August 28, 2015

All aboard for a tour through the latest treasures from India on Google Cultural Institute

[Cross posted from Official Google APAC Blog]

Yoga is the Sanskrit word for “union”. It’s also a handy metaphor for the 2,000 digital images and 70 online exhibits from cultural organizations across India that we’re bringing to the Google Cultural Institute today. From ancient artifacts to centuries-old arts and crafts and more contemporary yoga exhibits, join me on a short tour of this eclectic new imagery! 

Just like in yoga, let’s begin in a comfortable sitting pose in the legendary Palace on Wheels. Rivaling Europe’s Orient Express, its splendid royal carriage, called the Jodphur Saloon, carried Indian royalty across Rajasthan. Thanks to 360 degree Street View indoor imagery, you can step inside and move around to explore the luxuriously decorated cabins.


Jodphur Saloon on the "Palace on Wheels" train, 1930 (Heritage Transport Museum, Gurgaon) Built in 1930 and in operation for over 60 years, the Jodhpur Saloon brings together many examples of India’s venerable tradition of craftsmanship — take a closer look at the embellished ceiling, the beautiful wooden flooring, and finely carved wooden furnishings.

Many of India’s traditional craft techniques are slowly disappearing, which makes wider access to these cultural legacies all the more important in contemporary India. Our exhibit from the National Museum in New Delhi spotlights over 170 applied arts and crafts treasures. Just one example is this century old head ornament, which was treated as more than just a functional tool, and used as a canvas for intricate design work.


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South Indian head ornaments (suryan and chandran) (1900-1930), gold, diamonds, rubies, pearls (collection: National Museum, Delhi)

There’s plenty to discover from modern day India, too. We’re pleased to feature the complete Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014 installation and works from the cutting-edge Devi Art Foundation.


Our last stop takes us full circle. The ancient tradition of yoga is widely acknowledged as “India’s gift to the world”. Learn more about the life and times of one of India’s leading gurus, B.K. Iyengar, in the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute exhibit.

Iyengar: a Yoga's Life (collection: Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute

Beyond welcoming 10 new partners to the Cultural Institute, we are pleased to be working with Dastkari Haat Samiti, Devi Art Foundation, Heritage Transport Museum and Kalakriti Archives on launching mobile apps that will make their exhibits even more accessible. These apps are just one example of the infinite opportunities that technology can create to preserve and expand the reach of art and culture.

Historic maps are more accessible to mobile users thanks to the Kalakriti Archives app built with Cultural Institute technology

We hope you’ll enjoy this visual feast!

Posted by Simon Rein, Program Manager, Google Cultural Institute

August 19, 2015

YouTube Space Mumbai - Coming soon!


India is seeing an emergence of a new generation of YouTube creators who are capturing the color, music, humour, and drama of India more creatively than ever before. In fact, Indian creators are now amongst the top contributors in Asia when it comes to driving time spent on YouTube watching videos. Recently, we also celebrated milestones for two of our Indian creators AIB and TVF, who reached over 1 million fans within two years on the platform. To support this incredible community of YouTube creators and foster the next generation of talent, YouTube has partnered with one of Asia’s largest and most renowned film schools, Whistling Woods International, to set up a new YouTube Space in Mumbai.

Located in the heart of Mumbai’s film & television production hub Filmcity, Whistling Woods International has been rated one of the ten best film schools in the world by ‘The Hollywood Reporter’, running undergraduate, postgraduate and short programmes in practical filmmaking. Through this collaboration, India's popular up-and-coming YouTube creators, as well as their students, will have free access to Whistling Woods’ studios, high-end audio, visual and editing equipment, in addition to training programs, workshops and community events. We’re already in advanced stages of setting up the place and we’ll be opening the gates for all creators soon.

This collaboration follows in the footsteps of our YouTube Spaces in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, New York City, Sao Paulo, and more recently in Berlin. Since the first Space was launched in 2012, creators have visited YouTube Spaces over 100,000 times, we have had over 800 events and workshops and our partners have created over 11,000 videos.



Like all of our production facilities, YouTube Space Mumbai will be a place where creators can collaborate, innovate and experiment with new content for audiences around the world to watch and love. It’ll also offer opportunities to:


  • Learn: From training programs and workshops to master classes, there are opportunities to get hands-on experience from industry leaders, and learn to use high end production equipment, production techniques, and YouTube best practices.
  • Connect: Attend events, meet fellow creators, spark new ideas and share experiences on how to succeed on YouTube.
  • Create: This is a space for creators to bring stories to life. They’ll have access, for free, to studios and all the latest audio, visual and editing equipment that will enable them to experiment and create great videos that fans will love.


The YouTube Space Mumbai will be another way for YouTube to help foster creativity, entrepreneurship and partnership with top video creators in the country and around the world. It’s amazing to see what Indian creators have already been producing and we are excited to see what is coming next. As these creators at Whistling Woods ask us, tell us what you’d like to produce if you had a Space. Use the hashtag #ifihadspace on social media to let us know, and also sign up to our newsletter for updates about the Space.


Posted by David Macdonald, Head of YouTube Spaces, Asia Pacific, who recently watched EIC: Education Then vs Now, filmed on location at Whistling Woods.

August 14, 2015

Hindi content is key to growing an audience in India

Late last year we announced Hindi as the first Indic language supported by AdSense. Which means that you can earn money by displaying Google AdSense ads on Hindi webpages.


But why does Hindi matter? If you have a large user base in India; or you’re looking to grow in this strategic emerging market; catering your content to Hindi speakers is key. Check out this infographic to learn more:




Keen to start creating? Here are our top five tips for publishing Hindi content online:


1. Create Hindi content that's unique and provides value to your users.
Check out Google Trends in Search and YouTube to see what’s popular in India right now. You can also see a selection of high quality Hindi content from fellow publishers at hindiweb.com.


2. Get a professional translation, or have a native speaker review your content.
If you plan to translate your site for Hindi speakers, ensure you provide good quality translations. Avoid auto-translation as it risks a low quality user experience. Read the Webmaster Quality Guidelines to learn more.


3. Be multi-screen and fast-loading.
Delight users with a mobile-friendly site that works well even on low-bandwidth connections. Explore these multi-screen guidelines to get your site ready.


4. Use Devanagari script.
Access up to 40 free, beautiful fonts for publishing your Hindi content and benefit from better indexing of your site. Select Devanagari script at Google Fonts to add fonts to your collection.


5. Monetize with Google AdSense.
You can use your existing Google AdSense account and create a new ad unit to get started. If you’re new to AdSense, sign up now.


We look forward to seeing the content you create in Hindi.

Posted by Amelia Walkley, Marketing Communications Specialist, Google AdSense

Jai Hind! Exploring India’s Independence history with Google Maps and the Cultural Institute


India’s road to independence stretched over years, with historic moments occurring at landmarks across the nation. As the country prepares to celebrate Independence Day tomorrow, we’ve put together a tour through some of the most iconic sites related to the Independence movement from Google Maps and the Cultural Institute.

Trace the footsteps of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, from his oath at Parliament and speech on the country’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’,  to the Red Fort, where he unfurled the Tricolor on 15 August 1947; and where each year, subsequent Prime Ministers have followed the tradition of unfurling the national flag and delivering an address to the nation.



Lahori Gate is the main gate to the Red Fort and named after its orientation towards the city of Lahore

Go right inside the complex and learn more about the Mughal Citadel — from the Chhatta Chowk markets and Naqqar Khana drum house, to the gracious arches of Diwan-e-Aam — with a virtual exhibit from the Cultural Institute.

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Diwan-e-Aam, Archaeological Survey of India and the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library

You could also visit the majestic Aga Khan Palace. Built in 1892, it served as a prison for Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Gandhi from 1942. Or the historical Sabarmati Ashram, his residence for over 12 years and from where he led the Dandi march — also known as the Salt Satyagraha —  of non-violent protest in March 1930.



Or take a tour of the dreaded Cellular Jail in Port Blair, where many freedom fighters were imprisoned, or Jallianwala Bagh, the site of a tragic massacre of peaceful civilian protesters in 1919.


Cellular Jail, Google Maps

As we prepare to mark the 69th anniversary of India’s Independence, there are a range of images, photos and virtual tours you can take with Google Maps and the Cultural Institute — including a special collection of images and artifacts from the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.

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Independence Day Celebrations 1947, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

Happy Independence Day! Jai Hind!

Posted by Suren Ruhela, Director, Google Maps

August 12, 2015

Meet Asia’s young science stars

[Cross posted from Official Google APAC blog]

Did you know that corn cobs can be used to purify water? Or that you can tell if a bottle of gasoline has been tampered with by listening to the sound it makes when you tap it?  These are just some of the unconventional and potentially life-changing discoveries that teens from Asia will be taking to the finals of this year’s Google Science Fair

Of the 20 global finalists, six students from across Asia will head to our headquarters in California next month to pitch their projects to a panel of notable international scientists and scholars. Meet some of these young scientists and get to know their impressive projects, one of which will be awarded with a US$50,000 scholarship on September 21:  


Purifying water with corn cobs
Lalita Srisai’s project came about after drilling a hole through a corn cob, pouring some dirty water into it, and discovering that the cob could absorb the pollutants and purify the water.  After some more testing, 13-year-old Lalita learned that corn cobs can also absorb chemicals and detergents. She now wants to use corn cobs from agricultural waste to filter water for villages near her home in Odisha, India.


This isn’t the first time Lalita has been recognized for innovation with corn cobs. She won the Fancy Dress prize in nursery school for this excellent costume, and corn has been one of her favorite vegetables since.  

Knocking over the underground gasoline market
After learning about the underground gasoline market at school, 14-year-old Monique Hsu and 13-year-old Gina Wang from Taiwan wanted to find a simple way to identify whether fuel had been tampered with. Once they discovered that different kinds of liquids produce distinct sound patterns, they created their “knock on fuel” prototype to help identify knock-off gasoline.


Monique Hsu and Gina Wang from Taiwan


Navigating 3D spaces more easily with magnets
Fellow Taiwanese student, 16-year-old Wei-Tung Chen, discovered a new way to calculate the position of an object in a 3D space quickly and with great accuracy, and by using a single source. You can learn more about the technology in his “magnetic positioning sphere” here, and how it has the potential to be used to develop future wearables and in applications which require instant and accurate 3D positioning, such as navigating firefighters in indoor rescue efforts.


Supercharging batteries…
18-year-old Singaporean Zhilin Wang has come up with a fast and affordable way to charge renewable energy batteries, making life easier for people who live in places without reliable electricity. 79% of families in third world countries do not have access to power. By making lighting more accessible to them, Zhilin hopes many more kids will be able to learn to read and do their homework at night.


... and study
Also from Singapore, 17-year-old Girish Kumar has developed “RevUp”, a tool that automatically generates multiple-choice questions out of online texts. The idea behind this is to help reinforce what students learn inside the classroom and to save teachers time preparing revision materials. Click on the video below to see how easy it is to start studying for your next exam:



Congratulations to our inspiring Asian finalists and good luck at the finals! You can read more about our finalists in our spotlight series.

Posted by Andrea Cohan, Google Science Fair Program Manager

July 31, 2015

Search Ads on Google Play and new app promo tools roll out to advertisers and developers

[Cross posted from the Official AdWords Blog]

People turn to their phones billions of times a day for I want-to-know, I want-to-go, I want-to-do, and I want-to-buy moments. And in these intent-rich moments, they often turn to apps to get what they need. Runners may search for a “mileage tracker” app as they start training for a marathon, foodies may look for “restaurant” apps to check out the trendiest new places in town, and frequent fliers may search for “top games” to play before a long flight. In fact, search is one of the biggest drivers of app installs in the Play Store.

That’s why we’re investing in new ways to help people discover apps with Search Ads on Google Play and innovating on new technologies to simplify campaign management and improve measurement for developers.

They’ve arrived: Search Ads on Google Play
Search Ads on Google Play will begin to roll out today to all advertisers and developers who use Search app install campaigns on AdWords.



Google Play reaches more than 1 billion people on Android devices in more than 190 countries. With such an extensive reach, Search Ads on Google Play can provide consumers new ways to discover apps that they otherwise might have missed and help developers drive more awareness of their apps.

Companies like Booking.com and Nordeus are already extending their app promotion strategy to include showing ads on the Play Store.



Tomislav Mihajlović, CMO of Nordeus shared that, "Search has already been a key component of our app promotion strategy to reach high-quality users. With new Search Ads on Google Play, we have an even bigger opportunity to connect with people in the moments they’re looking for new apps to download. We are already seeing significantly more app installs from Search with the addition of Google Play inventory for our game Top Eleven.”

Improved conversion tracking for Android
As we expand the opportunities for developers to promote their apps, we’re also committed to providing conversion tracking tools that work seamlessly across channels and align with whichever measurement solution a developer chooses to use. That’s why we’re introducing Android first app opens, a new conversion tracking solution that measures when a user first opens an app after clicking on an ad and completing an Android app install. In addition to providing app conversion tracking across Search, Display and YouTube, this new solution also allows developers to better align the conversion volume they see in AdWords with the data they see in a third-party measurement solution. First app opens are the standard conversion type for third-party solutions, so we’re working with key partners like Tune, AppsFlyer, Kochava, Adjust and Apsalar to ensure data consistency and give developers the freedom to use reporting and optimization features across AdWords and third-party solutions of their choice.


An even easier way to scale your app install ads across Google networks
In a few weeks, Universal App Campaigns will make it even easier to promote your apps on Google Play and across all Google properties, including: Search, YouTube, the AdMob in-app network, and the 2M+ sites on the Google Display Network. Simply let us know what your ad will say, who you want to reach, your budget and target cost-per-install, and we’ll do the rest.

Improved conversion tracking for Android
As we expand the opportunities for developers to promote their apps, we’re also committed to providing conversion tracking tools that work seamlessly across channels and align with whichever measurement solution a developer chooses to use. That’s why we’re introducing Android first app opens, a new conversion tracking solution that measures when a user first opens an app after clicking on an ad and completing an Android app install. In addition to providing app conversion tracking across Search, Display and YouTube, this new solution also allows developers to better align the conversion volume they see in AdWords with the data they see in a third-party measurement solution. First app opens are the standard conversion type for third-party solutions, so we’re working with key partners like Tune, AppsFlyer, Kochava, Adjust and Apsalar to ensure data consistency and give developers the freedom to use reporting and optimization features across AdWords and third-party solutions of their choice.


An even easier way to scale your app install ads across Google networks
In a few weeks, Universal App Campaigns will make it even easier to promote your apps on Google Play and across all Google properties, including: Search, YouTube, the AdMob in-app network, and the 2M+ sites on the Google Display Network. Simply let us know what your ad will say, who you want to reach, your budget and target cost-per-install, and we’ll do the rest.

As the apps ecosystem continues to grow, we’re dedicated to creating products that help developers get their apps to the users who will love them. From adding search ads to Google Play, to improving Android conversion tracking and simplifying campaign management with Universal App Campaigns, we hope these new tools will bring even more success to our app developer community.

Posted by Surojit Chatterjee, Director, Product Management, Mobile Search Ads