Tag Archives: Google in Asia

Level up on Android with Indie Games Accelerator

Games are a powerful medium of creative expression, and at Google Play we’re inspired by the passion of game developers everywhere. Last year we announced the Indie Games Accelerator, a special edition of Launchpad Accelerator, to help top indie game developers from emerging markets achieve their full potential on Google Play.

Google Play | Indie Games Accelerator 2018

Our team of program mentors coached some of the best gaming talent from India, Pakistan and Southeast Asia. Thanks to the positive feedback we received around the program, we are bringing it back in 2019. Applications for the class of 2019 are now open, and we’re expanding the program to developers from select countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.


Selected participants will be invited to attend two all-expenses-paid gaming bootcamps at the Google Asia-Pacific office in Singapore. There, they’ll receive personalized mentorship from Google teams and industry experts. Additional benefits include Google hardware, invites to exclusive Google and industry events and more.
Indie Games Accelerator journey | MochiBits (Android Developer Story)

Howard Go, the co-founder of Mochibits LLC, talks about how the program helped him improve his game's downloads and ratings.

Head to our website to find out more about our program and apply. Applications are due May 19, 2019.


Take a walk through Kakadu on Google Street View

In Australia’s Top End, you will find the country’s largest national park: Kakadu National Park. Covering almost 20,000 square kilometers (about half the size of Switzerland) and with terrain encompassing wetlands, rivers and sandstone escarpments, it’s home to the world’s oldest living culture with more than a dozen Indigenous groups. One-third of Australia’s bird species, an estimated 10,000 crocodiles and approximately 2,000 plant species can also be found in the Park.


Today, on its 40th anniversary, we're inviting people across the world to visit Kakadu National Park on Google Street View—to walk through ancient “stone country”, stare at spectacular waterfalls and discover ancient rock art.
Street View Trekker at Nawurlandja

Google Street View Trekker taking in the panoramas at Nawurlandja. 

Considered a living cultural landscape, Kakadu National Park’s geological history spans more than two billion years. The Park is a place that boasts extraordinary archaeological sites that record the skills and ways of life of the region’s Aboriginal people, whose culture stretches back more than 65,000 years. The Street View journey captures a glimpse of this world, uncovering rock art galleries and stunning vistas across eight sites.

Anja Toms from Kakadu National Park

Anja Toms from Kakadu National Park explains the significance of rock art at Burrungkuy (Nourlangie).

Viewers can journey to Ubirr for incredible 360-degree views, or to take a look at rock art galleries that record animal life in the region going back thousands of years. This includes a painting of a thylacine—or Tasmanian Tiger—depicted before they became extinct on the mainland around 2,000 years ago.

Kakadu National Park Rangers

Sean Nadji and Fred Hunter, Kakadu National Park Rangers, look out over Ubirr.

You can also meander through towering sandstone pillars at Bardedjilidji, travel to Nawurlandja for world-class panoramas across Anbangbang Billabong and the Arnhem Land escarpment, and toward Burrungkuy (Nourlangie) where you can view rock art galleries, before cooling off in the pristine plunge pools at Maguk or Gunlom (one of the most popular sites for travellers looking to take a refreshing dip), then diving into Kakadu’s big waterfalls: Twin Falls and Jim Jim Falls.

This journey through Kakadu National Park is a continuation of our work with Traditional Owners, Tourism Northern Territory and Parks Australia to record and share sacred sites, and instill greater value and respect for the land—which began in 2017 with Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park.

Visit Kakadu National Park, dual-listed by UNESCO World Heritage for both its natural and cultural significance, on Google Street View to learn more about the world’s oldest living culture and their connection with the land.


Source: Google LatLong


Take a walk through Kakadu on Google Street View

In Australia’s Top End, you will find the country’s largest national park: Kakadu National Park. Covering almost 20,000 square kilometers (about half the size of Switzerland) and with terrain encompassing wetlands, rivers and sandstone escarpments, it’s home to the world’s oldest living culture with more than a dozen Indigenous groups. One-third of Australia’s bird species, an estimated 10,000 crocodiles and approximately 2,000 plant species can also be found in the Park.


Today, on its 40th anniversary, we're inviting people across the world to visit Kakadu National Park on Google Street View—to walk through ancient “stone country”, stare at spectacular waterfalls and discover ancient rock art.
Street View Trekker at Nawurlandja

Google Street View Trekker taking in the panoramas at Nawurlandja. 

Considered a living cultural landscape, Kakadu National Park’s geological history spans more than two billion years. The Park is a place that boasts extraordinary archaeological sites that record the skills and ways of life of the region’s Aboriginal people, whose culture stretches back more than 65,000 years. The Street View journey captures a glimpse of this world, uncovering rock art galleries and stunning vistas across eight sites.

Anja Toms from Kakadu National Park

Anja Toms from Kakadu National Park explains the significance of rock art at Burrungkuy (Nourlangie).

Viewers can journey to Ubirr for incredible 360-degree views, or to take a look at rock art galleries that record animal life in the region going back thousands of years. This includes a painting of a thylacine—or Tasmanian Tiger—depicted before they became extinct on the mainland around 2,000 years ago.

Kakadu National Park Rangers

Sean Nadji and Fred Hunter, Kakadu National Park Rangers, look out over Ubirr.

You can also meander through towering sandstone pillars at Bardedjilidji, travel to Nawurlandja for world-class panoramas across Anbangbang Billabong and the Arnhem Land escarpment, and toward Burrungkuy (Nourlangie) where you can view rock art galleries, before cooling off in the pristine plunge pools at Maguk or Gunlom (one of the most popular sites for travellers looking to take a refreshing dip), then diving into Kakadu’s big waterfalls: Twin Falls and Jim Jim Falls.

This journey through Kakadu National Park is a continuation of our work with Traditional Owners, Tourism Northern Territory and Parks Australia to record and share sacred sites, and instill greater value and respect for the land—which began in 2017 with Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park.

Visit Kakadu National Park, dual-listed by UNESCO World Heritage for both its natural and cultural significance, on Google Street View to learn more about the world’s oldest living culture and their connection with the land.


Source: Google LatLong


Bringing digital and media literacy education to more schools in Korea

Three years ago, the Center for Digital Literacy (CDL) embarked on a pilot program to bring digital and media literacy skills to junior high school students in schools across Seoul and Gyeonggi provinces. Through the Digital & Media Literacy Campus program, kids like Yang Chaemin have learned how to better evaluate online media sources and also to experience the fun and excitement that digital technologies like AR and VR have to offer.

Jacquelline Fuller at Geumho Girls Middle School

Here, I’m with Yang Chaemin and her classmates at Geumho Girls Middle School, where they’re learning to critically interpret online resources and are able to practice using a range of digital tools.

Two years ago, with a grant from Google.org, CDL was able to expand the program. Since then, they’ve reached 10,000 children across 200 schools. CDL has also delivered training to a thousand parents, equipping them with tips to help their kids use digital media. Working with parents is important because developing awareness for opportunities that technology creates often starts at home.

Given the incredible impact CDL has had over the last two years, we recently extended our support for CDL. Through an additional grant, CDL will now bring the program to another 7,000 students and train 600 more teachers across Korea. In this phase, they’ll especially focus on bringing the program to children in rural areas, where there are often fewer opportunities to access digital education.

Over the past few years, Google.org has had an incredible opportunity to support a number of education programs in Korea. Whether it's investing in digital literacy as we’ve done through CDL, or inspiring innovative thinking among children at the Gwacheon National Science Museum, we hope these efforts will equip more Korean youth with the inspiration, skills and knowledge to reach their potential.


Yeseo Yoo at Hanbada Middle School

“It was a miracle that I could have the opportunity to learn about digital literacy at my school. Through this class, I was able to do what I thought only adults could do and only professionals could do. I've experienced augmented reality, and I've designed a virtual reality space with my friends. The most interesting thing for me was big data analysis and infographic video production. Now I dream of becoming a software developer, creating something that didn't exist today and contributing to a beautiful world."  — Yeseo Yoo, 15-year old student at Hanbada Middle School, who attended CDL's program in 2018

More growth ahead in Taiwan

One year ago, we laid out our roadmap for supporting the growth of an Intelligent Taiwan, with an emphasis on investing in Taiwanese talent. Since then, we’ve reached our goal to train 50,000 businesses and students in digital marketing, and 5,000 students in artificial intelligence (AI) programming.


Here are six further commitments announced at our Google for Taiwan this week, outlining how we’re helping Taiwanese people and businesses make the most of the digital economy.


More room to grow and innovate


1. New campus. Taiwan is already our largest engineering site in Asia, and now we’re investing in a new campus located in New Taipei City, an emerging hub for innovation. This is a great opportunity to bring teams together and provide room for continued growth. The new space will allow us to more than double the size of our team here in the coming years, helping us continue to work on offering the best Google experiences via our hardware and software to people all around the world.


Visiting the site of our new office

With Douglas Tong Hsu, Chairman of the Far Eastern Group (middle), and Rick Osterloh, our SVP of Devices & Services (right), visiting the site of our new office

Investing in innovators of the future


2. Engaging local talent.There is so much incredible talent waiting to be tapped in Taiwan. That’s why we’re focused on reaching more people in the industry, especially students, and sharing more about career opportunities in technology. We’re increasing our industry outreach in 2019, holding more on-campus events, offering hardware and engineering internship opportunities and deepening engagement and collaboration with college professors. We’re particularly focused on identifying and encouraging women to apply for technology roles. We plan to hire hundreds of employees in Taiwan in 2019.


3. Training. Our Grow with Google initiative will build on our momentum from 2018 and train another 10,000 people in AI programming, 100,000 people in digital marketing and 20,000 developers in AI and cloud by 2020.


4. STEM and CS education. Google.org is making a grant to Junyi Academy to help bridge the K-12 STEM education gap in Taiwan. Through this grant, the academy will be able to provide disadvantaged Taiwanese youth with access to a broader range of STEM and computer science education materials. Thanks to an upgraded online platform, those materials will be  tailored to their individual learning needs. This will be accompanied by on-the-job education programs to better equip teachers—especially those in rural areas—to deliver more impactful trainings for their students.


Opening opportunities for local businesses and job-seekers


5. Helping local businesses go global. We worked with the think tank Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) to release “Taiwan Go Global,” a report that shares insights for Taiwan businesses that are considering  exporting globally. It looks at market dynamics across four sectors (travel, mobile gaming, e-commerce, technology) in Southeast Asian countries and uses data from Google Search, Google Consumer Surveys and Taiwan government public reports to provide insights for local companies.


6. New job search experience in Taiwan.We’re also introducing a new job search experience to Taiwan, making it easier for job seekers to find employment opportunities through popular websites, job listing platforms, online classifieds and corporate sites. Now, when people enter a job-seeking query in Google Search, they will be able to explore, research and find job listings from across the web, such as 104.com.tw, 1111.com.tw, 518.com.tw, or yes123.com.tw.


We’re excited about supporting the continued growth of an Intelligent Taiwan. Going forward, we’ll continue to expand our presence, making investments to support continued growth and training Taiwanese innovators of the future.

Here are the winners of the GNI Innovation Challenge in Asia Pacific

Last November, we launched the Google News Initiative (GNI) Asia Pacific Innovation Challenge, aimed at strengthening our support of digital innovation and new business models in news organizations across the APAC region. Through our work and partnership with publishers, it’s clear that reader revenue is key to their financial stability. We want to support innovators in this space—those who are pioneering approaches that involve everything from granting digital currency to subscription-based membership models.


Within two months of opening up the Innovation Challenge, we received 215 applications from 18 countries. We heard from news startups in Indonesia, web publishers in Mongolia and Nepal, and video and audio broadcasters in Australia. After a rigorous review, a round of interviews and a thorough jury selection process, we ended up providing support to 23 projects in 14 countries—amounting to a total of $3.2 million.


Creative approaches to reader revenue


When we called for applications, we listed four criteria: impact, feasibility, innovation and inspiration. The winners demonstrated a combination of each. Several themes emerged from the applications we reviewed, including:

  • Building or renovating membership models:For startups, this may just mean building a membership model. For established players, this can include creating group subscriptions, more responsive platforms and better targeted newsletters. Crikey, an independent news organization based in Australia, has over 90 percent of its total revenue coming from individual subscribers. With the GNI funding, they plan to build a new subscription offering that can be tailored to organizations, businesses and groups of all sizes.

  • Leveraging machine learning and AI to surface more engaging content:A handful of organizations used trends emerging from big data to surface relevant and engaging content to potential subscribers. CommonWealth Magazine, a Taiwanese news organization, built a paywall in 2017 and enjoyed early success. It will now make this model more dynamic, leveraging AI and machine learning to develop personalized content—including a customized newsletter—to increase and improve reader engagement.

  • Gamification to create community-wide sharing:A final category learnt how to gamify the process of sharing or commenting on content. News organizations are experimenting with rewarding especially engaged readers with badges or tokens that can be used to pay for access to events. Asahi Shimbun, a national news publisher in Japan, believes that readers will be experimenting with gamification via tips. Tips are a common way of expressing their gratitude or affection, so why not extend this to the world of journalism? They will be issuing points to subscribers in order for them to “tip” stories and helping expand the market to non-subscribers so that they can do the same.

There were 20 others that received GNI support, all equally impressive in their own right. Check them out here: 

GNI APAC Innovation Challenge

Finally, to every organization who applied, thank you for your time and effort. There will be a second round of the APAC GNI Innovation Challenge later this year, and we encourage you all to re-apply. Watch out for details on our website.

Helping Indonesia prepare for disasters

In September last year, a large earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Within hours, a tsunami hit Palu, the provincial capital. Over two thousand lives were lost, making it the deadliest earthquake in 2018. Google.org and Googlers around the world responded by donating $1 million to support relief efforts led by Save the Children and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. We also rolled out our crisis response alerts and tools to provide emergency info those impacted.


This earthquake was only one of more than 2,000 disasters to strike Indonesia last year. Altogether, the government has estimated that these disasters affected some three million people, causing billions of dollars in damages and a tragic loss of life. Unfortunately, 2018 was not an anomaly and we know that Indonesia will continue to be challenged by natural disasters. At Google.org, we look to help nonprofits on the frontlines of global crisis through funding and volunteers. But we also believe in supporting solutions that could help mitigate the impact of future crises.


This is why we’re now helping Save the Children’s Indonesian partner, Yayasan Sayangi Tunas Cilik, with a $1 million grant. Through this grant, they’ll implement a national awareness campaign using online and offline platforms to ensure that schools are safe and children are better prepared for emergencies. It’s anticipated they’ll reach over half a million people, a majority of whom are women and children, some of the most vulnerable people in a time of crisis. Yayasan Sayangi Tunas Cilik will also engage in capacity building with local government bodies in order to improve coordination, planning and response for the Provincial and District level.

Google.org and Yayasan Sayangi Tunas Cilik

Announcing a Google.org grant to Yayasan Sayangi Tunas Cilik in Jakarta. From left to right: Randy Jusuf (Google Indonesia), Rudiantara (Minister of Communication and Informatics of Indonesia); Jacquelline Fuller (Google.org), Selina Sumbung (Chairperson, Save the Children-Yayasan Sayangi Tunas Cilik), and Bambang Surya Putra (Directorate of Disaster Preparedness, National Disaster Management Agency) 

While disasters like the Sulawesi earthquake are unavoidable, I’m encouraged by the potential of what we can do together to ensure we’re as prepared as we can be. We hope that the learnings from this project will provide a strong framework to scale this work and contribute to long term sustainable disaster preparedness and awareness. 

A new space for Southeast Asian developers in Singapore

Posted by Sami Kizilbash, Developer Relations Program Manager

Last November, Raymond Chan, a data scientist at Chope, attended one of our first ML bootcamps for developers and start-ups in Southeast Asia. Over four days, he gained a deeper understanding of how to use Google Cloud Platform to better structure data from approximately 775,000 records on Chope's real-time restaurant reservation booking platform every day. With this new knowledge, Chope has been able to use that data for more effective and timely decision-making, making it easier for customers to book restaurants.

Last week in Singapore, we opened the Developer Space @ Google Singapore—a space that brings together resources to help Southeast Asian developers, entrepreneurs and community groups grow, plus earn more with their businesses. This is the first physical space dedicated to developers that sits inside a Google office, so developers in Singapore can look forward to benefiting from insights, hands-on mentorship and networking opportunities with various teams working at our Asia Pacific headquarters.

Supporting startups and developers like Raymond, and helping them achieve their full potential is something we're passionate about. In addition to the ML bootcamps which we expect another 800 developers in Singapore to attend by the end of this year, we will run a range of workshops on the latest Google tools and technologies, as well as programs like LeadersLab and Indie Games Accelerator that fuel ecosystem growth. We will also support activities run by community groups like Google Developer Groups, Google Business Groups and Women Techmakers.

With developers and startups from Southeast Asia rapidly driving growth across the region, we can't think of a better place to open this new hub. Come join us throughout the year for an exciting roster of events and meet people who, like Raymond, are looking to build and scale great products. Check out our schedule of events here.

A new space for Southeast Asian developers in Singapore

Posted by Sami Kizilbash, Developer Relations Program Manager

Last November, Raymond Chan, a data scientist at Chope, attended one of our first ML bootcamps for developers and start-ups in Southeast Asia. Over four days, he gained a deeper understanding of how to use Google Cloud Platform to better structure data from approximately 775,000 records on Chope's real-time restaurant reservation booking platform every day. With this new knowledge, Chope has been able to use that data for more effective and timely decision-making, making it easier for customers to book restaurants.

Last week in Singapore, we opened the Developer Space @ Google Singapore—a space that brings together resources to help Southeast Asian developers, entrepreneurs and community groups grow, plus earn more with their businesses. This is the first physical space dedicated to developers that sits inside a Google office, so developers in Singapore can look forward to benefiting from insights, hands-on mentorship and networking opportunities with various teams working at our Asia Pacific headquarters.

Supporting startups and developers like Raymond, and helping them achieve their full potential is something we're passionate about. In addition to the ML bootcamps which we expect another 800 developers in Singapore to attend by the end of this year, we will run a range of workshops on the latest Google tools and technologies, as well as programs like LeadersLab and Indie Games Accelerator that fuel ecosystem growth. We will also support activities run by community groups like Google Developer Groups, Google Business Groups and Women Techmakers.

With developers and startups from Southeast Asia rapidly driving growth across the region, we can't think of a better place to open this new hub. Come join us throughout the year for an exciting roster of events and meet people who, like Raymond, are looking to build and scale great products. Check out our schedule of events here.

A new space for Southeast Asian developers in Singapore

Last November, Raymond Chan, a data scientist at Chope, attended one of our first ML bootcamps for developers and start-ups in Southeast Asia. Over four days, he gained a deeper understanding of how to use Google Cloud Platform to better structure data from approximately 775,000 records on Chope’s real-time restaurant reservation booking platform every day. With this new knowledge, Chope has been able to use that data for more effective and timely decision-making, making it easier for customers to book restaurants.


Today in Singapore, we’re opening the Developer Space @ Google Singapore—a space that brings together resources to help Southeast Asian developers, entrepreneurs and community groups grow, plus earn more with their businesses. This is the first physical space dedicated to developers that sits inside a Google office, so developers here can look forward to benefiting from insights, hands-on mentorship and networking opportunities with various teams working at our Asia Pacific headquarters.  


Supporting startups and developers like Raymond, and helping them achieve their full potential is something we’re passionate about. In addition to the ML bootcamps, we will run a range of workshops on the latest Google tools and technologies, as well as programs like LeadersLab and Indie Games Accelerator that fuel ecosystem growth. We will also support activities run by community groups like Google Developer Groups, Google Business Groups and Women Techmakers.


With developers and startups from Southeast Asia rapidly driving growth across the region, we can’t think of a better place to open this new hub. Come join us throughout the year for an exciting roster of events and meet people who, like Raymond, are looking to build and scale great products. Check out our schedule of events here.