Wednesday, December 22, 2010
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Over the last couple of weeks, lots of apps have debuted on Google
Labs, a laboratory where Google's more adventurous users can try
experimental products and offer feedback directly to the engineers
who developed them.
This month alone, Google has launched six new products on Google
Labs. Here are the highlights of our recent releases.
App Inventor for Android
Inventor for Android makes it easier for people to access the
capabilities of their Android phones and create apps for their
personal use. Until now, it was only available to a group of people
who requested and received invitations. Last week, Google announced
that App Inventor (beta) is now available to anyone with a Google
Browser is a demo app that allows users to visualize complex 3D
graphics of the human body. It works in the latest beta version of
Google Chrome and uses WebGL, a new standard that enables 3D
experiences in the web browser without any plug-ins. Using Body
Browser, users can explore different layers of human anatomy by
moving the slider to rotate and zoom in on parts they are interested
in. A search box is also available for all those who are not sure
where something is. Users can also share the exact scene they?re
viewing by copying and pasting the corresponding URL.
is a wiki for structured data, extending the idea of a normal wiki to
make it easy to create, edit, share and visualize structured data,
and to interlink data formats to make them more understandable and
useful. The project is inspired by the need to create customized data
formats for crisis response, for example to quickly create a
person-finder application after an earthquake, or share Internet and
cellular phone connectivity maps from an affected area. DataWiki
operates as a RESTful web-service, is built on AppEngine and is
completely open source.
Google Books Ngram Viewer
Ngram Viewer graphs and compares the historical usage of phrases
based on the datasets comprised of more than 500 billion words and
their associated volumes over time in about 5.2 million books. Last
week, Google released this visualization tool along with
freely-downloadable phrase frequency datasets to help humanities
Google Earth Engine
Earth Engine, which we announced at the U.N. Climate Change
Conference Cancun earlier this month, is a technology platform that
enables scientists to do global-scale observation and measurement of
changes in the earth's environment. It provides a huge amount of
satellite imagery and data online for the first time, as well as
Google's computing infrastructure ? the Google"cloud" - to analyze
the imagery. The initial use of Google Earth Engine will support
efforts to stop global deforestation, but the platform can be also
used for a wide range of applications, from mapping water resources
to ecosystem services.
Google Shared Spaces
Shared Spaces is an easy way for users to share
mini-collaborative applications, like scheduling tools or games, with
their friends or colleagues. By creating a Shared Space, users can
share a gadget with whomever they want by simply sending the URL.
Once their friends join the Shared Space, they can collaborate with
them in real-time on the gadget, and they can chat with them, too.
This product is built on some of the technology used in Google Wave.