Archive for ‘Images’

November 2, 2013

Keywords in a time of Hummingbird

Google Hummingbird has brought significant changes to the web, for Google search engine users as well as webmasters. The impact seems more likely to affect smaller e-commerce merchants than large companies with brand name recognition and large budgets to pay for multiple advertising channels.

Hummingbird is NOT an update comparable to Penguin or Panda. Hummingbird is a major change to Google search.

For users

The first change that caught my attention was encryption. All Google search queries are now encrypted, i.e. it is no longer optional to connect to Google search by https instead of http.  SSL makes Google search safer, in a general sort of way.

Google AdWords keyword matching tool

Keyword tool using broad match

 

For webmasters

Keyword data is not as accessible as it was prior to Hummingbird. Google Keyword Tool has been replaced by Keyword Planner. Now, certain archival keyword data can only be accessed by Google AdWords customers. Google Analytics is free; Google AdWords is not.

Functionality such as broad match is no longer available.

read more »

December 9, 2011

Emotional response to Google search

Humorous representation of user perception of Google search engine results

Charting emotional response to results returned by Google search

Via UberHumor, When searching on Google.

A second source of fun came to my attention courtesy of web designer, developer, and past Google employee Ji Lee 이지별 and his rather agreeable website-portfolio, Please Enjoy. It is Goollery (not affiliated with Google):

Via Goollery not affiliated with Google
Google Map Points

a collection of awesome Google-related projects from people around the world

Typical features are entertaining anecdotes and items like this life-sized Google map marker photo and story.

It is worth mentioning that neither Mr. Ji Lee’s website, nor Goollery are thinly disguised marketing-fodder. Both sites are sharp-witted in tone at times. They do not hesitate to mention less-than-favorable Google corporate strategies and policies. Similarly, they acknowledge instances when competitors excelled, or customers were not well-served. Yet neither site is mean-spirited.

Today’s post includes one more item of Google fun. The following video is now featured on Goollery in the “Most Recent” section, EPIC Google Docs.

It is a delightful animation, about 1:30 mins duration.

This demo shows how you can make a Flash-like animated presentation by only using Google Docs, without using any animation software. The presentation consists of 450 pages and was created by 3 persons from 3 different locations in 3 days.

There may be some adult, or at least “over age 13” type content in one or both sites. That is a standard for most sites though. Even The Federal Reserve Bank of New York website has that provision in the terms of service:

Eligibility …not intended for users under the age of 13. By using the Services, you warrant that you are at least 13 years of age.

* All content on the Fed’s site is 100% free for re-use, however. Well, mostly, as long as it doesn’t come from third parties. And isn’t re-posted for commercial purposes. Probably best to view the Fed’s TOS page just to be certain.

June 5, 2011

Google photos for businesses

sample Google Maps for business page

Sample Google Maps, Places for businesses

Business Photos from Google are now available to businesses with listings in Google Places.

Google Places listings are seen by any Google Maps user. This feature should help small businesses who want to reach more local customers. Google photographers will take interior shots of businesses, which is distinctly different from the exterior imagery ordinarily seen on Google Maps.

…sign up for a photo shoot by Google trusted photographers. The images will appear on your business’ Place page, and as 360-degree imagery using Street View technology.

Availability

The Business Photos feature is being rolled out gradually based on geographic area. The comprehensive FAQ page includes locations and timelines.

If interested in participation, a short application must be completed.

March 17, 2011

Picasa raw image support

The Google Photos blog, which is in fact the Picasa Blog, explained Picasa raw image support in 2008.

Picasa is not an image editor

Alexander Kunz describes why Picasa is little more than a raw image viewer, not an editor:

Picasa does NOT support every raw file. With each new model, camera vendors slightly tweak their raw format, even if the file extension is the same… The main reason to shoot raw is to stay in control in the conversion process

  • How much contrast do you want?
  • Do you want highlights?
  • Want to keep every detail in the shadows?

But you can adjust these things in Picasa later, right?

No, not very well.

Picasa is an 8 bit program… edits work on 8 bit image data. But the main advantage of raw sensor data is that it contains 12 bit or even 14 bit depth and … more room for shadows and highlights – which you try to bring closer together when you manually convert a raw file… Picasa’s raw conversion is NOT manual. You have NO influence on the conversion. Picasa finds a raw file, it renders an 8 bit version out of that file, and that’s it. You’re not in control, and what you get is an automatic conversion of your raw data. One of the key advantages of shooting raw is lost.

Both posts mentioned above were written over two years ago.  Has anything changed since then? Has Picasa improved its raw image support?

Again, the answer is no, not really. There haven’t been many changes in terms of processing. Sharpening can better controlled. However, the most significant issues, the manual conversion process and 8-bit character of Picasa as a program, have not changed at all.

December 17, 2010

Body Browser

The Google Body Browser is now accessible to the public.

Introducing the Body Browser from Google Labs

This is not like any other browser, based on the usual definition of the word. Specifically, it runs within the existing browser e.g. Chrome or Firefox. Modern features such as HTML5 must be supported by the user’s browser.

Body Browser

Logo

What does the Body Browser do?

The Body Browser is an interactive anatomical chart of the human body. Biological categories include musculature, skeletal, circulatory and nervous systems, as well as internal organs. Features include rotation and zoom. Complete labels in Latin are available as a toggle on-off option.

The Body Browser showcases the full glory of HTML5 and Google’s new image format, WebGL. For example, each of the biological categories can be enabled separately, producing a layered effect. A good analogy would be to Google Earth, in terms of realistic rendering of 3-D image complexity.

There may be other features about which I am unaware. I found the site via Twitter, this morning, Thursday December 16, 2010.

What of Zygote Media?

See the page footer credit:

Imagery Copyright 2010 Zygote Media Group Inc.

No hyper link or other information is available on the page for Zygote Media Group. Nor did I have any particular success searching for Zygote Media in any of the usual places. However, it seems that Zygote Media is Google Lab’s partner in this project.

UPDATE

I later found that ZYGOTE MEDIA GROUP INC. is either owned by or does business as 3D Science. More information may be found about Zygote Media from that source.

December 8, 2010

Parameter Handling Exhibition and Other Odds and Ends

I’ve used the clip-and-save service http://curate.us recently.  One of my most visually appealing posts on this very blog would not have been possible without the assistance of Curate.us.

Introducing  div class = cliply_clip

Curate.us is the service formerly known as Clip.ly 

I am obviously fascinated by the potential of Curate.us as an aid for content curation. Not to mention the ability to embed a screen shot without JavaScript, iFrames or JPEG image files. Curate.us does use an image format. I base that conjecture on the  img src markup when embedding. I’m not certain what variety of image it is though.

I also learned that Curate.us will not work on pages behind a firewall or pay wall. I was uncertain if it would work on a Google help page.

It does.

Parameter Handling

I chose a Google Webmaster Central help topic as my test subject. The topic was parameter handling.

Parameter handling is useful for purposes of search engine optimization. Parameters can manage duplicate content such as session IDs. Google introduced parameter handling on a limited basis in the first quarter of 2010. It was released to the public in November 2010.

Clipped from www.google.com | Share this clip

screen shot using curate dot us

Curate.us clipping from Google Webmaster Central Help Page

Closing remarks about image file formats

Google released an experimental file format for images in late September 2010, named WebP. At this time, it is available for developers only.

WebP was designed to be an improvement over the JPEG format.  JPEG is the most commonly used image file format on the web. It is a troublemaker for web developers, as it causes pages to load slowly. Further details are available from the Chromium Project blog about WebP or the Google Code blog.