Tag Archives: Google in Asia

Four steps we’re taking today to fight terrorism online

Editor’s Note: This post appeared as an op-ed in the Financial Times earlier today.

Terrorism is an attack on open societies, and addressing the threat posed by violence and hate is a critical challenge for us all. Google and YouTube are committed to being part of the solution. We are working with government, law enforcement and civil society groups to tackle the problem of violent extremism online. There should be no place for terrorist content on our services.

While we and others have worked for years to identify and remove content that violates our policies, the uncomfortable truth is that we, as an industry, must acknowledge that more needs to be done. Now.

We have thousands of people around the world who review and counter abuse of our platforms. Our engineers have developed technology to prevent re-uploads of known terrorist content using image-matching technology. We have invested in systems that use content-based signals to help identify new videos for removal. And we have developed partnerships with expert groups, counter-extremism agencies, and the other technology companies to help inform and strengthen our efforts.

Today, we are pledging to take four additional steps.

First, we are increasing our use of technology to help identify extremist and terrorism-related videos. This can be challenging: a video of a terrorist attack may be informative news reporting if broadcast by the BBC, or glorification of violence if uploaded in a different context by a different user. We have used video analysis models to find and assess more than 50 per cent of the terrorism-related content we have removed over the past six months. We will now devote more engineering resources to apply our most advanced machine learning research to train new “content classifiers” to help us more quickly identify and remove extremist and terrorism-related content.

Second, because technology alone is not a silver bullet, we will greatly increase the number of independent experts in YouTube’s Trusted Flagger programme. Machines can help identify problematic videos, but human experts still play a role in nuanced decisions about the line between violent propaganda and religious or newsworthy speech. While many user flags can be inaccurate, Trusted Flagger reports are accurate over 90 per cent of the time and help us scale our efforts and identify emerging areas of concern. We will expand this programme by adding 50 expert NGOs to the 63 organisations who are already part of the programme, and we will support them with operational grants. This allows us to benefit from the expertise of specialised organisations working on issues like hate speech, self-harm, and terrorism. We will also expand our work with counter-extremist groups to help identify content that may be being used to radicalise and recruit extremists.

Third, we will be taking a tougher stance on videos that do not clearly violate our policies — for example, videos that contain inflammatory religious or supremacist content. In future these will appear behind an interstitial warning and they will not be monetised, recommended or eligible for comments or user endorsements. That means these videos will have less engagement and be harder to find. We think this strikes the right balance between free expression and access to information without promoting extremely offensive viewpoints.

Finally, YouTube will expand its role in counter-radicalisation efforts. Building on our successful Creators for Change programme promoting YouTube voices against hate and radicalisation, we are working with Jigsaw to implement the “Redirect Method” more broadly across Europe. This promising approach harnesses the power of targeted online advertising to reach potential Isis recruits, and redirects them towards anti-terrorist videos that can change their minds about joining. In previous deployments of this system, potential recruits have clicked through on the ads at an unusually high rate, and watched over half a million minutes of video content that debunks terrorist recruiting messages.

We have also recently committed to working with industry colleagues—including Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter—to establish an international forum to share and develop technology and support smaller companies and accelerate our joint efforts to tackle terrorism online.

Collectively, these changes will make a difference. And we’ll keep working on the problem until we get the balance right. Extremists and terrorists seek to attack and erode not just our security, but also our values; the very things that make our societies open and free. We must not let them. Together, we can build lasting solutions that address the threats to our security and our freedoms. It is a sweeping and complex challenge. We are committed to playing our part.

Making time for change: Indonesian watchmaker’s risk pays off

Editor’s note: As part of our series of interviews with entrepreneurs across Asia Pacific who use the internet to grow their business, we caught up with Lucky D. Aria, the founder of Matoa, to find out how he went from working in a cookie factory to starting his own watchmaking enterprise. Matoa now exports their watches made from reclaimed wood to Europe, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the U.S.

Lucky D Aria

Founder and CEO Lucky D. Aria at the Matoa workshop in Bandung, Indonesia

Tell us about your journey to becoming an entrepreneur.
Seven years ago, I was a high school graduate working at a small cookie company in Bandung. At the time I had a monthly salary of $75. I would get an extra commission during Hari Raya (Ramadan) and that was the only money I could save. It was tough to make ends meet, so I knew that something had to change. Starting my own company was a risky decision, and everyone advised against leaving a stable job. But I knew I had to take a risk and make a change.

How did you manage to successfully launch Matoa?
I reverse-engineered what others often do: I didn’t want to sell what I made, instead I wanted to make what people would buy. After a lot of research, I saw there was a niche for specialty watches. I started learning about consumer preferences and what they need and want before designing the end product. I had to borrow capital from family and friends because my family couldn’t secure a bank loan since we had nothing to offer as collateral. But that didn’t deter me. I was so happy when I sold my very first watch at a local exhibition in 2011, one year after leaving the cookie factory. And we grew from there.

How have the internet and Google’s tools helped transformed your business?
Last year, exports of Matoa watches made up a third of our sales, so about 3,500 units in total. The internet has changed our lives and how we do business. Now, I can sell my products in every corner of the world using the internet. I have many distributors outside of Indonesia, whom I have not had the chance to meet face-to-face, but we can develop our partnership because we’re online. I truly believe every company can use the Internet to grow their business.

Google AdWords increased my local sales in Indonesia by 160% year-on-year from 2015 to 2016. Prior to AdWords, I faced difficulty in expanding my business—even in Indonesia. Bringing our products to consumers would have required us to set up physical storefronts in every city in Indonesia and this would have been extremely expensive.

What inspires you to continue to grow as an entrepreneur and business owner?
My family’s economic conditions have improved a lot. I own my own house now. I have grown a lot personally. Now I focus on spreading this welfare to my 40 employees, many of whom rely on this company for their livelihood. I can’t afford to disappoint them, and I want to help them grow so one day they can start their own business doing something they are passionate about.

Matoa team
The Matoa team

What’s your advice to other entrepreneurs?
If you want to sustain your business, make sure you don’t create a product and push it to the market without first asking “why?”. Ask yourself, “why would consumers want to buy our products?” If you don’t have a good answer to that, you’re not likely to succeed.

What’s next for your business in 2017 and beyond?
In 2017, we launched accessories for smart watches to complement the traditional wooden products we provide, which reflect Indonesia’s cultural heritage. We aim to compete with global brands.

Beyond that, my big vision for Matoa is to continue to grow and develop the business so we can provide more job opportunities to people locally. So far, Matoa has also empowered the livelihoods of 35 families in Ciwidey, a small village in West Java. They help process raw wood materials and handcraft our wooden watches. I’m glad they have gained new skills and can generate a stable income by working with Matoa.

Making time for change: Indonesian watchmaker’s risk pays off

Editor’s note: As part of our series of interviews with entrepreneurs across Asia Pacific who use the internet to grow their business, we caught up with Lucky D. Aria, the founder of Matoa, to find out how he went from working in a cookie factory to starting his own watchmaking enterprise. Matoa now exports their watches made from reclaimed wood to Europe, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the U.S.

Lucky D Aria

Founder and CEO Lucky D. Aria at the Matoa workshop in Bandung, Indonesia

Tell us about your journey to becoming an entrepreneur.
Seven years ago, I was a high school graduate working at a small cookie company in Bandung. At the time I had a monthly salary of $75. I would get an extra commission during Hari Raya (Ramadan) and that was the only money I could save. It was tough to make ends meet, so I knew that something had to change. Starting my own company was a risky decision, and everyone advised against leaving a stable job. But I knew I had to take a risk and make a change.

How did you manage to successfully launch Matoa?
I reverse-engineered what others often do: I didn’t want to sell what I made, instead I wanted to make what people would buy. After a lot of research, I saw there was a niche for specialty watches. I started learning about consumer preferences and what they need and want before designing the end product. I had to borrow capital from family and friends because my family couldn’t secure a bank loan since we had nothing to offer as collateral. But that didn’t deter me. I was so happy when I sold my very first watch at a local exhibition in 2011, one year after leaving the cookie factory. And we grew from there.

How have the internet and Google’s tools helped transformed your business?
Last year, exports of Matoa watches made up a third of our sales, so about 3,500 units in total. The internet has changed our lives and how we do business. Now, I can sell my products in every corner of the world using the internet. I have many distributors outside of Indonesia, whom I have not had the chance to meet face-to-face, but we can develop our partnership because we’re online. I truly believe every company can use the Internet to grow their business.

Google AdWords increased my local sales in Indonesia by 160% year-on-year from 2015 to 2016. Prior to AdWords, I faced difficulty in expanding my business—even in Indonesia. Bringing our products to consumers would have required us to set up physical storefronts in every city in Indonesia and this would have been extremely expensive.

What inspires you to continue to grow as an entrepreneur and business owner?
My family’s economic conditions have improved a lot. I own my own house now. I have grown a lot personally. Now I focus on spreading this welfare to my 40 employees, many of whom rely on this company for their livelihood. I can’t afford to disappoint them, and I want to help them grow so one day they can start their own business doing something they are passionate about.

Matoa team
The Matoa team

What’s your advice to other entrepreneurs?
If you want to sustain your business, make sure you don’t create a product and push it to the market without first asking “why?”. Ask yourself, “why would consumers want to buy our products?” If you don’t have a good answer to that, you’re not likely to succeed.

What’s next for your business in 2017 and beyond?
In 2017, we launched accessories for smart watches to complement the traditional wooden products we provide, which reflect Indonesia’s cultural heritage. We aim to compete with global brands.

Beyond that, my big vision for Matoa is to continue to grow and develop the business so we can provide more job opportunities to people locally. So far, Matoa has also empowered the livelihoods of 35 families in Ciwidey, a small village in West Java. They help process raw wood materials and handcraft our wooden watches. I’m glad they have gained new skills and can generate a stable income by working with Matoa.

Experience the songlines of Uluṟu with Google Maps Street View and Story Spheres

In the heart of Australia’s red center lies the UNESCO World Heritage site, Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. It is deeply sacred to the Aṉangu people, who have lived there for more than 30,000 years. It’s also home to a wide range of species—21 mammals, 73 reptiles, 178 birds—and Australia’s most iconic natural landmark, Uluṟu.

Starting today, people across the world will be able to visit Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park on Street View, walk on the desert sand and enjoy the vibrant hues of the rock—from ochre to rust to wild plum and charcoal.

Standing 348 m (1,142 ft) high, and with a total circumference of 9.4 km (5.8 mi), the immense scale, colors and contours of Uluṟu stir a sense of reverence. While visually and geologically extraordinary, the physical features of Uluṟu hold a deeper meaning for its traditional owners. For Aṉangu, the land carries sacred “songlines”—creation stories about the journeys, battles and adventures of their ancestral beings.

170404_Day02_0965.jpg
Traditional Owner of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Reggie Uluru

All aspects of Aṉangu life are governed by Tjukurpa, the knowledge which guides relationships, values and behavior. At the core of Tjukurpa law is a deep respect for the land. Aṉangu believe that if they look after the land, it will look after them. These teachings are passed down from generation to generation through stories, songs and inma (ceremony).

‘’Sometimes visitors come here and they see a beautiful place, but they don't understand the Tjukurpa, the culture and the law and the knowledge and the history that this place holds…. It’s the living keeper of our culture,” says Sammy Wilson, Aṉangu traditional owner of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. “We want to teach those visitors about the Aṉangu understanding of this place.”

170403_Day01_0458.jpg
Traditional owner, Sammy Wilson, sharing Tjukurpa stories with Miranda Schooneveldt, Parks Australia

Over the past two years, we collaborated with Aṉangu Traditional Owners of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Parks Australia and the Northern Territory Government to capture the park for Street View according to Tjukurpa law. The Street View journey ventures to the vista of Talinguṟu Nyakunytjaku, the winding trail of the Kuniya Walk, the cool respite of Kapi Muṯitjulu (waterhole) and ancient art at Kulpi Muṯitjulu (Family Cave). It invites you to zoom in on the curves, crevices and textures of Uluṟu—and gaze up at its glowing gradient of color.

170404_Day02_0897.jpg
Lindsey Dixon, of Northern Territory Tourism, captured the Street View content at Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park in accordance with Tjukurpa law

Since 2007, Google has mapped imagery of unique locations across 83 countries, including heritage monuments, touristic sites, museums, national parks and transit locations across the globe.  In the case of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Tjukurpa warranted a more nuanced approach.  For Aṉangu, there is no distinction between the physical and metaphysical, or the animate and inanimate. People, earth, plants and animals are inextricably connected. This means that Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park could never be truly represented or understood (virtually or otherwise) without the presence and voices of its people.

We knew we had to bring these cultural and spiritual dimensions to the Street View experience. So we used the Story Spheres platform to add immersive audio stories and songs of Aṉangu traditional owners to the 360° Street View imagery. The result is an interactive, audio-visual guided tour, narrated by Sammy Wilson and with song and music by Traditional Owner and Aṉangu Elder, Reggie Uluru.

Because Tjukurpa teachings are traditionally handed down through an ancient oral tradition, Aṉangu stories, songs and ceremonies are largely unrecorded. The generosity of traditional owners has made a rare and revered piece of culture available to, and archived for, the world.

170403_Day01_0470.jpg
Traditional owner, Sammy Wilson, sharing Tjukurpa stories with Miranda Schooneveldt, Parks Australia

Together with our partners, we’re privileged to help celebrate and preserve Aṉangu culture through technology. We hope this model will lead to stronger partnerships with indigenous communities across Australia—to share more sacred sites and instill greater value and respect for the land.

Get a behind-the-scenes view of the Google Maps Street View and Story Spheres project in our video.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park | Google Maps Street View Launch

Source: Google LatLong


Experience the songlines of Uluṟu with Google Maps Street View and Story Spheres

In the heart of Australia’s red center lies the UNESCO World Heritage site, Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. It is deeply sacred to the Aṉangu people, who have lived there for more than 30,000 years. It’s also home to a wide range of species—21 mammals, 73 reptiles, 178 birds—and Australia’s most iconic natural landmark, Uluṟu.

Starting today, people across the world will be able to visit Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park on Street View, walk on the desert sand and enjoy the vibrant hues of the rock—from ochre to rust to wild plum and charcoal.

Standing 348 m (1,142 ft) high, and with a total circumference of 9.4 km (5.8 mi), the immense scale, colors and contours of Uluṟu stir a sense of reverence. While visually and geologically extraordinary, the physical features of Uluṟu hold a deeper meaning for its traditional owners. For Aṉangu, the land carries sacred “songlines”—creation stories about the journeys, battles and adventures of their ancestral beings.

170404_Day02_0965.jpg
Traditional Owner of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Reggie Uluru

All aspects of Aṉangu life are governed by Tjukurpa, the knowledge which guides relationships, values and behavior. At the core of Tjukurpa law is a deep respect for the land. Aṉangu believe that if they look after the land, it will look after them. These teachings are passed down from generation to generation through stories, songs and inma (ceremony).

‘’Sometimes visitors come here and they see a beautiful place, but they don't understand the Tjukurpa, the culture and the law and the knowledge and the history that this place holds…. It’s the living keeper of our culture,” says Sammy Wilson, Aṉangu traditional owner of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. “We want to teach those visitors about the Aṉangu understanding of this place.”

170403_Day01_0458.jpg
Traditional owner, Sammy Wilson, sharing Tjukurpa stories with Miranda Schooneveldt, Parks Australia

Over the past two years, we collaborated with Aṉangu Traditional Owners of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Parks Australia and the Northern Territory Government to capture the park for Street View according to Tjukurpa law. The Street View journey ventures to the vista of Talinguṟu Nyakunytjaku, the winding trail of the Kuniya Walk, the cool respite of Kapi Muṯitjulu (waterhole) and ancient art at Kulpi Muṯitjulu (Family Cave). It invites you to zoom in on the curves, crevices and textures of Uluṟu—and gaze up at its glowing gradient of color.

170404_Day02_0897.jpg
Lindsey Dixon, of Northern Territory Tourism, captured the Street View content at Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park in accordance with Tjukurpa law

Since 2007, Google has mapped imagery of unique locations across 83 countries, including heritage monuments, touristic sites, museums, national parks and transit locations across the globe.  In the case of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Tjukurpa warranted a more nuanced approach.  For Aṉangu, there is no distinction between the physical and metaphysical, or the animate and inanimate. People, earth, plants and animals are inextricably connected. This means that Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park could never be truly represented or understood (virtually or otherwise) without the presence and voices of its people.

We knew we had to bring these cultural and spiritual dimensions to the Street View experience. So we used the Story Spheres platform to add immersive audio stories and songs of Aṉangu traditional owners to the 360° Street View imagery. The result is an interactive, audio-visual guided tour, narrated by Sammy Wilson and with song and music by Traditional Owner and Aṉangu Elder, Reggie Uluru.

Because Tjukurpa teachings are traditionally handed down through an ancient oral tradition, Aṉangu stories, songs and ceremonies are largely unrecorded. The generosity of traditional owners has made a rare and revered piece of culture available to, and archived for, the world.

170403_Day01_0470.jpg
Traditional owner, Sammy Wilson, sharing Tjukurpa stories with Miranda Schooneveldt, Parks Australia

Together with our partners, we’re privileged to help celebrate and preserve Aṉangu culture through technology. We hope this model will lead to stronger partnerships with indigenous communities across Australia—to share more sacred sites and instill greater value and respect for the land.

Get a behind-the-scenes view of the Google Maps Street View and Story Spheres project in our video.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park | Google Maps Street View Launch

Experience the songlines of Uluṟu with Google Maps Street View and Story Spheres

In the heart of Australia’s red center lies the UNESCO World Heritage site, Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. It is deeply sacred to the Aṉangu people, who have lived there for more than 30,000 years. It’s also home to a wide range of species—21 mammals, 73 reptiles, 178 birds—and Australia’s most iconic natural landmark, Uluṟu.

Starting today, people across the world will be able to visit Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park on Street View, walk on the desert sand and enjoy the vibrant hues of the rock—from ochre to rust to wild plum and charcoal.

Standing 348 m (1,142 ft) high, and with a total circumference of 9.4 km (5.8 mi), the immense scale, colors and contours of Uluṟu stir a sense of reverence. While visually and geologically extraordinary, the physical features of Uluṟu hold a deeper meaning for its traditional owners. For Aṉangu, the land carries sacred “songlines”—creation stories about the journeys, battles and adventures of their ancestral beings.

170404_Day02_0965.jpg
Traditional Owner of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Reggie Uluru

All aspects of Aṉangu life are governed by Tjukurpa, the knowledge which guides relationships, values and behavior. At the core of Tjukurpa law is a deep respect for the land. Aṉangu believe that if they look after the land, it will look after them. These teachings are passed down from generation to generation through stories, songs and inma (ceremony).

‘’Sometimes visitors come here and they see a beautiful place, but they don't understand the Tjukurpa, the culture and the law and the knowledge and the history that this place holds…. It’s the living keeper of our culture,” says Sammy Wilson, Aṉangu traditional owner of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. “We want to teach those visitors about the Aṉangu understanding of this place.”

170403_Day01_0458.jpg
Traditional owner, Sammy Wilson, sharing Tjukurpa stories with Miranda Schooneveldt, Parks Australia

Over the past two years, we collaborated with Aṉangu Traditional Owners of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Parks Australia and the Northern Territory Government to capture the park for Street View according to Tjukurpa law. The Street View journey ventures to the vista of Talinguṟu Nyakunytjaku, the winding trail of the Kuniya Walk, the cool respite of Kapi Muṯitjulu (waterhole) and ancient art at Kulpi Muṯitjulu (Family Cave). It invites you to zoom in on the curves, crevices and textures of Uluṟu—and gaze up at its glowing gradient of color.

170404_Day02_0897.jpg
Lindsey Dixon, of Northern Territory Tourism, captured the Street View content at Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park in accordance with Tjukurpa law

Since 2007, Google has mapped imagery of unique locations across 83 countries, including heritage monuments, touristic sites, museums, national parks and transit locations across the globe.  In the case of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Tjukurpa warranted a more nuanced approach.  For Aṉangu, there is no distinction between the physical and metaphysical, or the animate and inanimate. People, earth, plants and animals are inextricably connected. This means that Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park could never be truly represented or understood (virtually or otherwise) without the presence and voices of its people.

We knew we had to bring these cultural and spiritual dimensions to the Street View experience. So we used the Story Spheres platform to add immersive audio stories and songs of Aṉangu traditional owners to the 360° Street View imagery. The result is an interactive, audio-visual guided tour, narrated by Sammy Wilson and with song and music by Traditional Owner and Aṉangu Elder, Reggie Uluru.

Because Tjukurpa teachings are traditionally handed down through an ancient oral tradition, Aṉangu stories, songs and ceremonies are largely unrecorded. The generosity of traditional owners has made a rare and revered piece of culture available to, and archived for, the world.

170403_Day01_0470.jpg
Traditional owner, Sammy Wilson, sharing Tjukurpa stories with Miranda Schooneveldt, Parks Australia

Together with our partners, we’re privileged to help celebrate and preserve Aṉangu culture through technology. We hope this model will lead to stronger partnerships with indigenous communities across Australia—to share more sacred sites and instill greater value and respect for the land.

Get a behind-the-scenes view of the Google Maps Street View and Story Spheres project in our video.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park | Google Maps Street View Launch

Experience the songlines of Uluṟu with Google Maps Street View and Story Spheres

In the heart of Australia’s red center lies the UNESCO World Heritage site, Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. It is deeply sacred to the Aṉangu people, who have lived there for more than 30,000 years. It’s also home to a wide range of species—21 mammals, 73 reptiles, 178 birds—and Australia’s most iconic natural landmark, Uluṟu.

Starting today, people across the world will be able to visit Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park on Street View, walk on the desert sand and enjoy the vibrant hues of the rock—from ochre to rust to wild plum and charcoal.

Standing 348 m (1,142 ft) high, and with a total circumference of 9.4 km (5.8 mi), the immense scale, colors and contours of Uluṟu stir a sense of reverence. While visually and geologically extraordinary, the physical features of Uluṟu hold a deeper meaning for its traditional owners. For Aṉangu, the land carries sacred “songlines”—creation stories about the journeys, battles and adventures of their ancestral beings.

170404_Day02_0965.jpg
Traditional Owner of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Reggie Uluru

All aspects of Aṉangu life are governed by Tjukurpa, the knowledge which guides relationships, values and behavior. At the core of Tjukurpa law is a deep respect for the land. Aṉangu believe that if they look after the land, it will look after them. These teachings are passed down from generation to generation through stories, songs and inma (ceremony).

‘’Sometimes visitors come here and they see a beautiful place, but they don't understand the Tjukurpa, the culture and the law and the knowledge and the history that this place holds…. It’s the living keeper of our culture,” says Sammy Wilson, Aṉangu traditional owner of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. “We want to teach those visitors about the Aṉangu understanding of this place.”

170403_Day01_0458.jpg
Traditional owner, Sammy Wilson, sharing Tjukurpa stories with Miranda Schooneveldt, Parks Australia

Over the past two years, we collaborated with Aṉangu Traditional Owners of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Parks Australia and the Northern Territory Government to capture the park for Street View according to Tjukurpa law. The Street View journey ventures to the vista of Talinguṟu Nyakunytjaku, the winding trail of the Kuniya Walk, the cool respite of Kapi Muṯitjulu (waterhole) and ancient art at Kulpi Muṯitjulu (Family Cave). It invites you to zoom in on the curves, crevices and textures of Uluṟu—and gaze up at its glowing gradient of color.

170404_Day02_0897.jpg
Lindsey Dixon, of Northern Territory Tourism, captured the Street View content at Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park in accordance with Tjukurpa law

Since 2007, Google has mapped imagery of unique locations across 83 countries, including heritage monuments, touristic sites, museums, national parks and transit locations across the globe.  In the case of Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, Tjukurpa warranted a more nuanced approach.  For Aṉangu, there is no distinction between the physical and metaphysical, or the animate and inanimate. People, earth, plants and animals are inextricably connected. This means that Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park could never be truly represented or understood (virtually or otherwise) without the presence and voices of its people.

We knew we had to bring these cultural and spiritual dimensions to the Street View experience. So we used the Story Spheres platform to add immersive audio stories and songs of Aṉangu traditional owners to the 360° Street View imagery. The result is an interactive, audio-visual guided tour, narrated by Sammy Wilson and with song and music by Traditional Owner and Aṉangu Elder, Reggie Uluru.

Because Tjukurpa teachings are traditionally handed down through an ancient oral tradition, Aṉangu stories, songs and ceremonies are largely unrecorded. The generosity of traditional owners has made a rare and revered piece of culture available to, and archived for, the world.

170403_Day01_0470.jpg
Traditional owner, Sammy Wilson, sharing Tjukurpa stories with Miranda Schooneveldt, Parks Australia

Together with our partners, we’re privileged to help celebrate and preserve Aṉangu culture through technology. We hope this model will lead to stronger partnerships with indigenous communities across Australia—to share more sacred sites and instill greater value and respect for the land.

Get a behind-the-scenes view of the Google Maps Street View and Story Spheres project in our video.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park | Google Maps Street View Launch

Big dreams and bright ideas from Singaporean kids who code

13-year-old Celeste Low’s dream has always been to be a spy and be able to send encrypted messages to people. While she may have some way to go before she becomes an undercover agent, the coding skills Celeste has picked up through Code in the Community have enabled her to build a tool that allows people to send encrypted messages to one another.

Celeste belongs to the first cohort of 500 kids to take part in Code in the Community, a program to bring coding to 3,000 youths from less well-to-do backgrounds across Singapore. The Google office recently came alive with their energy and the ideas they showcased at a graduation ceremony to celebrate their achievements.

Celeste Low

Celeste Low showed her project to Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah. Her project is based on Caesar Shift, a type of substitution cipher where each letter in the original message is replaced with a letter corresponding to a certain number of letters up or down in the alphabet.

In just 10 short weeks, the program has opened up the eyes of kids as young as eight years old to the opportunities that technology creates and the innovations they might be able to build with it in the future. And the best thing is that they’re having fun while doing it! 

Ten-year-old Anesh Ashouk Giri and his 12-year-old sister Anesha Leoraa were strangers to coding before they began the program. But with encouragement from their parents who believe coding is an important skill, they were able to create simple programs in a matter of weeks. Using a Micro:bit—a pocket-sized codeable computer—they built a tool to control the movement of race cars on a track.

Anesh and Anesha
Siblings Anesh and Anesha show us their projects and that age is no barrier when it comes to coding! We're here together with members of Singapore's four self-help groups. 

Having fun is an important part of learning, and we’ve seen how it stirs curiosity to pick up more advanced skills. Outside the weekly coding class, 13-year-old Keeret Singh Sandhu turned to YouTube to go a step further, teaching himself how to build an app that can authenticate IC numbers. From here, Keeret hopes to create an AI-based product that’ll help kids with their math homework.

These are just some of the inspiring stories we’ve seen come out of Code in the Community, and we can’t wait to see what the kids build in future terms of the program. We’re grateful to our partners 21C Girls and Saturday Kids who deliver exciting classes every week, and to Singapore’s four self-help groups, CDAC, Eurasian Association, SINDA and Yayasan Mendaki, for making this program possible.

Watch what else the kids have to say about Code in the Community: 

Code in the Community - Big dreams and bright ideas from Singaporean kids who code

Code in the Community - Big dreams and bright ideas from Singaporean kids who code

And check out a few more photos taken on the day: 

.

Big dreams and bright ideas from Singaporean kids who code

13-year-old Celeste Low’s dream has always been to be a spy and be able to send encrypted messages to people. While she may have some way to go before she becomes an undercover agent, the coding skills Celeste has picked up through Code in the Community have enabled her to build a tool that allows people to send encrypted messages to one another.

Celeste belongs to the first cohort of 500 kids to take part in Code in the Community, a program to bring coding to 3,000 youths from less well-to-do backgrounds across Singapore. The Google office recently came alive with their energy and the ideas they showcased at a graduation ceremony to celebrate their achievements.

Celeste Low

Celeste Low showed her project to Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah. Her project is based on Caesar Shift, a type of substitution cipher where each letter in the original message is replaced with a letter corresponding to a certain number of letters up or down in the alphabet.

In just 10 short weeks, the program has opened up the eyes of kids as young as eight years old to the opportunities that technology creates and the innovations they might be able to build with it in the future. And the best thing is that they’re having fun while doing it! 

Ten-year-old Anesh Ashouk Giri and his 12-year-old sister Anesha Leoraa were strangers to coding before they began the program. But with encouragement from their parents who believe coding is an important skill, they were able to create simple programs in a matter of weeks. Using a Micro:bit—a pocket-sized codeable computer—they built a tool to control the movement of race cars on a track.

Anesh and Anesha
Siblings Anesh and Anesha show us their projects and that age is no barrier when it comes to coding! We're here together with members of Singapore's four self-help groups. 

Having fun is an important part of learning, and we’ve seen how it stirs curiosity to pick up more advanced skills. Outside the weekly coding class, 13-year-old Keeret Singh Sandhu turned to YouTube to go a step further, teaching himself how to build an app that can authenticate IC numbers. From here, Keeret hopes to create an AI-based product that’ll help kids with their math homework.

These are just some of the inspiring stories we’ve seen come out of Code in the Community, and we can’t wait to see what the kids build in future terms of the program. We’re grateful to our partners 21C Girls and Saturday Kids who deliver exciting classes every week, and to Singapore’s four self-help groups, CDAC, Eurasian Association, SINDA and Yayasan Mendaki, for making this program possible.

Watch what else the kids have to say about Code in the Community: 

Code in the Community - Big dreams and bright ideas from Singaporean kids who code

Code in the Community - Big dreams and bright ideas from Singaporean kids who code

And check out a few more photos taken on the day: 

.

Big dreams and bright ideas from Singaporean kids who code

13-year-old Celeste Low’s dream has always been to be a spy and be able to send encrypted messages to people. While she may have some way to go before she becomes an undercover agent, the coding skills Celeste has picked up through Code in the Community have enabled her to build a tool that allows people to send encrypted messages to one another.

Celeste belongs to the first cohort of 500 kids to take part in Code in the Community, a program to bring coding to 3,000 youths from less well-to-do backgrounds across Singapore. The Google office recently came alive with their energy and the ideas they showcased at a graduation ceremony to celebrate their achievements.

Celeste Low

Celeste Low showed her project to Senior Minister of State for Finance and Law Indranee Rajah. Her project is based on Caesar Shift, a type of substitution cipher where each letter in the original message is replaced with a letter corresponding to a certain number of letters up or down in the alphabet.

In just 10 short weeks, the program has opened up the eyes of kids as young as eight years old to the opportunities that technology creates and the innovations they might be able to build with it in the future. And the best thing is that they’re having fun while doing it! 

Ten-year-old Anesh Ashouk Giri and his 12-year-old sister Anesha Leoraa were strangers to coding before they began the program. But with encouragement from their parents who believe coding is an important skill, they were able to create simple programs in a matter of weeks. Using a Micro:bit—a pocket-sized codeable computer—they built a tool to control the movement of race cars on a track.

Anesh and Anesha
Siblings Anesh and Anesha show us their projects and that age is no barrier when it comes to coding! We're here together with members of Singapore's four self-help groups. 

Having fun is an important part of learning, and we’ve seen how it stirs curiosity to pick up more advanced skills. Outside the weekly coding class, 13-year-old Keeret Singh Sandhu turned to YouTube to go a step further, teaching himself how to build an app that can authenticate IC numbers. From here, Keeret hopes to create an AI-based product that’ll help kids with their math homework.

These are just some of the inspiring stories we’ve seen come out of Code in the Community, and we can’t wait to see what the kids build in future terms of the program. We’re grateful to our partners 21C Girls and Saturday Kids who deliver exciting classes every week, and to Singapore’s four self-help groups, CDAC, Eurasian Association, SINDA and Yayasan Mendaki, for making this program possible.

Watch what else the kids have to say about Code in the Community: 

Code in the Community - Big dreams and bright ideas from Singaporean kids who code

Code in the Community - Big dreams and bright ideas from Singaporean kids who code

And check out a few more photos taken on the day: 

.