Spreadsheet Mapper 3 Adds 'More Placemarks, Advanced Customization' and More; New Modern Look Google Scholar; Connect with Customers using Hangouts On Air

Spreadsheet Mapper 3 launches today comes with a variety of new and improved features taking advantage of new features in Google spreadsheets and Google Apps Scripts.For those new, "Spreadsheet Mapper tool enables anyone to easily create a well-designed KML file to show off their data in Google Earth and Maps. Since Spreadsheet Mapper is a […]

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Spreadsheet Mapper 3 launches today comes with a variety of new and improved features taking advantage of new features in Google spreadsheets and Google Apps Scripts.

For those new, "Spreadsheet Mapper tool enables anyone to easily create a well-designed KML file to show off their data in Google Earth and Maps. Since Spreadsheet Mapper is a Google Docs template, you fill in your data using the familiar interface of a spreadsheet, and create a great KML without any coding. It gives you all the cloud-based benefits of Google Docs, including collaborative editing and the ability to publish directly to the web."

Version 2 of the Spreadsheet Mapper had a number of limitations, especially with regard to the number of placemarks it could create and the available balloon templates. Now this has been taken care in version 3 offering following new features:

Spreadsheet Mapper 3 brings Google spreadsheets and Apps Scripts features

  • "More placemarks: Support for 1,000 placemarks and ability to add more as needed
  • Flexible balloon design: Take advantage of even more balloon design templates and simplified starter templates
  • Simplified publication: Just click "Publish to the web" to share your map (no more fussing with URLs)
  • New customization options: Advanced users can change the default view and network link details," posted Christiaan Adams, Developer Advocate with the Google Earth Outreach team.

Ready to try it? Refer this Spreadsheet Mapper v3 tutorial to get started.

In other Google news, Google Scholar today launches a newly redesigned search pages and retires the old venerable look that has served researchers worldwide since its first release in 2004.

"The new modern look brings you improved aesthetics and easier access to frequently used search features. You can now search for recent papers with a single click in the sidebar. You can access advanced search features (for example: search by author) without leaving the search results page by clicking the arrow in the right of the search box," posted Alex Verstak, Software Engineer.

"With the new look, you can now limit your search to specific jurisdictions by clicking in the sidebar of the search results page instead of navigating through advanced search. You can print legal cases in a cleaner, more streamlined format using the "Print" option in your browser," Verstak adds.

Google also clarified the preferences, err, settings page by organizing it into sections, performed a minor facelift on pages that deal with configuration of email alerts.

Google says they will be working on updating the author profile pages and help pages.

The new look will gradually be rolling out to all users. If you don't see the new version, and don't even want to wait, you can upgrade right away. And, if you don't like the modern look, or simply prefer to wait a little longer before switching, you can temporarily revert to the old venerable look.

Modern Look Google Scholar Launches

WebM VP8 Codec SDK Eider

"Eider," the fifth named release of the VP8 Codec SDK (libvpx), is now available.

"Note that the VP8 format definition has not changed, only the SDK. Eider is ABI and API compatible with Duclair. Code changes shouldn't be required in most applications, but please consult the "Upgrading" instructions in the CHANGELOG. In particular, use of the encoder's spatial denoiser has changed," Google said.

In addition to a number of enhancements, this release fixes a decoder bug first introduced in v1.0.0, "Duclair," so all users of that release are encouraged to upgrade. Enhancements include:

  • Eider adds a motion-compensated temporal denoiser, which gives higher quality than the older spatial denoiser.
  • We've added support for new compilers and platforms, including improved Xcode support, Android x86 NDK build, OS/2 support and SunCC support.
  • Input resolution may now be changed without re-initializing the codec.
  • The vpxenc application has initial support for producing multiple encodes from the same input in one call.

You can download the Eider libvpx snapshot (version 1.1.0) from the Downloads page, or clone it from Git repository.

Hangouts On Air Video Recording of Help Desk Hangout On Air

Google has posted its latest Help Desk Hangout On Air, on how to use a Hangout On Air - the ability to broadcast a Hangout to the world. You can watch the full hour-long Hangout video embedded below:

Here is a minute-by-minute breakdown of the video description:

What kind of technical setup should I have for something like this?
You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars on fancy equipment, but many users have found having a dedicated microphone and webcam, plus an ethernet connection, make for a much smoother experience.

Who can join the Hangout, and who can watch it? Can I broadcast to a select group?
When you hit broadcast, Hangouts On Air are public for the world to watch live. A member of that "public," however, can not join the Hangout; they can only watch it. To get people in the Hangout, you as the Hangout owner need to invite them.

Where does the recording of the Hangout live?
The recording will be uploaded to your YouTube account (if you're hosting the Hangout from a Google+ page, the video will live in the account of whoever's admin'ing the page at the time of the Hangout). After the Hangout, visit your YouTube Video Manager to see your video and make edits if you need to. Note: This video will upload to your account as a Public video; you can change the video at any time to "private" or "unlisted" via the Video Manager.

Why do I need to verify my YouTube account?
In order to record YouTube videos longer than 15 minutes, you'll need to verify your account.

To learn more about how to get started with Hangouts On Air, check out this detailed technical guide, and if you still have questions, drop in to the Google+ discussion forum. And remember to tune in to the live stream of our next Hangout at 11 a.m. PT Wednesday May 16 when we dive deeper into the world of Chromebooks (read up on our first Chromebooks Hangout).

Watch the video to learn about Hangouts On Air: