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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Google innovations created in Israel

Forbes lists ten Google innovations created in Israel. I knew about some of them, but others were new to me.

Live Results is being developed in Israel. It allows people to find data they are looking for directly in the Google webpage, without the need to click on a link that will direct visitors to a website. For instance, you search “Weather in Rio de Janeiro” and it directly shows the forecast instead of only links to websites.

Person finder application. An app that was very useful during the Turkey Earthquake. Whenever a natural disaster takes place, the person finder application goes live, aiming to provide reliable and actual information about missing people. People basically have two buttons, “I am looking for someone” and “I have info about someone.”


Google Suggest – The Autocomplete Search Tool that let us “search faster than the speed of typing” was fully developed in Israel. 


Digital Dead Sea Scrolls Project. Google has digitized one of the oldest manuscript ever discovered and allows everyone to examine it online with high resolution. For instance, if you search for “And the world shall dwell with the lamb,” you can instantly find the exact location in the digital version of the original scroll. This project was such a success that in the first day it was live more people saw the dead sea scrolls than in the entire year before.
Inna was very excited to present the work Google has done with the Yad Vashem memorial, dedicated to victims of the Holocaust. This collaborationhas created an online collaborative archive of photographs of the museum. Basically, Google uploaded thons of physical documents, such as photos. Anyone, anywhere can not only find information about each person and/or location in the pictures but also easily add information.
Google Insights for search started in Israel and now is being improved by Google engineers all over the world. It is a free tool to analyze search queries. However, only ratios and not the total number of queries are revealed. For instance, you can verify that the total amount of searches for the term “Pele” was about three times higher than ”Maradona” in the past 30 days.
In-Page Analytics was fully developed in Israel. Basically, it lets you quantify precise information about your website. For instance, you can measure the percentage of visitors who clicked on any clickable item in your website.
Receive emails through SMS in Ghana. Google Israel developed an app that allows people to receive emails in SMS format. In Ghana, just like in Guinea Conakry where I worked, broadband internet is not widespread. However, most people have cell phones. When you send an email to someone registered in this service, the person receives the email as a SMS. I hope Google has found a better way of filtering spams than in regular Gmail.
Interactive videos in youtube started in Israel and was taken to Mountain View to be fully developed.
Google hires some of the smartest software engineers and programmers on the planet, and even so Google Israel seems to be punching above its weight in creating interesting Google applications.

(h/t Mike)