mountains Stories March 18, 2013

Google announced today on its Official Blog some that it began rolling out some new enhancements for Google Maps with the addition of famous mountains such Kilimanjaro in Africa and the Everest Base Camp in Asia. Imagery for other mountain peaks is included in today’s update, including: the tallest mountain in Europe; Mount Elbrus located in Russia; as well as the highest in the Western and Southern Hemispheres, Argentina’s Aconcagua.

group shot on everestThese mountains belong to the group of peaks known as the Seven Summits—the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. While there’s nothing quite like standing on the mountain, with Google Maps you can instantly transport yourself to the top of these peaks and enjoy the sights without all of the avalanches, rock slides, crevasses, and dangers from altitude and weather that mountaineers face. This imagery was collected with a simple lightweight tripod and digital camera with a fisheye lens—equipment typically used for our Business Photos program.

Google also shared a detailed post on its Lat Long blog that details the process of collecting imagery for today’s update.

mountains Stories March 14, 2012

Google is reinventing its Web-search technique with direct information for queries to better maintain the majority market share.

The Wall Street Journal said Google aims to replace some Web links with summarized answers and facts. The search formula transition will roll out over the next few months as the search engine begins to merge relevant results with semantic search, which attempts to understand the meaning of words versus keyword identification. One source said the change could influence 10 percent to 20 percent of all search queries.

Under the new strategy, a search for “Mount Everest” will display key attributes, such as the mountain’s location, altitude, or geographical history, aggregated from Google-indexed websites. Longer queries might uncover a real answer instead of links to websites. For example, the question “What are the 10 largest mountains in the United States?” would subsequently reveal a list of mountains and not ambiguous links to various state parks or hikers’ fan pages.

Google’s top executive Amit Singhal told WSJ that the new search results are the product of hundreds of millions of “entities” stored in a database. The company’s Metaweb team of 50 engineers painstakingly gathered particulars on people, places, and things over the last two years to build an immense collection for associating different words through semantic search.

More information is available below.

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