Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Week 8 Working with Google Applications


This week we will look at Google applications - there is more to Google than just its search engine! Besides creating a new verb in the English language (to google), Google is constantly creating (and buying) new applications and services. For example Blogger which this blog sits on was bought by Google in 2003. Google also owns Youtube (2006), Gmail, Google Scholar and too many other services/applications to mention.

What you will learn this week:

For the purposes of RULA 2.0 we will be sticking to

1. Google Docs
  • Learn how to upload a document and share it with your co-workers.
  • Work in real time on a shared document.

2. Google Maps

  • Find yourself on a map or get directions to the PARTY!
  • Try more advanced features
  • Is this a tool you can use in your daily life or in your future activities?
3. Personalizing your Google Account.

  • Decide what else you want to explore in the Google universe?
  • Make your Google search page your own.

1. Google Docs

Google Docs is a free, web-based application that will hosts your word, spreadsheet, presentation, and PDF files. It allows users to create, edit and upload documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users.

For more information you can check out what Google has to say or Wikipedia.

Common Craft also has a neat video on WHY you should be using Google Docs - It’s a revolution in document sharing!

Google Docs Activity

Create a document you’d like to share with your group or just your group leader. It’s up to you if you’d like them to be able to edit it or only view it.

One suggestion: You thoughts/feedback on the Technology Petting Zoo from February 24th or 25th.
• What you liked and what you are now going to run out and buy?
• Your favorite toy that wasn’t there but you want to let the community know
• Questions you have on any new technology you’ve seen here on RULA 2.0.
• What ever you want!

1. Sign in to Google Documents using your Google account. http://docs.google.com/

2. Start a NEW document or UPLOAD an existing one.

3. To start collaborating, (1) Click off the documents you wish to share, (2) Click the SHARE button and enter the email of your co-workers (There are various user roles you can define).

4. Explore! Organize your Google Docs, Try other formats etc.

2. Google Maps – Never get lost again.

Google Maps relies on mapping technology (including satellite images) and local business directories so you can find an address or get directions from one address to another.
It’s also a great teaching tool and vacation tool – you can look up where your hotel is, directions to the Eiffel Tower, etc!

The webpage is constantly adding value added options like pictures, videos and Wikipedia entries to enrich your experience.

Google Maps Activity -Find your self on the map.

1. Go to Google Maps Canada (http://maps.google.ca/maps)

2. Enter in an address or place of business in the search bar at the top– Have fun!


3.Click on “Get Directions” and enter in your current address and the address of where you want to go (have fun).

4. Once you’re there click on all the different options at the top of the map! (Satellite, Terrain etc)

Warning- For those wanting the try the advanced option

Create your own map!
1. Click on My Maps
2. Google will give you the tools to place markers and routes.

Here’s an example of my walking route to work.

View Larger Map

Cool Option:
Google Earth http://earth.google.com/
(Caution –This needs to be downloaded to your computer. )

Fly over the earth and now the oceans with real satellite images and 3-D. New features include historical imagery and Museum tours.

3. Personalize your Google Account.

We’ve only gone over 2 Google Applications but there are many more enjoyable ones you can add.
In Google click on “My Account” you’ll see the ones you’ve signed up for and a list of some new ones you might want to try.


Try the new I-Google (www.google.com/ig )
Make I-Google your home page and customize it with weather, news, maps etc.

Remember to create a post on your blog about this week's activities. Did you like them? How can we use some of Google's services in the Library?

The Wrap Up

Here’s an in-depth list of all the Google applications/services

AND above all check out Google Labs – these are services/applications Google is still working on but they want the public to test drive!

And Introducing……..the newest Google application released this month…..

GOOGLE LATITUDE -See your friends on a map and get in touch

Lattitude uses GPS technology to track down your friends through their cell phone or WiFi location. Friends must agree to this before their locations can be tracked but this is still raising lots of questions about privacy in media and academic circles. What do you think?

Fun Stuff!
Did you know every April Fools Day, Google does something to make us laugh! They also like to leave hidden Easter Eggs in their applications/services. In tech speak Easter Eggs are hidden jokes or good surprises left by developers.

Here’s one Easter egg that’s still up and running. You can check out their past hoaxes on wikipedia.
1. Go to Google and type miserable failure in the search box
2. Click on the “I’m feeling lucky” button.


  1. Google has launched its fancy search



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