backpack Stories August 14, 2015

Use Google’s same-day delivery service, help give school supplies to kids in need

The beginning of a new school year is almost here and with it many stores have begun to fill their aisles with supplies and pepper the media with advertisements to get kids, and their parents, in the door. Many students can’t afford to get everything they may need, however, which could start the year off on a wrong, anxious foot. Google, in partnership with Volunteers of America Operation Backpack, is using its Google Express same-day delivery service to give away 10,000 backpacks full of supplies to disadvantaged children.

Operation Backpack® provides new backpacks and school supplies to disadvantaged kids, giving them a sense of confidence in knowing that their education is important and that somebody believes in them.

Here’s how it works: Spend at least $50 on Google Express between now and the 17th of this month, and Google will donate a backpack to Volunteers of America Operation Backpack, up to 10,000 backpacks. The website isn’t specific as to whether or not the $50 has to be in one transaction, but I assume so. And since there’s just a limit on the maximum amount of backpacks they’ll donate, you should be able to make multiple $50 orders and have a backpack donated each time until they hit that limit.

Google Express is Google’s same-day delivery service for getting everything from electronics to fruits and vegetables delivered right to your door within hours. It’s the same idea as the popular Instacart delivery service, except that Instacart delivers a more limited selection of items — mainly food and healthcare products. Express, like Instacart, procures its inventory from local stores which vary depending on the city you’re in, and you can either pay $5 for delivery, or a $95 annual membership fee to get unlimited free deliveries on orders of at least $15 in value. Google Express is only available in a few major US cities right now, though:

  • San Francisco
  • Peninsula & San Jose
  • West Los Angeles
  • Manhattan
  • Chicago
  • Boston
  • Washington, DC

backpack Stories March 22, 2013

Watch how Google captures the Canadian Arctic with its Street View Trekker backpack (Video)

Google has been constantly updating its Maps and Google Earth apps with new Street View imagery in recent months. Earlier this month it began rolling out new imagery for famous mountains including Kilimanjaro and Everest, and now Google’s Street View team is hitting Northern Canada for the first time with its Street View Trekker backpacks:

This is the first Trekker expedition in Canada for Google Maps. I’m wearing the backpack to collect Street View imagery as I walk to the shore of Frobisher Bay, where the wind is the strongest and you can see the tide piling up mountains of sea ice. On the way I’ll pass sled dogs tied up outside houses, yapping in anticipation of their next trip. And I may stop to check out an igloo, built by Inuit craftsmen using methods passed down over a millennia.

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