Insights from Googlers into our products, technology, and the Google culture
The art of collaboration: from Sheets to the streets
July 19, 2016
Warhol & Basquiat. Buñuel & Dalí. Rauschenberg & Johns. There are countless examples of artists collaborating to bring a shared creative vision to life. So we wondered: Could technology help bring together two artists who might not otherwise meet? What would they create…if their canvas were a spreadsheet? And how could we celebrate and share their work of art with the world?
In partnership with
, a lifestyle digital media company, we linked up with renowned illustrators
in Barcelona, and
in NYC. We gave them a simple creative assignment—to “break the grid”—which literally can mean pushing the “grid” of
to its limits, but also taps into the idea of supporting and celebrating women globally who break free of confined roles and ways of thinking, which is core to Refinery29's mission.
Marina and Mallory connected a handful of times on Google Hangouts to plan and sketch out ideas, and creatively “hack” Sheets in order to make art: resizing cells into thousands of pixel-like squares, merging cells to create color blocks, creating vibrant color gradients with
and cell values, and other cool things we had no idea you could do with Sheets.
was a bright, beautiful design that celebrates the diversity and strength of women, and we wanted to share their finished project in a BIG way.
The final step was to convert Marina and Mallory’s final piece from the cells of a spreadsheet to the bricks of a giant wall—to go from Sheets to the streets. So, we turned to
, a Brooklyn-based company that hand-paints murals all over the world.
After hand-mixing each of the colors and prepping the artwork for large-scale painting, Colossal spent five days painting each cell, letter, and gradient by hand, to create a 13’ x 34’ mural of the
And that’s how art was #madewithGoogleSheets.
To see it for yourself, check out Marina & Mallory’s spreadsheet or head to
Bogart & Thames
in Brooklyn to visit the wall in person (until August 14). We're delighted by the creativity and imagination brought about by artistic collaboration, and proud to be associated with the work’s inspirational message supporting strong women everywhere.
Posted by Michael Bolognino, Product Marketing Manager
Product Marketing Manager
The new Google Arts & Culture, on exhibit now
July 19, 2016
Just as the world’s precious artworks and monuments need a touch-up to look their best, the home we’ve built to host the world’s cultural treasures online needs a lick of paint every now and then. We’re ready to pull off the dust sheets and introduce the new
Google Arts & Culture
website and app, by the Google Cultural Institute. The app lets you explore anything from
cats in art since 200 BCE
color red in Abstract Expressionism
, and everything in between.
Our new tools will help you discover works and artifacts, allowing you to immerse yourself in cultural experiences across art, history and wonders of the world—from more than a thousand museums across 70 countries:
• Search for anything, from
all things gold
• Scroll through art by time—see how
Van Gogh’s works went from gloomy to vivid
• Browse by color and learn about
Monet’s 50 shades of gray
• Find a new fascinating story to discover every day—
today, it’s nine powerful men in heels
With a virtual reality viewer like
, you can use the Google Arts & Culture app on
take a virtual tour of the street art scene in Rome
; step inside a creation by famous street artist, Insa; or even travel 2,500 years back in time and
look around the ancient Greek temple of Zeus
You can also subscribe to the new
Google Arts & Culture
YouTube channel. Find out
what Kandinsky and Kanye West have in common
meet the New York-based “cyborg artist” Neil Harbisson
We’re sure you’ll want to see some of the artworks in real life too—and the Google Arts & Culture app is there to help. Click “Visit” on a museum’s page to get opening times, find out what’s on that day and navigate there in one click. We’ve also been experimenting with a new feature. The Art Recognizer is now available in London’s
Dulwich Picture Gallery
Art Gallery of New South Wales
National Gallery of Art
in Washington DC. Just pull up the app, point your phone’s camera to a painting on display and find all the information you want to know about the artwork. We’re planning to roll this out to museums around the world—so stay tuned.
There’s much to learn about our shared cultural heritage. Download the app for
to unlock a world of experiences, every day.
Posted by Duncan Osborn, Product Manager, Google Cultural Institute
Google Cultural Institute
A voice for everyone in 2016
July 15, 2016
Every election matters and every vote counts. The American democracy relies on everyone’s participation in the political process. This November, Americans all across the country will line up at the polls to cast their ballots for the President of the United States. With states’ varied deadlines and methods, the voter registration process can be tricky. So starting on Monday, we're introducing a new tool in Search to simplify the voter registration process to make it easier for you to have your voice heard.
Now when you search for “register to vote” or similar queries, Google will display a detailed state-by-state guide providing information on how to register, general requirements, and deadlines.
No matter which state you’re in or how you plan to cast your ballot, you can find the step-by-step information you need to register correctly and on time—right at the top of your Search page and in the Google app.
And for the kickoff of the
Republican National Convention
next week (and coming in time for the Democratic National Convention the following week), when you search for these events on the Google app, you’ll find a summary of the event, nominees and the lineup of speakers. You’ll also find a livestream video from YouTube, and relevant social media posts, so you can stay up-to-date with both the political parties and the public.
We hope these new features in Search will help keep you informed this election season and make it easier for you to make it to the ballot box in November.
Posted by Jacob Schonberg, Product Manager
Promoting gender equality through emoji 🙌 🎉
July 14, 2016
of the world's online population use emoji. But while there's a huge range of emoji, there aren't a lot that highlight the diversity of women's careers, or empower young girls. There are emoji like these for men:
but with options like these for women:
… the emoji representing women aren’t exactly, well, representative. So we've been working to make things better.
In May, we
a set of new emoji to the Unicode Technical Committee that represent a wider range of professions for women (as well as men), and reflect the pivotal roles that women play in the world. Since then, we've worked closely with members of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee to bring the proposal to life.
Unicode Emoji Subcommittee has agreed
to add 11 new professional emoji, in both male and female options and with all the skin tones. That’s more than 100 new emoji to choose from!
Unicode is also adding male and female versions to 33 existing emoji. For example, you'll be able to pick both a female runner emoji and a male runner emoji, or a man or woman getting a haircut:
These additions can be included in future versions of Android and other platforms—because Unicode helps make sure that people with different phones can send and receive the same emoji.
These new emoji are one of
we’re making to better represent women in technology, and to connect girls with the education and resources they need to pursue careers in STEM. One such effort is Made with Code, which helps girls pursue and express their passions using computer science. Ahead of World Emoji Day this weekend,
Made with Code
is releasing a
that teaches coding skills through the creation of emoji-inspired stickers.
We hope these updates help make emoji just a little more representative of the millions of people around the 🌎 who use them.
Posted by Nicole Bleuel, Marketing Lead & Diversity Champion, Emoji
Focusing on diversity
June 30, 2016
It’s been two years since we first shared our workforce demographics and helped spark a conversation about the need to improve
diversity at Google
and across the tech industry. Today we’re updating
with our 2015 demographics, and sharing some areas where we’ve seen progress in building a more diverse and inclusive Google.
More women in technical and leadership roles
Women now comprise 31 percent of all Googlers, and we’ve seen strong growth of women in technical and leadership roles. Similar to last year, one in five of our technical hires in 2015 were women, helping bring the total number of women in technical roles from 18 to 19 percent. Additionally, women now hold 24 percent of leadership roles across Google—up from 22 percent.
Overall hiring progress
For the first time this year, we’re sharing the percentage of our hires who are Black and Hispanic. In 2015, our hiring for Black, Hispanic, and female Googlers grew faster than our current demographic representation for each of these groups. And our Hispanic Googlers in technical roles increased from 2 to 3 percent.
This data reflects the gender composition of Google’s global technical workforce and the race & ethnicity composition of Google’s U.S. workforce as of January 1, 2016. For more stats, visit google.com/diversity.
Building an Inclusive Culture
Hiring is important, but it’s equally important to make workplaces inclusive, fair and supportive for all employees. We’re continuing to build a culture where Googlers can grow, thrive and want to stay. We want to build a place where everyone feels comfortable sharing ideas and opinions—and empowered to grow their careers.
We check and recheck processes like promotion and performance reviews to make sure they’re producing equitable outcomes, and address any gaps we find. For example, Googlers in engineering or product management roles are able to nominate themselves for promotion, and in 2010 we discovered that women in technical roles were less likely than men to self-nominate. We found that with a
—emailing these findings to all technical Googlers—the rate of women self-nominating went up and now the gap between men and women has closed.
Compensation is another example. We’ve long had
gender pay equity in our workforce
, and we recently shared
our approach to compensation
with the hope that other companies will adopt similar fair pay practices.
We also continue
to invest in our unconscious bias trainings
. Over 65 percent of Googlers have participated in our unbiasing workshops, and all new Googlers take the workshop as part of their orientation. We’ve shared these materials and research on our platform
re:Work with Google
so anyone from any industry can create unbiasing trainings for their team.
We saw encouraging signs of progress in 2015, but we’re still far from where we need to be. To learn more about our diversity and inclusion efforts, hear from leaders across Google:
Posted by Nancy Lee, Vice President, People Operations
Supporting Bay Area nonprofits focused on homelessness
June 29, 2016
“How many homeless people are in San Francisco?” “How do people become homeless?” “How can I help homeless people?”
These are just some of the questions people ask Google about homelessness in San Francisco, according to
. Many of these questions don’t have simple answers, and
decades of efforts
have not significantly moved the needle. There are more than 6,600 homeless people in the city, many of whom are children. People who experience homelessness often struggle from chronic stress, trauma, and frequent moves, and are unable to take advantage of many educational or economic opportunities.
We want to do our part in tackling this complex issue. Since 2014, Google.org has invested more than $5 million in Bay Area nonprofits who are working to combat homelessness, and today we’re committing an additional $1.2 million for these efforts. The Google News Lab is also
joining the San Francisco Chronicle and 70+ news outlets
across the country to help raise awareness as part of the Beyond Homelessness initiative, launching today.
The organizations we’re supporting are tackling the issue of homelessness in new ways and from multiple angles, and include
Hamilton Family Center
Larkin Street Youth Services
First Place for Youth
Project Welcome Home
Downtown Streets Team
In San Francisco and across the Bay area, these 10 organizations provide a range of services and programs focused on rapid re-housing and prevention, basic services, job training and more. Our newest grantee,
, plans to use their $1 million grant to build a rapid re-housing system for homeless families in Mountain View and Sunnyvale in the form of security deposits, motel stays, time-limited rental assistance, move-in assistance, and a support system to make sure individuals and families find stable housing.
has helped both homeless and low-income individuals and families overcome poverty via a giving platform that connects donors directly with neighbors who are struggling to meet basic needs.
The Downtown Streets Team
provides a work experience program for homeless men and women through beautification projects in San Francisco’s Civic Center/Mid-Market neighborhoods. And
is expanding their mobile showers for the homeless to Los Angeles with an additional $200K in Google.org grant funding.
The Downtown Streets Team helps people like Norman “Will” Williams gain work experience. Learn more
on their website.
One in 25 kids in San Francisco Unified School District are homeless, and many families face at least a nine-month wait list for temporary shelter. In 2015, we supported the
Hamilton Family Center
(HFC) with a $1 million grant aimed to reduce the homeless family wait list for shelter by creating direct lines of communication with SFUSD teachers and staff to report and respond to new and potential cases of homelessness. HFC has already seen a 25 percent reduction in the family wait list, and hopes to continue that momentum.
Homelessness in our cities is a challenge decades in the making—and will require continued innovation and dedication to solve. We’re committed to helping, through financial support, volunteering and raising awareness. Find out more about this issue on
our Google Trends site
and join us in finding solutions by visiting
or contributing to any of our grantee organizations.
Posted by Justin Steele, Bay Area Giving Lead, Google.org
Technology to help teachers do what they do best
June 27, 2016
This week our
Google for Education
team will be joining thousands of educators at the annual
. Follow along on their
for the latest news and updates. -Ed.
Great teachers inspire us, listen to us and learn from us; they bring the most mundane subjects to life. Technology can help great teachers do what they do best—stimulating minds and fostering skills in the next generation—and make learning even more rewarding for students. So we’re excited by the
updates and improvements to our tools for the classroom
we’re announcing this week at the
, one of the largest education technology gatherings in the world.
Expeditions for all
Since we launched the Expeditions Pioneer Program last September, more than a
from 11 countries have taken one of our 200+ virtual reality trips—from the Great Barrier Reef, to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. Today, we’re making Expeditions available to everyone. To get started, all teachers need to do is download the
onto a set of devices and choose where in the world they want to take their class. The app is
available today for Android
and will be available for iPhones and iPads soon.
While Expeditions can be used with many of the devices schools or students already have,
Best Buy Education
will also be making Expeditions kits available for schools to purchase. These kits will contain everything teachers need to bring their classes on amazing Expeditions: a tablet, virtual reality viewers and a router to connect them all.
Google Cast for Education
Sharing information on the classroom’s big screen helps students learn from one another. But today, students have to physically connect their computers to the projector to share their screens with the class. To open classroom collaboration and bring projecting into the 21st century, we’re announcing
Google Cast for Education
, a free Chrome app that lets students and teachers share their screens wirelessly from everywhere in the classroom, no new hardware required. Cast for Education carries video and audio across complex school networks, has built-in controls for teachers, and is integrated with
Quizzes in Google Forms
Getting feedback helps students learn and teachers teach. But grading tests and quizzes is time-consuming; teachers often have to take time away from other tasks to do it, and if it’s not done promptly, everyone misses out on the opportunity to learn from the things students got wrong. Starting today,
Quizzes in Google Forms
will grade multiple choice and checkbox questions automatically—so teachers can spend less time grading work and more time teaching.
Teachers can set correct answers in Forms and even add review materials in the form of explanations, supplemental websites, or review videos—so students can get quick, informative feedback on how to improve. Plus, teachers can get an instant snapshot on what their students understand, so they know which lessons need more explanation or what to teach next.
Creative apps on Chromebooks
Teachers tell us educational apps on Chromebooks help them improve skills like problem-solving, teamwork, communication and creativity. In collaboration with teachers at EdTechTeacher, we’re announcing a collection of creative apps on Chromebooks that schools can now purchase at a discount:
. These apps let students demonstrate their understanding of curriculum in their own way by creating unique animations, music, and videos.
Students use creative apps at Muller Road Middle School in South Carolina
As technology becomes an integral component of our classrooms, we also want it to be so easy to use that it fades into background, allowing teachers to spend their time doing what they love: engaging and inspiring students.
Posted by Bram Bout, Director, Google for Education
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