Thursday, March 22, 2007

Google Comes to Canberra

Next Thursday Will Blott and Alan Noble from Google's Sydney office are visiting the ANU in Canberra.

The first part of the visit sounds like a sales pitch: "Google Australia is looking to forge relationships with key universities as they now have a dedicated 'on campus' focus in Australia. Google is keen to explore opportunities to partner that will add value to students' experience and help develop computer science engineers for Australia. ".

The second part is a technical presentation on the development being done for Google in Sydney, including Google Maps.

While I have been aware of some involvement of search engine developers locally, it will be interesting to put faces to names. The Standford University lab where Google originated uses my web site to test new search technology. AT one stage I had to tell them to slow down the crawling of my site. Some people from ANU have gone to work at Google and Microsoft on search technology.

Relevant projects at ANU include ones on semantic web for cultural publishing, mobile phones for bushfire mapping, and applications for a GPS open source smart phone.

Ten Canoes Study GuidesSemantic Web for Cultural Publishing

Two students undertook projects to provide a better web interface to Australian museum materials, including those which inspired the movie Ten Canoes.

One student now working out how to use this to provide more relevant links from the ACS Digital Library to services such as Google.

Sentinel Interactive Fire Tracking Map DemonstrationBushfire mapping

One student evaluated what was needed for an emergency management web site.

One application is adaption of the Sentinel Fire Mapping System for mobile devices. An experimental alternative web interface is available.

Sahana home page on a mobile phoneAnother application is to modify the Sahana open source disaster management system for a phone.

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