Google Goggle

It has been a very interesting week for internet exploration for me… For both professional and personal reasons I keep a close eye on internet services and resources… One business that has really caught my eye over the last week more than any other has been Google…Previously I had only thought of Google in terms of their search engine but they have some new very exciting services coming out… In particular I’ve been very impressed by Google Suggest, Google Gmail, and Google Maps… These new services may seem like your typical search engine or mail system but the differences (though subtle) really set them apart in my opinion…

Google Suggest is an enhancement to their normal search form… While you type in the search criteria it will suggest words you might be looking for as well as how often those words come up in search results… This is very much like the autocompletion you’ll find in many desktop applications… Spend some time searching with this and you’ll start to see it’s value… I’ve found that at times I’d be starting to type out my keywords and based on it’s suggestions add other words resulting in more accurate searches…

Another big item from Google is Gmail at http://gmail.google.com/… This is their new mail service… Among other things this service boasts being able to search mail and group mail threads together in an easy to use interface… While it supports use of external mail programs I’ve found so far that their web interface is far more powerful (yet simple) for mail management than most stand alone mail readers I’ve seen… They also suggest you “archive” instead of delete your email as they give you 1000 megs of storage… I’m a little unclear as of yet what the “archive” process does with your mail but from testing it’s still accessible and searchable though it’s not visible in your immediate inbox… The web interface is clean, quick, and easy to use… It’s a definite winner…

Finally Google Maps is also making a big splash… Personally I’ve found it easier to pull up streets and directions than most map services… Their use of dynamic web content also adds to its success with sharp easy to read bubbles, smooth scrolling of maps, and dynamic sizing of the map based on your browsers current display area… Though a small thing, I really like their use of semitransparent lines for driving directions… Many sites use solid lines which can make reading the map under the line difficult… This isn’t the case with Google Maps…

All three of these tools are making it to my internet surfing arsenal… At the time of this writing they’re all in beta but, with the exception of Gmail, available for testing… Give them a spin and see for yourself…

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