I did have one techie admit that he learned something new at the presentation I did for the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. Their Sunny Climate Seminar is held every year in Hawaii, very painful…
Almost as soon as I minted my PowerPoint, So You Think You Know Google? (see an edited version), Google released design changes to Google Maps and added a new feature, SearchWiki, to Web search. SearchWiki — a search results comment feature that can be public or private — is potentially an investigative tool to see what people are saying about incidents and people and companies in the news. But SearchWiki may die before much of a database of comments develops because the addition has been fairly negatively received. Read more about this at Internet News. In a trial search example, enter “searchwiki” in the Google search box then scroll to the bottom of the search results page. Click on “All notes for this SearchWiki” and start reading the comments by selecting the link under the URL of each search result.
There are other blogs that are featuring screenshots and discussing all the new features on Google Maps Street View, but one feature improvement stood out to me — the revamped 360 degree rotate. Now, in the Street View image just hold your mouse button on the “N” on the circular dial as you move around the circle to get smoother, more incremental views of the street scene. An addition that I’ve long wished for has been added, although it’s not as seamless as the new panorama rotate, the “look up”/”look down” function. Remember zooming to get a good shot of a street address only to have it disappear from view? Now you can zoom, then elevate or lower the view for the enjoyment of a tall building (but no simulated scaling of the building) or to get a closer glance at the part of the frame that disappeared in the older Street View version.
One last Google note for those of you who use gmail. You no longer need fear a panic attack on the discovery that your email account has been swallowed by the cybermonster. Thanks to Inter Alia for the pointer to Gmail Backup.