Tag Archives: France

Seeking advice on the Right to be Forgotten

Earlier this summer we announced the formation of an Advisory Council on the Right to be Forgotten. As the Council begins its work, it is seeking comment from experts on the issues raised by the CJEU ruling. Experts will be considered for selection to present to the Council in-person during public consultations held this fall, in the following cities:
  • September 9 in Madrid, Spain
  • September 10 in Rome, Italy
  • September 25 in Paris, France
  • September 30 in Warsaw, Poland
  • October 14 in Berlin, Germany
  • October 16 in London, UK
  • November 4 in Brussels, Belgium
The Council welcomes position papers, research, and surveys in addition to other comments. We accept submissions in any official EU language. Though the Council will review comments on a rolling basis throughout the fall, it may not be possible to invite authors who submit after August 11 to present evidence at the public consultations.

Stay tuned for details on the Council’s activity.

Commemorating World War I

A century ago, a Serb nationalist assassinated Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, sparking World War I. Today, we are launching a new channel dedicated to commemorate the war’s centenary. It brings together World War I content, paintings, photographs, letters, documents, soldiers’ poems and more, from a range of Museum partners, ranging from the German Federal Archives to the Belgian Mundaneum to the Imperial War Museum.

A search for Franz Ferdinand brings up photos relating to the Archeduke’s assassination. They show the Franz and his wife Sophie arriving in Sarajevo. Outfitted in regal dress, treated with the pomp and circumstance of royalty, they stroll through the streets. A final image shows police arresting Serb assassin Gavrilo Princip.

Other exhibits explore the art around the conflict and personal impact of the conflict. Belgium’s Mundaneum has collected postcards sent from POW camps. The Imperial War Museum’s features Christopher Nevinson's bleak landscapes. The British authorities censored some of the paintings for being too “negative.” At the same time, the museum also features John Nash’s patriotic paintings.

The German side of the war is well represented, with more than 200 new items in 13 new exhibits. Items include photographs, newspapers, letters, army documents, ration cards, and unusual items like the anti war poem written by a German soldier which lead to his detention. Exhibits range from German policy around the Sarajevo assassination to the rise of German airships to problems of nutrition due to the conflict.

The exhibits are designed for for a wide audience and full of exciting details for specialists. More content will be added over the coming months and years as commemorations around the Great War continue.

After a week in Brazil, here are the hot trends on the field

The 2014 FIFA World Cup™ is heating up, and it’s capturing the imagination of Europeans. Google Trends gives your real-time guide to the players, teams and moments that football lovers are interested in. Here’s a flavour of what Europeans have been searching for during the first week of action in Brazil.

During a match without national anthems due to a technical glitch, France searches for anthem La Marseillaise increased more than 3x
In a game that went all Germany’s way, Müller’s hat-trick scored 3x more local searches than Pepe’s head-butt.
We can show you what questions fans are most asking Google about the tournament, and we can give you a flavour of the national sentiment before or after a match, by analysing posts on Google+. Compare how Costa Rica and Italy are feeling before today’s game:

At google.com/worldcup you can explore these moments throughout the tournament, whether it’s insight on how a country is feeling ahead of a big match, or where fans stand on a controversial match-winning refereeing decision.

Commemorating D-Day’s 70th anniversary

On the 70th day of the momentous D-Day Normandy landings, our Cultural Institute is launching two initiatives to commemorate: a G+ Hangout on Air with veterans and five new online exhibitions.

The Hangout with D-Day veterans will allow anybody, anywhere to hear direct from veterans on their D-Day experiences. It takes place live from the Caen War Memorial at 6 p.m. Central Europe time. French television journalist Gilles Bouleau will host and Caen Memorial historian Christophe Prime will lend his expertise. American, French and British veterans will participate. High school students from both the U.S. and France will join the discussion.

At the same time, we’re publishing online Normandy landings exhibitions from the Caen War Memorial and other Cultural Institute partners, including the U.K’s Imperial War Museum and Bletchley Park code breakers center, the George C Marshall Research Foundation and the US National Archives. The exhibitions include exciting, previously unshown video footage of the landing, letters from soldiers and the original assault plan. All told, 470 new documents and images are included.

Take some time to browse - and reflect on the sacrifices made to secure Europe’s freedom.

Tennish champ Federer takes to the court with Glass

Right in time for the French Tennis Open, which opens in Paris on May 25, two of the greatest tennis players of all time, Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg, recently took Glass for a swing. It’s safe to say that their combined 23 Grand Slam titles will be the most that ever step foot on Google’s tennis courts at our headquarters in Mountain View.

"It was really fun shooting this video through Glass,” said Roger. “It's not often you get to explore new angles of watching tennis. I hope fans enjoy this new perspective.”

As our Glass Explorer community has grown, we've heard time and time again that Glass is a great companion for sports. Glass has been a hit with several pro athletes from Indiana Pacer Roy Hibbert and PGA player Billy Horschel. Take a look and swing away.

Visiting Marseille’s unbeaten tracks

Have you ever visited a city and wished that a local could share their insider secrets? Wouldn’t it be even better to be able to put on your headphones and listen to their advice while strolling? In France, together with Marseille radio journalist Julie de Muer, we’ve just launched a fascinating online experiment, called “Night Walk.”

Julie and several artists involved with local broadcaster Radio Grenouille created the project. Using her recording skills, Julie created “soundwalks”: audio tours that explain the history and hidden sights and sounds of the streets, with stories told by local inhabitants. Visitors just have to download a sound track and a Google Maps route from the Soundwalks website to travel in the steps of these unusual guides, through their stories and their sounds.

More than 40 soundwalks have been created and marked out on Google Maps. Since 2013, they have enabled more than 20,000 visitors to discover the southern French cities of Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, and Aubagne.

Creating the soundwalks has been quite a task. It has taken no less than four years of collective work exploring the cities, meeting new people, recording streets and sounds and putting together the interactive website.

Want to take a walk through the Marseille streets yourself? It's simple: follow an evening soundwalk around Marseille’s Cours Julien, with local musician Christophe Perruchi guiding you as you walk. See a graffiti artist at work. Listen to a jazz jam in one of the neighborhood’s bars, find the 35 “secrets” hidden in the neighborhood, discover a fire-eater or the city’s most surprising garage entrance…and enjoy!

Bringing the Opéra to the Cultural Institute

For the first time, the Google Cultural Institute has been given ‘access all areas’ to one of the world’s most famous Opera Houses: the Palais Garnier in Paris, the setting for The Phantom of the Opera.

Our indoor Street View images feature exquisite detail and allow anyone in the world to tour 11 floors (and 3.7km!) of the Palais Garnier. You can now experience virtually what it’s like to be on stage, backstage, in the rehearsal rooms, the costume room, a hidden lake or even on the roof of the Opéra building, overlooking Paris’ skyline!

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View from the stage (Mezzanine and Orchestra)

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View of the “Grand Foyer”

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View of the ground floor main staircase and “Grand Véstibule”

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View from the “4ème loges”

In our second installment from the Paris Opéra House, we bring you what we think might be the world's first multi-billion pixel image of a ceiling - it's certainly the first one to be captured by our team!

Marc Chagall’s masterpiece in the Opéra Garnier in Paris sits 18 meters above the auditorium seating, with specific light conditions and a concave shape, making it one of our biggest technical challenges to date.

In his riotously colourful modernist work, Chagall pays tribute to the composers Mozart, Wagner, Mussorgsky, Berlioz and Ravel, as well as to famous actors and dancers. And if you look carefully you might even be able to spot famous characters such as Carmen, or the discreet signature of the artist, 18 metres from the ground.

Finally, the Opéra has produced an online exhibition called Le Chemin des Etoiles, with portrait photos and information about more than 80 of its star dancers over the last 74 years.

Involving French citizens in the 2014 municipal elections

In March, French citizens will head to the polls to decide who is best fit to manage their cities. Before they vote, they will engage in a heated debate on issues ranging from housing, to urban planning and local taxes. We believe the Internet can play a central role in facilitating this debate and access to information. This is why we have partnered with France’s public TV network France Televisions - its information website France TV info and its regional TV channel France 3 - to allow French internet users to question candidates via Hangout on Air.

Visit “Mon Débat 2014” (My debate 2014) and register for these live debates or organise your own. More than 50 Hangouts are set to take place across the country in the weeks to come. Once they have taken place, the playbacks of the debates will be available to watch.

This week, the two main candidates in the race to become the next mayor of Paris, +Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet and +Anne Hidalgo, will both answer questions from citizens via Hangout on Air. Sign up now to participate. Below, see an example of an already conducted hangout.

The platform also will serve as a news hub. Users will be able to browse electoral news curated just as the rest of the platform by our partner, France TV info, and discover election search trends to get a sense of what fellow French citizens have on their mind.

Promoting transparency around Europe

When eight technology companies presented a plan this month to reform government surveillance, a key request concerned transparency. At Google, we were the first company to publish a transparency report detailing the requests we receive from governments around the world to bring down content or hand over information on users.

But Google’s report represents only a narrow snapshot. It is limited to a single company. Imagine instead if all the requests for information on Internet users and for takedowns of web content in a country could be published. This would give a much more effective picture of the state of Internet freedom. As the year draws to a close, we’re happy to report that Panoptykon, a Polish NGO, published this month a preliminary Internet transparency report for Poland and Fores, a Stockholm-based think tank, issued a study in Sweden.

In Poland and Sweden, we helped initiate these transparency efforts and supported them financially. NGOs in six other European countries are working on national transparency reports. Our Estonian-supported transparency coalition already published a report last spring. In addition, university researchers in Hong Kong moved ahead over the summer with their own report. In Strasbourg, the Council of Europe recently held an important conference on the subject and hopefully will move ahead to present a series of recommendations on transparency for its 47 members.

Each transparency campaign takes a different approach - we hope this process of experimentation will help all of us learn. The Estonian effort, titled Project 451, focuses on content removals, not government surveillance, because the authors believe this is the most important issue in their country. The name of Project “451″ refers to HTTP Status Code 451, defined as “unavailable for legal reasons” and the report found that many web platforms were taking legal content down due to fears of legal liability.

The new Polish and Swedish reports attempt to shed light on government requests for information on users. Fores contacted 339 Swedish authorities and found that more than a third had requested data about users or takedowns of user-uploaded content. Panoptykon uncovered that Polish telcos received 1.76 million requests for user information in 2012, while Internet companies polled received approximately 7,500. In addition, Panoptykon discovered that many Polish government requests for information on users were based on a flawed or unclear legal basis.

Admittedly, both the Swedish and Polish reports remain incomplete. Not all Internet companies participated. Much relevant data must be missing. Like with our own Google report, we hope to continue filling in the holes in the future. Our aim is to see this campaign gather momentum because the bottom line is transparency is essential to a debate over government surveillance powers.

Ski with Street View

Europe’s ski season is moving into high gear, making it a perfect moment for us to help you explore some of the continent’s best resorts and runs. We’ve taken our Street View snowmobile to the slopes and have launched new imagery of some great pistes in Italy, France, Andorra and Spain.

Italy: From the western border between Italy and France in La Thuile to Siusi, Pusteria and Kronplatz in the eastern Dolomite Stations south of Austria, we are bringing online a total of eight Italian ski resorts. Take a look where the pros will head down the pistes at Bormio, which hosts a World Cup stop on December 29.

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France: Val Thorens is one of the highest stations in Europe, while Les Gets opens up to the 600 kilometers of slopes on the Portes du Soleil.

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Spain: The Pyrenees boasts some great skiing and we feature Estació de Esqui de Masella.

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Andorra: The small state of Andorra is home to a lot of skiing. We are bringing online two Alpine resorts Estació Esquí de Grandvalira and Estació Esquí de Vallnord. Together they cover more than 300 kilometers of slopes. You can also explore Nordic skiing facilities at Estació Esquí de fons de Naturlandia.

Check out the slopes online, pick up your skis and head to the mountains.