Use: Create compelling story timelines integrating Google Earth locations
Google Tour Builder is an experimental product from Google that allows publishers to create timelines of stories and integrate Google Earth map locations. For example, ABC correspondent Bob Woodruff illustrates his journey to the Middle East, where he was injured in Iraq, to various medical facilities, back home and then to a benefit concert in 2012.
The service, which requires a Google Map plug-in, walks you through the creation of your tour which can be shared with specificaudiences or posted in Google’s gallery. Stories can include a mix of text and images.
This could be a great tool for illustrating stories with a timeline and a range of locations, for example the Boston Red Sox story from pre-season to the World Series. Or providing a gallery of local readers to capture interesting travel stories.
ReadWrite: Drop A Pin, Tell A Story With Google’s New ‘Tour Builder’ Tool
Engadget: Google Earth Tour Builder lets you tell stories through maps
TheNextWeb: Tour Builder: Google wants you to tell your stories using Google Earth
Use: Leverage Google tools to create new content and products
Google Media Tools aggregates all of Google’s various tools for media companies in one location. The site is organized by categories (Gather and Organize, Publish, Engage, Develop and Visualize) and includes 27 “tools” such as Advance Search, Google Consumer Surveys, Google Analytics, Google Maps Engine and Google Charts. YouTube, Google+, Google News and other Google properties are also considered tools for journalists.
Use: Efficiently develop desktop apps that will work seamlessly across operating systems/devices with or without an Internet connection
According to ReadWrite: “Chrome Web Apps open in their own windows, not the browser. But these apps will work offline and can use hardware (memory cards, cameras, drives) connected to the device they’re running on—something that traditional Web apps can’t do. The browser itself doesn’t even have to be running, although the apps will tap into its native functionality.”
While many publishers are developing HTML5-based sites that provide app-like capabilities on any browser, the Chrome Web Apps — because they open outside of the browser and don’t require an Internet connection — feel more native-app like. Of course, users will have to install the Chrome browser on their desktops for the technology to work.
ReadWrite: A New Google Technology Aims To Make Apps Run Everywhere—Well, Almost
Information Week: Google Debuts Chrome Web Apps
The Verge: Google’s Trojan horse: how Chrome Apps will finally take on Windows
Use: Increase exposure of related content to articles that show up in Google search
In early August, Google began rolling out a new search feature called “In-Depth Articles.” The feature will surface content relevant to specific search results to provide users with more background on searched topics. According to Google: “these results are ranked algorithmically based on many signals that look for high-quality, in-depth content.” (See link below to similar Twitter feature launched on August 20).
So, for example, if a user searches for Edwin Snowden, a list of in-depth articles will appear below search results and might include stories about the NSA Prism program, reaction from foreign governments, tensions between the U.S. and Russia over granting of asylum, etc.
Google offers a variety of tips to optimize this feature, including a logo and implementing aspects of schema.org article, markup, authorship markup and, for paid sites, first click free.
Update 8/21/2013: Mashable: Twitter Provides Context With Related Headlines Feature
Hubspot: What Google’s ‘In-Depth Articles’ Algorithm Update Means For Your Content Strategy
Copyblogger: How to Write the In-Depth Articles that Google Loves
The Moz Blog: Inside In-depth Articles: Dissecting Google’s Latest Feature