched in February 2014 such as the Taj Mahal and Humayun's Tomb.

Taj Mahal
Safdarjung Tomb in New Delhi is now on Google Maps

We’re also bringing online several Indian arts and archival institutions onto the Google Cultural Institute for the first time ever. You can now explore new exhibits curated by Indian screenwriter and photographer Sooni Taraporevala at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi, follow the journey of the Parsis from Persia to the present day at the Parzor Foundation, and experience India’s first ever Independence Day in 1947 through the eyes of its first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, thanks to archival material from the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.  

Independence day celebrations 1947
Online exhibition of India’s first Independence Day Celebrations, from the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

Don’t forget that you can curate your own collection on the Google Cultural Institute with the User Galleries function. When browsing an individual exhibit, simply click on the + sign next to the exhibit’s name. It will be added to the drawer at the bottom of the page. For more information, click here.

There’s never an adequate substitute for seeing the real thing, but we hope that by putting these sights online and making them accessible for anyone with an Internet connection, these exhibits will inspire more people to visit, and in doing so, sustain India’s glorious heritage.

Posted by Rajan Anandan, Vice President and Managing Director, Google India

Google Educator Groups (GEGs) in 6 cities in India and growing…


Learn, Share and Inspire. If this your mantra and you believe technology is a solution then we welcome you to join the Google Educator Groups (GEG). This is a program supporting communities of educators who learn, share, and inspire each other to meet the needs of their students through technology solutions, both in the classroom and beyond. GEG empowers educators around the world to expand their social and professional networks, and gain skills to deliver the best possible education through open technology.

GEG has it’s presence both online and offline, and provides a space for educators to build relationships, collaborate, and learn through Google+ communities, Google hangouts or in-person events. Whether you’re a teacher, professor, or principal, anyone is welcome to join GEG.

GEG India is a strong and enriching community of Educators growing at a startling pace, with presence in over 6 cities and making way into many more. Check out the GEG India Community here, and follow our GEG India page to stay connected.

GEG India is now present in Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Pune and will be in your city soon.

We are very excited to have every educator join this enlightened community.
Interested in joining a GEG or starting a new chapter? Know of educators who might be interested? Check out the website at www.google.com/landing/geg to learn more, spread the word, and get involved.

See you in GEG!

Posted by Bani Paintal Dhawan, Country Head - EDU Outreach Program

July 25, 2014

Submissions open for Google India Code to Learn contest

Google Code to Learn

We are now receiving submissions for the 2014 edition of the Code to Learn contest. This contest aims to promote fun and new ways to learn programming among Indian school students of classes 5 to 10. Click here to go to the submission page on the contest website.

For those who missed the initial contest announcement, do not worry, there is still a lot of time to go before the submission deadline of 05-September-2014. There is still time to register a student for the competition and work on projects using Scratch, App Inventor, Javascript or Python. For registration and contest details, click here to go to the contest website.

If you would like to promote the contest at your school or community, feel free to download the contest posters from this link.

Posted by Ashwani Sharma, Country Head, University Relations

July 22, 2014

Head over to your favorite पार्क and बाजार with Google Maps

Next time you’re in Jaipur and looking to find your way to the Amer Fort or the City Palace Google Maps can lend a little help. Starting today, we’re launching Google Maps in Hindi, in the hope that we can provide more useful and comprehensive maps for Hindi-speakers in India. This means that if you’re looking for a historical monument such as the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur, or  the famous Lodhi Gardens in Delhi, you’ll be able to see the place’s name in both Hindi and English.

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 4.18.47 PM.png

The new maps will be available on the new Google Maps and on the latest Google Maps for mobile app on Android devices running versions 4.3 and above. In order to see the Hindi labels on Google Maps, you have to enable Hindi as your preferred language. From a computer, you can change your language preference to Hindi on your Google account settings or by selecting  the “Hindi” option at the bottom of the page on the google.co.in home page. On Android, simply select the Hindi option within the “Language and input” menu found in your phone’s Settings menu.


Once you opt in to Hindi as your preferred language, you’ll will be able to see Hindi name labels directly on the map for cities, localities, important roads, and other popular points of interest such as public parks and schools. The labels that are visible on Google Maps today were created by transliterating English names to Hindi, and ensuring the text resonates with local dialects. Yet as any native speaker knows, each language has its own nuances, so if you can think of better or more accurate Hindi place names, we encourage you to send corrections our way using the Report a problem” link visible on the bottom right-hand side of Google Maps or via Google Map Maker.

Part of providing people with a great map means making sure that the information we display is available in as many languages as possible. Today’s release of Hindi language is our latest endeavor to bring people in India a better experience on Google Maps, and we’ll continue working on providing you with most comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps possible.

Posted by The Google Maps Team

July 8, 2014

Gmail now speaks Nepali, Sinhala and 11 other new languages

[Cross posted from the Official Gmail Blog]

No matter where you’re from, language shouldn’t be a barrier when it comes to keeping in touch with the people you care about. Gmail is already available in 58 languages, and we’re now bringing that total to 71 - covering 94 percent of the world’s Internet population.

Starting today, 13 new languages are joining the Gmail family: Nepali, Sinhala, Afrikaans, Armenian, Azerbaijani (Azeri), Chinese (Hong Kong), French (Canada), Galician, Georgian, Khmer, Lao, Mongolian and Zulu.

As any native speaker knows, each language has its own nuances, and we've worked closely with linguists around the world to make sure that the tone and style have come out just right. For example, Nepali, Marathi, and Hindi are three of the many languages spoken in India, and all use Devanagari characters. However, you’ll notice that Gmail’s Nepali language uses इनबक्स for “Inbox” instead of इनबॉक्स, which is a spelling variation using Devanagari characters that is unique to Nepali.

These 13 languages will be rolling out today in Gmail on the web and feature phone browsers, and you can try out any of them by going to your Settings.

Posted by Ian Hill, Senior Project Manager, Google Localisation

June 30, 2014

Farewell Orkut

Ten years ago, Orkut was Google’s first foray into social networking. Built as a “20 percent” project, Orkut communities started conversations, and forged connections, that had never existed before. Orkut helped shape life online before people really knew what “social networking” was.

Over the past decade, YouTube, Blogger and Google+ have taken off, with communities springing up in every corner of the world. Because the growth of these communities has outpaced Orkut's growth, we've decided to bid Orkut farewell. We'll be focusing our energy and resources on making these other social platforms as amazing as possible for everyone who uses them.

We will shut down Orkut on September 30, 2014. Until then, there will be no impact on current Orkut users, to give the community time to manage the transition. People can export their profile data, community posts and photos using Google Takeout (available until September 2016). Starting today, it will not be possible to create a new Orkut account.

Orkut, the service, may be going away, but all of those incredible communities Orkut users have created will live on. We are preserving an archive of all public communities, which will be available online starting September 30, 2014. If you don't want your posts or name to be included in the community archive, you can remove Orkut permanently from your Google account. Please visit our Help Center for further details.

It's been a great 10 years, and we apologize to those still actively using the service. We hope people will find other online communities to spark more conversations and build even more connections for the next decade and beyond.

Posted by Paulo Golgher, Engineering Director

June 26, 2014

Unlimit your business with Google Drive for Work

[Cross posted from the Official Google Enterprise Blog]

The workplace is full of files that capture your best ideas or your team’s most productive collaborations. But those files aren’t useful if you’re unable to access or share them effectively. That’s why, just two years ago, we introduced Google Drive. Today more than 190 million people actively use it at home, school and work. Drive keeps all your work safe, and makes it available everywhere and easy to share. Companies around the world like Crate & Barrel, Seagate, Tory Burch, HP and Jaguar Land Rover rely on Drive to work faster and collaborate better with their coworkers and customers.

But we’ve also heard from businesses that they want more control and security, visibility into how files are shared, and a product that will grow with them. So we’ve been working to make Drive even better for business, and today at Google I/O we announced Google Drive for Work — a new premium offering for businesses that includes unlimited storage, advanced audit reporting and new security controls for $10/user/month.

More control, more visibility
Google Drive for Work combines the familiar storage, sync and share experience of Google Drive with new admin controls, advanced file audit reporting and eDiscovery services. New fine-grained controls let admins customize the Drive experience, such as which employees can install the desktop sync client. With the new audit view you can see activity like moving, deleting or sharing a file within or outside the company, and an audit API will also be available for developers. Google Apps Vault, our solution for search and discovery for compliance needs, is also included with Drive for Work, expanding to cover all content stored in Drive, including Docs, Sheets and Slides, as well as any other file type.

More than enough space for all your work
Every year companies create more data than the last, adding megabytes, gigabytes and terabytes. Well, today, we’re taking bytes out of the conversation. For $10/user/month, businesses get unlimited storage for all their employees and can store files up to 5 TB in size (To put that in perspective, no desktop or laptop on the market today even has a hard drive big enough to capture and store a file that size).

More security
As of today, all files uploaded to Google Drive will be encrypted, not only from your device to Google and in transit between Google data centers, but also at rest on Google servers.

More productivity
Some of the most common file types stored in Drive are Microsoft Word, Excel® and PowerPoint® files. We’ve now built the power of Quickoffice into Docs, Sheets and Slides, so you can open and edit those documents in their native format using Office Compatibility Mode directly on Android and Chrome browser today, and coming soon to iOS. No need to buy additional software or decide how to open your file. Editing Office files is just a click or tap away from Drive on your computer, tablet or phone.

Ready for your business, available today

Google Drive for Work includes the benefits and guarantees of Google Apps for Business, like 24x7 phone support and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. You also get access to all of Google’s productivity apps like Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites and Hangouts, so you collaborate in even more ways. Drive for Work also offers enterprise-grade security and compliance, including a SSAE 16 / ISAE 3402 Type II, SOC 2-audit, ISO 27001 certification, adherence to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles, and can support industry-specific requirements like HIPAA. 

Drive for Work is available globally, today. If you’re a current Apps customer you can upgrade from the Admin console to get new features like unlimited storage. If you’re new to using Google at work you can learn more about Google Drive for Work on the web, or contact us for more information.

Posted by Scott Johnston, Director of Product Management, Google Drive