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How we’re supporting economic opportunity in Iowa

For some, Iowa may call to mind images of rolling corn fields, or the Field of Dreams. But those in the know will tell you that the Hawkeye state has a storied history of technological innovation. The first electronic digital computer was created in a lab at Iowa State and Lee de Forest, the “Father of Radio,” was born and raised in Council Bluffs. Perhaps most impressively,  sliced bread is an Iowan invention, with the first single loaf bread-slicing machine patented here in 1928.In 2009, Iowa also became home to a Google Data Center, where I—along with hundreds of Iowans—work to connect billions of people around the world to Google. When someone logs onto Gmail, watches a YouTube video or searches for an answer to some burning question, they might not think of Iowa, but they should. With such a strong track record of fostering creative answers to difficult questions, Iowa is the perfect place for Google to kick off a statewide $1 million Google.org Impact Challenge, where we’re inviting local nonprofits to share their most ambitious ideas to create economic opportunity in their community. Then, a panel of local advisors will select the top five to receive a $175,000 grant to bring their ideas to life. Our advisors, listed below, represent all corners of the state:Dr. Dan Kinney, President, Iowa Western Community CollegeGeorgia Van Gundy, Executive Director and Board Secretary, Iowa Business CouncilMonica Chavez-Silva, Assistant Vice President for Community Enhancement, Grinnell CollegeSherry Ristau, President, Quad Cities Community FoundationTej Dhawan, Chief Data Officer, Principal Financial GroupTo cap off the competition, Google will invite Iowans to select one of the five projects they believe will have the greatest impact.We kicked the Challenge off this morning in Des Moines at the first stop of a three-city Grow with Google Iowa Tour, where we’re teaming up with local libraries and partner organizations across the state to offer free trainings so that Iowans have the opportunity to learn digital skills to grow their careers or businesses. Tomorrow and the following day, we’ll visit libraries in Council Bluffs and Davenport as part of a larger commitment to support economic opportunity in America and bring in-person digital skills workshops to libraries to all 50 states.Iowa nonprofit organizations can find more information on the Google.org Impact Challenge and submit their applications by visiting g.co/iowachallenge. The deadline for submissions is May 17th at 11:59 p.m. CT. We’re expecting to name the five winners in the fall of 2019. Considering the sliced bread precedent, the bar is being set pretty high.


See Brighter in the Dark with Pixel at Coachella

This weekend, Coachella festival-goers will wander the desert, heading to and from performances by some of their favorite artists. If you're one of them, head over to Brighter in the Dark—a tech and music installation we created with Childish Gambino.The installation—a multisensory sight and sound experience that uses a mixture of light and music to give attendees a sneak peek into Childish Gambino’s creative world—uses the power of Pixel’s camera features to provide an interactive and Instagrammable moment for festival-goers.Fans can also swing by Brighter in the Dark to get a sneak peek of Childish Gambino’s  augmented reality (AR) app that we’re previewing onsite at Coachella on Pixel 3. Not heading to Indio? Stay tuned for more info, as the AR app is coming to more devices soon!Whether you’re bringing your Pixel with you to weekend one or weekend two, here are a few ways your camera can help you capture the beauty of the desert and the sights of Coachella.Night Sight: Use Pixel’s low-light mode, Night Sight, to capture the best evening photos at Coachella, and experience the cool visuals at Brighter in the Dark.Motion Auto Focus: Don’t let your dancing prevent you from taking amazing  photos! Your Pixel can be your mosh-pit companion—with Motion Auto Focus, videos and photos that you take of your favorite headliners will stay in focus, even while the performers are moving around the stage.Group Selfie: Traveling in a pack to Coachella? Get your whole crew in the picture with Pixel 3’s wide angle selfie cam in Group Selfie mode.Google Lens: Inspired by a fellow fan’s festival fashion? Use Lens with a long-press on the Camera’s viewfinder to search for similar items.Don’t forget to share your Brighter in the Dark experience with #teampixel!


More science in more places with Science Journal and Google Drive

We first launched Science Journal in 2016 so that students, teachers and science enthusiasts could conduct hands-on science experiments using their phones, tablets and Chromebooks. Since then, we've heard one request from teachers loud and clear: students need to be able to access their experiments no matter what device they're using or where they are. Learning doesn't just happen in the classroom, it happens outdoors, at home and everywhere in between. So today, we’re bringing a new Google Drive syncing feature to Science Journal. Now, you can access your experiments on any device using a Google Account.Accessing your experiment from Google Drive is easy: you can sign in with any Google Account and all of your experiments will be backed up to a Science Journal folder in Google Drive. If you have existing experiments on your device, you can add them to your Google Drive account. Many viewing, sharing and collaboration features will be coming to Science Journal in the future.If you don't have a Google Account or you don't want to sign in, you can still use Science Journal—but your data won't be saved to Google Drive. If your school doesn't have Google Accounts, you can sign up for G Suite for free—just remember that G Suite for Education accounts need a domain administrator to activate Science Journal in the G Suite Admin console.In addition to today’s syncing feature, we have a lot of new resources in Science Journal, just for teachers. Check out the new fundamentals and advanced professional development modules in the Google for Education Teacher Center. For introductory science activities, head over to Scholastic's Science in Action initiative, and for more hands-on physics content, you can pre-order Arduino's Science Kit. If you're looking for new ways to enhance Science Journal's capabilities, check out Vernier's Go Direct line of classroom sensors. Science Journal activities can now be found on the Workbench site, and you can always find activities and more on the Science Journal website and get support in our new help center. Finally, the Science Journal iOS app is now open source, so the app's code is available to the public, making it a great opportunity for students, hobbyists and companies who want to see how Science Journal works and even contribute code back to us.Our goal with Science Journal is to help you enhance scientific thinking and data literacy in your classroom. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months, and let us know what you think on our forum. You can tweet at us @GScienceJournal, or just use the #myScienceJournal hashtag on Twitter.


USMCA: A trade framework for the digital age

When the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed in 1992, the global economy and the world looked a lot different than they do today. There was no such thing as a web search engine. Most people didn't know what email was (let alone use it). And to participate in international trade, a business needed big financial resources, offices and staff around the world, and lots of fax machines.Thanks to the internet, that's all changed. Today, even the smallest of businesses can be global players and have customers in every corner of the world. Using the internet and online tools, the family-run Missouri Star Quilt Company has built an international business by sharing quilting how-to videos on YouTube, and the social impact brand Sword & Plough has sold thousands of bags and accessories globally that support veteran jobs.The web has fundamentally changed not only how we trade, but also who trades. Small businesses using online tools are five times more likely to export than their offline counterparts. U.S. manufacturers are now the leading exporters of products and services online.That’s why we need trade agreements that reflect the reality of today's economy. NAFTA references “telegrams” multiple times, but doesn’t even mention the internet. In contrast, the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) includes a comprehensive set of digital trade provisions that keep the internet open, and protect the businesses and consumers that rely on it:Trusted infrastructure: USMCA promotes an open and secure global technical infrastructure that supports a new kind of trade. For example, the agreement prohibits the U.S., Mexico and Canada from requiring that data be stored and replicated locally, reducing the cost of doing business in other countries and ensuring that data isn’t vulnerable to attack. Innovation-enabling rules: USMCA promotes the open online framework that’s been key to the success of the U.S. internet economy. This framework both allows for platform-based trade, and also empowers internet platforms to combat harmful content online and fight piracy. Protecting data: Consumers’ privacy should be protected no matter what country an individual or business is located in, and USMCA reflects this important principle. The agreement promotes strong privacy laws and cybersecurity standards to protect people’s data.Access to information: USMCA limits government restrictions on information flow across borders, recognizing that wide availability of information leads to more trade and economic growth. The agreement also encourages governments to release non-sensitive data in an open and machine-readable format, so companies of all sizes have the opportunity to build commercial applications and services with public information.Modernizing trade: Finally, USMCA prohibits our trading partners from imposing customs duties on things like e-books, videos, music, software, games and apps—ensuring consumers can continue to enjoy free or low-cost digital products.USMCA will establish a strong framework to promote the new digital economy, and will unlock new sources of opportunity, creativity and job growth in North America. We look forward to seeing the agreement approved and implemented in a way that allows everyone to benefit from a free and open internet.


How we search for bow wows and meows

It’s not quite caturday, and we’re a few months away from the dog days of summer, but searches for pets never paws. Around the world, people constantly ask Google questions about their furry friends, so there’s no time like the present for a good old fashioned (OMG-look-at-that-little) face-off.Data visualization designer Nadieh Bremer, lover of canines and felines alike, worked with our News Lab team to capture all your cat-like curiosity about why your purr-fect pals (or barky buds) act the way they do using Google Trends data. Today we’re sharing a delightful new site that digs into those questions, and even throws us a bone and answers a few.Quirky QuestionsWhy do cats like boxes? Why are they afraid of cucumbers? (Scaredy cats!) Why do they like to knead soft surfaces? You asked (literally), and we (attempt to) answer. Visit the site to explore these questions, and more!Why do dogs...LickEat grassEat poopHowlHumpSmellBarkShakeScratchBiteWhy do cats...PurrKneadLickMeowBiteRubScratchEat grassSleep so muchLike boxesGlobal Pet PreferencesWe may not all definitively be a cat or dog “person,” but when it comes to searches, every country leans one way or another. Dive in and doggie-paddle around in nation-by-nation data.If the site didn’t quite satiate your need for pet knowledge, I’ll leave you with my own assessment that answers some of the most iconic cat and dog questions of all time:Do cats really rule? Inconclusive. Do dogs really drool? I’ve seen some evidence.


The ultimate account security is now in your pocket

Phishing—when an attacker tries to trick you into turning over your online credentials—is the most common cause of security breaches. Preventing phishing attacks can be a major challenge for personal and business users alike. At Google, we automatically block the overwhelming majority of malicious sign-in attempts (even if an attacker has your username or password), but an additional layer of protection can be helpful.Two-step verification (or 2SV) makes it even harder for attackers to gain access to your accounts by adding one more step to the sign-in process. While any form of 2SV, like SMS text message codes and push notifications, improves the security of your account, sophisticated attackers can skirt around them by targeting you with a fake sign-in page to steal your credentials.We consider security keys based on FIDO standards, like our Titan Security Key, to be the strongest, most phishing-resistant method of 2SV on the market today. These physical security keys protect your account from phishers by requiring you to tap your key during suspicious or unrecognized sign-in attempts.Now, you have one more option—and it’s already in your pocket. Starting today in beta, your phone can be your security key—it’s built into devices running Android 7.0+. This makes it easier and more convenient for you to unlock this powerful protection, without having to carry around additional security keys. Use it to protect your personal Google Account, as well as your Google Cloud Accounts at work. We also recommend it for people in our Advanced Protection Program—like journalists, activists, business leaders and political campaign teams who are most at risk of targeted online attacks.To activate your phone’s built-in security key, all you need is an Android 7.0+ phone and a Bluetooth-enabled Chrome OS, macOS X or Windows 10 computer with a Chrome browser. Here’s how to do it:Add your Google Account to your Android phone.Make sure you’re enrolled in 2SV.On your computer, visit the 2SV settings and click "Add security key".Choose your Android phone from the list of available devices—and you’re done!When signing in, make sure Bluetooth is turned on on your phone and the device you are signing in on.We recommend registering a backup security key to your account and keeping it in a safe place, so you can get into your account if you lose your phone. You can get a security key from a number of vendors, including our own Titan Security Key.Here’s to stronger account security—right in your pocket.


Exploring new possibilities in cloud-based education technology

Editor’s note:We’re at Google Cloud Next ‘19 this week in San Francisco. If you’re attending Next ’19, visit the Industry Solutions booth and follow along on Twitter and Facebook for more updates.The best educators foster a culture of curiosity. They know that students who ask questions are the ones who grow up to become researchers, inventors and life-long learners. At Google Cloud Next ‘19, we’re showcasing how teachers can integrate the right technology to help them engage all students, while encouraging agency and a love of learning.As of today, 90 million teachers and students are using G Suite for Education worldwide. As the numbers grow, so do we, adapting our solutions to meet the changing needs of learners, educators, researchers and administrators everywhere.Many of these new features are ones that educators and administrators can use to deliver more personalized learning, in ways that work for each individual student. Here’s a look at the latest G Suite updates that bring cloud-based enhancements to the classroom.Learning for allNew updates to Hangouts Meet and Slides make learning more accessible for everyone.Closed captions in Google Slides (only on Chrome web browsers) use machine learning to turn on automated closed captioning when you’re presenting. Captions are currently available in the U.S. in English only.Also rolling out today, automatic live captions in Hangouts Meet can be turned on to add captioning to virtual professional development sessions or remote lessons. Powered by Google’s speech recognition technology, this feature provides support and the ability to follow along in Hangouts Meet, especially for those who are hearing impaired or English as a New Language Learners.Starting today, you can insert audio files directly into Slides from Drive, enhancing presentations with short or long clips.                                     Now you can turn on closed captions in Hangouts Meet.Fostering better collaborationWe’re also making a few updates to support the collaboration that happens within G Suite.Collaborate on Microsoft Office lets students and educators work together on Microsoft Office files in real-time, directly from G Suite. This means that starting today, you can edit Office files from Google Docs, Slides and Sheets, without having to worry about converting file types. This also allows you to tap into G Suite features, like the Explore, while using Office.Now in beta, Hangouts Chat in Gmail replaces Classic Hangouts in Gmail with an improved chat experience, making it easier for students to collaborate with each other or with their instructors.Available now, Hangouts Meet on Jamboard lets educators deliver lessons remotely to students who are unable to come into school, teach higher education classes and hold meetings directly from Jamboard.Google Voice gives educators and administrators a unique phone number that works from anywhere, on any device, perfect for communication with parents and guardians. Google’s AI is built in to help you transcribe voicemails and block spam calls. Voice takes care of assigning a phone number, porting and billing, making it easy for admins to provision and manage. Google Voice is available now as an add-on subscription.Boosting productivityEducators, researchers and IT administrators need access to data to help them make well-informed decisions. The following new updates help institutions use data to work smarter and build a more effective learning and teaching experience.Coming soon, connected Sheets will let you collaborate on up to 10 billion rows of BigQuery data right from within Sheets, without needing SQL. You can use the Sheets interface to view learner data (like grades), analyze progress with formulas and pivot tables and visualize results with charts.Schedule send in Gmail, a feature that’s live today, lets you schedule email to be sent at a more appropriate date or time, which is helpful if you’re working across time zones, or want to avoid interrupting someone’s vacation.Comparison in Docs, which will be available soon, streamlines marking assignments by letting you compare two Google Docs and review the differences as suggested edits in a new Doc.Also coming soon, themes allows you to quickly style multiple Sheets element—like charts and pivot tables. This helps keep style consistent throughout your spreadsheets.With metadata in Drive, you’ll soon be able to edit the metadata, or information that provides information about other data, of files in Drive to better organize and search your educational materials. For example, you can create a saved search to instantly find all files tagged “lesson plan” or aligned to a certain standard.        Connected Sheets expands the capabilities of Sheets to up to 10 billion rows.Expanding the reach of educatorsG Suite Enterprise for Education provides best-in-class teaching and learning tools for education institutions. Now, with Google Voice and updates to Hangouts Meet, educators, researchers and administrators can reach even more learners. Below are three updates that will be available soon.Public live streaming means you can now live stream over Hangouts Meet to up to 100,000 out-of-domain users, especially useful for distance learning or online course offerings.With Hangouts Meet, we’ve increased the number of participants to up to 250, perfect for large online lectures across time zones.Mobile audio allows you to use your mobile device on audio-only mode during lessons over Hangouts Meet. This makes lessons more accessible, even on poor network connections.These updates open new possibilities for our 90 million teachers, administrators, and learners using G Suite for Education.


Taking the initiative with data journalism

Every day, reporters produce insightful stories about how the world is changing, and data journalism is an important tool for telling these stories. But experimenting with data journalism can be time consuming and costly, so the Google News Initiative is releasing more data journalism trainings, online resources and tools—while working with leaders in the field to make sure newsrooms have the support they need to be successful. Here’s a quick overview of what’s coming.In-person trainingWe’re funding the Investigative Reporters and Editors’ “Data in Local Newsrooms Training program” to bring free training to journalists in their own newsrooms. The IRE will select 10 newsrooms in the U.S. and Canada to participate, teaching more than 200 journalists the most up-to-date-techniques, and providing ongoing support for their projects.Investigative Reporters and Editors hosting a newsroom training.Over the years, journalists have told us that training on basic tools—like Google Trends, Google Maps, and Google Earth—speeds up their work, so they can spend more effort on their reporting and carving out time for other projects. We’re continuing our five years’ funding of the Society of Professional Journalists Training Program, with a refocused effort on providing Google tools training at major conferences, conventions and regional SPJ events where eager journalists convene, reaching an estimated 4,000 journalists by March 2020.Online trainingThis fall we’re funding the launch of Data Journalism MOOCs with the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. They are multi-week online courses—available in English, Spanish and Portugese— that cover the basics of data journalism with interactive exercises and reading assignments. Participants can connect with others taking the course, allowing them to ask questions, get feedback and network with others. With funding from Google, the MOOCs will reach journalists who wouldn’t be able to receive training otherwise.Beyond the MOOCs, journalists can learn new skills from the GNI training center. Soon we’ll add lessons on how to use Google Sheets for data journalism, transcribe audio in Google Docs, and visualize data in Google Data Studio, with training available in multiple languages. After completing the training, you’ll get a certificate to demonstrate that you’ve taken the time to advance your  skills.Lastly, datajournalism.com—launched by European Journalism Centre and supported by the GNI—is a new hub for data journalists with lessons, the Data Journalism Handbook and a community of over 9,000 data journalists and students.Visual toolsTo help data journalists tell stories in new ways, we provide access to Google data, data visuals and new tools to visualize and analyze data. Recently we worked with design studio Datavized to create TwoTone, a tool that turns data into sound; Morph, which creates animated visuals from data and a new version of Data Gif Maker, which creates animated data gifs. As another example, Data Commons brings together public datasets to make them easier to mash up together. Check out more examples of our tools and visuals.Make easy animated data visualizations with Data Gif MakerBringing journalists together to learn new skillsThe Investigative Reporters and Editors conference, National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting International Symposium on Online Journalism, and the Excellence in Journalism conference provide an opportunity for journalists to connect with their colleagues and leaders in the field, and expose journalists to the latest tools and techniques. We’re sponsoring these events, as well as offering sessions on machine learning, data visualization, Google tools for verification and fact checking, safety and security online and more.Do you want to work with us on new ways to tell stories with data? Contact us at newslabtrends@google.com.


With Goodwill, we're helping more Americans learn digital skills

In October 2017, I returned to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—the first city I saw when I came to America over 25 years ago—to announce Grow with Google, a new effort to create more opportunity for everyone. At the heart of this goal was our five-year commitment to provide $1 billion in Google.org grants and 1 million Googler volunteer hours to organizations all over the world. Goodwill Industries International was one of the first groups to join us in this effort, and just over a year later, I’m proud to share that our work together has already helped a quarter of a million Americans learn new digital skills, and 27,000 Americans find a job.This impact was made possible by the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator (GDCA), a program to equip 1.2 million Americans with the digital skills needed to succeed in today’s job market and prepare for the changing workforce. GDCA was launched with the support of a $10 million Google.org grant made to Goodwill Industries International, the largest grant we’ve ever made to a single organization.Goodwill has a track record of helping place people in jobs that provide good wages and pathways to future careers, and the impact we’ve seen through this program is no different. One example is Simone in Astoria, New York, who was hired as a remote receptionist after taking a weeklong customer service and call-center training that taught her basic computer skills. Other job seekers have found positions in fields like IT support, aircraft manufacturing, and information and communications technology.In the case of Chelsea, these trainings led her to a job at Google. After moving home to Nashville from Atlanta, she struggled to find housing for her family. While working at Goodwill of Middle Tennessee, she was encouraged to enroll in the Google IT Support Professional Certificate program. With nearly one year of training under her belt, she’s now working at our data center in Clarksville, TN, and has moved with her daughters into a house nearby. Chelsea is one of 66,000 people enrolled the Google IT Support Professional Certificate, and 84 percent of whom say it helped them to advance their job search or career. Goodwill’s programs also give people the digital skills they need to launch and grow a business. Femeka in Fort Worth, Texas, started her own gift basket business, but was struggling to reach new customers. She saw a flier for the Goodwill program at a local women’s shelter and completed courses in basic computing, internet navigation, productivity tools and G Suite in just a few weeks. Femeka used these new skills she learned to create order forms for her gift baskets and build a website to attract new customers.NY-Simone-Goodwill.jpgSimone was hired as a remote receptionist after completing a customer service and call-center training through Goodwill NYNJ.Google_Chelsea_Goodwill.jpgChelsea completed Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate in three months, landing a job at Google’s data center in Clarksville, TNTX-Fameka-Goodwill.jpgAfter enrolling in Goodwill Fort Worth’s Digital Skills program, Femeka learned the skills to build a website for her gift basket business.Goodwill IT Training Lab RV.jpgThe Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator enabled Goodwill of Wichita to transform an RV into a mobile training lab.Goodwill’s model is effective because it’s not a cookie cutter approach to job training. There’s something for everyone to learn that can benefit their careers, whether it’s getting basics skills like word-processing or email, or more specific skills to get a better job in the same field. Local Goodwill organizations are also empowered to build programs that fit their communities best. In Wichita, Kansas, a lack of transit options led the local Goodwill to bring classes to 35 rural communities around the state in an RV!The Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator operates at 93 Goodwill organizations across 34 states, with plans to expand to 126 in the coming months. Meanwhile, 200 Google employees have volunteered their time and expertise to conduct trainings, and seven Google.org Fellows are embedded full-time at Goodwill locations across the country. Our strong collaboration with Goodwill has contributed to the progress we’ve made toward the goal of $1 billion and 1 million hours we set in Pittsburgh. Overall, Googlers have already served 280,000 volunteer hours and we’ve made over $300 million in grants. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together, but there’s a lot more to work to make sure everyone has access to opportunities, no matter where they live. We’ll continue to update you on the lessons we’re learning and the impact we’re seeing in the months and years to come.


Finding "A Space for Being" at Salone del Mobile in Milan

Do you have favorite music that helps you unwind after a long day? Is there a particular scent that transports you back to your childhood? Or does a soft blanket on your lap help you feel calmer as you sit down to read?These reactions are our bodies’ responses to our surroundings, whether it's something we see, touch, smell, taste or hear. Designers intuitively consider these sensory inputs to evoke certain feelings in people. Neuroaesthetics, a scientific field of study that explores the impact of aesthetic experiences on human biology, offers insight into which inputs evoke specific responses. It’s the reason your heart rate may change when you touch certain fabrics and why your energy level could shift based on the colors around you.Neuroaesthetics gives scientific backing to what designers have always known: design matters. It’s because of this intuition that our team of hardware designers built our Made by Google products using certain colors, like the Not Pink hue option for Pixel 3 phones, and specific textures, like the fabric base on the Google Home Hub. We always strive to build products that fit seamlessly into your life, and make you feel “at ease.”  Today, we’re opening “A Space for Being,” our exhibit at the design conference Salone del Mobile Milano, that explores this connection and endeavors to make the impact of design more visible.The exhibit, built in conjunction with Muuto Design, Reddymade Architecture and the International Arts + Mind Lab at John Hopkins University, is made up of three spaces furnished to look like rooms in a home. However, there is more than meets the eye in the overall design experience.An artistic rendering of "A Space for Being," showing people moving throughout the walls of the exhibit.An artistic rendering of "A Space for Being," Google's 2019 Salone del Mobile Milano installation, which endeavors to explore neuroaesthetics and was developed in partnership with Mutto, Reddymade Architecture and the International Arts + Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins University. Visitors spend five minutes in each of the three rooms engaging with their surroundings. Photo credit: Google Design Studio + Reddymade Architecture.A neutral-colored room with navy couches and soft lighting.The first of the three spaces for being, called "Essential." Photo credit: Maremosso Studio.A room with diagonal lights across the walls and a table with green and pink chairs.A Space for Being's second room, "Vital." Photo credit: Maremosso Studio.An off-white colored room with a table, chairs and different-shaped mirrors on the wall."Transformative," visitors' final stop before receiving a customized readout of their experience. Photo credit: Maremosso Studio.Pastel-colored wristbands on a table.When guests visit "A Space for Being," we ask them to put on these specially-made bands that capture how they respond to each room. Before their data is deleted from the band, each user receives a customized printout describing the space where they felt most "at ease." Photo credit: Maremosso Studio.Each space features a distinct look, feel, scent and sound, complete with unique textures, colors and design elements. As attendees walk through the spaces, they’ll wear a specially-made wristband that measures biological responses such as heart activity, breathing rate, skin temperature, skin conductivity and motion. At the end, before each guest’s data is deleted, they’ll see a visual representation of their response to each room and receive a customized readout that suggests which space made them feel most “at ease.”Take a look at some of our spaces in the photos above, and think about what makes yours “A Space for Being.”


5 steps to improve media performance using Google Analytics

This is the second post in a series about how linking Google Analytics and Google Ads can help marketers gain deeper insights, create smarter campaigns, and drive better business outcomes.Today’s customers expect the right message at the right time—even as their journeys become more fast-paced and less linear. How are marketers responding? With ad experiences that aim to be assistive and personalized. To create these experiences, marketers are turning to integrated analytics and ads.In our new guide about linking Google Analytics and Google Ads, we highlight some of the actionable steps you and your team can take to deliver the right ad at the right time.Step 1: Link your accountsLinking Google Analytics and Google Ads puts insight-gathering and ad creation side by side—so that you can easily create campaigns that are informed by detailed site metrics and conversion data. And linking your accounts only requires a few easy steps. Here’s how to get started.Step 2: Activate Cross Device capabilitiesCross Device capabilities in Analytics help you understand how your customers are behaving across their different devices so that you can optimize your strategy. For instance, you might find that, based on cross device insights, you want to increase your mobile ad spend to drive more conversions. Activating Google signals makes Cross Device capabilities available to you.Step 3: Create an Analytics audience and share with Google AdsWhen you create an audience in Analytics then share it with Google Ads, you’re able to create ad campaigns that are specifically tailored to specific segments of your audience. For instance, you can create an audience of all of your returning customers, then create a Google Ads campaign specifically for this audience. Here's how you get started sharing audiences in Google Ads.Step 4: Create and import GoalsGoals in Google Analytics can represent any site metric you find important—such as time spent on your site, a specific action taken on your site, or a conversion. Importing these Goals into Google Ads enables you to access valuable conversion insights and site engagement metrics right in Google Ads. Here’s how  to create Goals in Analytics and then import them into Google Ads.   Step 5: Generate and view reportsWhen you link Google Analytics and Google Ads, you gain access to a variety of reports about your Google Ads campaigns right in your Analytics account — giving you important campaign performance insights that can be used to improve your marketing strategy. Learn more about Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversion reports.Read our new guide to read about how bringing Google Analytics and Google Ads together can bring your media performance to the next level.In case you missed how integrating Google Analytics and Google Ads can be a marketer's solution to delivering experiences that meet consumers’ rising expectations, check out our post Google Analytics and Google Ads: A Powerful Pairing. Next up, we'll cover how you can easily gather the insights you need to better understand the customer journey with Google Analytics.


Grow with Google comes to NYC

I was raised by a single mom who worked multiple jobs, and despite being generally exhausted, she stressed the importance of hard work and perseverance. Following her example, as a kid not only did I work hard in school, I dove into after-school activities. From there, I received a full scholarship to a prestigious secondary school, and went on to a career here at Google. Today, my passion for creating opportunities for others is rooted in the opportunities afforded to me. That’s why I'm proud to be involved with Grow with Google, our program to help individuals and small businesses gain the skills that can set them up for success, today and in the future.From Albuquerque to Bozeman to Cleveland, Grow with Google has criss-crossed America, supporting diverse people looking to use digital skills to find jobs, advance their careers and grow their businesses. Today, we’re bringing the tour to New York City for five months with the opening of the Grow with Google NYC Learning Center—right on the ground floor of our Chelsea office, in the heart of Manhattan.Open to everyone, the Grow with Google NYC Learning Center will offer free hands-on workshops in partnership with community organizations, one-on-one coaching and community events. The 11,000 square foot space will have three classrooms, offering multiple classes per day and will be open six days a week.Learning Center classes will cover a range of topics all focused on digital skills. So whether you're a business owner who wants to reach new customers, an educator interested in bringing digital tools into your classroom, or looking to learn new skills to grow your career—there’s a class for you. Several hours a week, we'll have Googler experts on hand to answer specific questions through one-to-one coaching. We’re also partnering with other local community organizations dedicated to digital skills building and training, including Goodwill, Per Scholas, Hudson Guild and many others.We're proud to set up the Learning Center in New York City, home to our largest office outside of California. We started in the city nearly 20 years ago with a few Googlers working out of a Starbucks on 86th Street; today, we’re home to over 7,000 employees across three buildings. Recently, we announced that we’ll invest over $1 billion to establish a new campus here, Google Hudson Square. As we plan to grow our own presence in New York, it’s our responsibility to support the neighborhoods and communities we call home.Since 2011, Google has contributed more than $150 million in grants and employee-matched giving to New York nonprofit institutions. We’ve partnered with the New York City Public Library System to provide free Wi-Fi hotspots to public school students and families without home internet access. To help create economic opportunities citywide, we’ve funded programs like MotherCoders NYC, provided space to organizations like Black Girls Code and hosted Cornell Tech while its permanent campus on Roosevelt Island was under construction. And just last month, we opened a new lab for CodeNext for Black and Latinx high school students to learn coding and gain the skills and inspiration they need for long and rewarding careers in computer science-related fields.The Grow with Google NYC Learning Center is the next chapter in our commitment to helping create economic opportunity and, in doing so, strengthening our ties to our neighborhood and the five boroughs. To learn more and sign up for free classes at the Learning Center, visit g.co/GrowNYC. My hope is that New Yorkers will be able to access opportunities here like the ones I was lucky to have growing up.


The cloud demystified: How it works and why it matters

Whether you’re backing up photos or streaming our favorite TV shows, you may know it’s all made possible by the cloud. But for a lot of us, that’s where the understanding ends. With Next ’19, Google Cloud’s annual customer conference, this week, it’s a good time to ask: What is this cloud, anyway?Before cloud, businesses maintained fleets of computers (known as “servers” in tech speak) to create websites and apps, and to equip employees with the software needed to build them. Those computers stayed in a server room or a nearby data center, connected by an internal network and to the broader internet. A company’s IT team had to monitor all those computers, network cables and other equipment—and keep it all working for employees, under budget. So that meant that every few years, the IT team bought new computers and took care of any maintenance and upgrades, like adding a new networking line or new software.Cut to today: we have faster computing speeds and better internet connectivity, and these have made it easier for computers around the world to connect quickly. It’s no longer necessary for businesses to own servers and data centers. Since Google already has a massive global network—made up of things like our own data centers and undersea cables—we can provide that infrastructure to businesses so they can build products and services. In a nutshell, that’s what Google Cloud is—access to Google’s global infrastructure and all the state-of-the-art tools we’ve created over time to serve Google’s billions of users.This new way of building in the cloud has resulted in changes to the way that companies use computers and other technology.Why is the cloud such a big deal?The cloud took the tech world by storm, and it keeps growing for consumer and business uses. Companies want to use the newest, fastest technology, which isn’t possible when you’re only buying new computers every few years.Public cloud providers allow companies to use the newest technology without having to buy and maintain it themselves. Google Cloud, for example, maintains complicated networks that can quickly move data around the world. Keeping information secure, a challenge for businesses, is also easier with the cloud, since encryption is built in. Plus, the huge scale of cloud means it can run apps faster.Cloud companies can also be more efficient with space and power. At Google, we buy enough wind and solar to offset the electricity we use, so our customers can get sustainability benefits they might not get on their own.Cooling towers at a data center in BelgiumHow does cloud affect your everyday life?When businesses started using the cloud, their customers started using the cloud, too. It makes lots of what we do on our phones, tablets, and laptops possible. For example, Gmail became popular pretty quickly, because it offered a lot more storage so you could keep all your emails—even ones with large attachments. Gmail works because instead of storing emails on one limited server somewhere, a giant network of servers stores those emails. When you check your email, a server in one of those data centers is finding and downloading your newest emails and routing them to your computer or phone. Plus, because Gmail is cloud-based, this opens up opportunities for machine learning to help you in ways you might not notice, like blocking phishing and spam attempts to your inbox.  What do people talk about at a cloud conference?When 30,000 or so people converge in San Francisco at Google Cloud Next ’19 this week, they’ll be choosing from hundreds of sessions, panels, and tutorials to learn about cloud computing. Some attendees may be just getting started with the cloud and need to learn the basics, while others are exploring advanced concepts like AI and machine learning. Lots of the sessions explain how Google Cloud-specific products can be used. There are sessions on connecting products from outside of Google Cloud into ours and showing business users how to move their data into the cloud.That’s your start to understanding cloud. If you want to learn more, tune in to our Next livestream all week.


How advanced is your organization’s data strategy?

For news and media organizations, audience is king. But how they use insights to adjust their editorial and revenue strategies varies widely across the industry. Deloitte, in partnership with the Google News Initiative, conducted a global study to help publishers responsibly analyze and activate their data to improve user engagement, increase direct-paying relationships with readers, and drive revenue from advertising.During the study, Deloitte interviewed 80 executives from 50 leading news and media companies in 16 countries, from print to digital. Along the way, Deloitte uncovered stark contrasts in these organizations' level of data maturity. While three-quarters of publishers acknowledge the value of data-driven decision making, less than half are able to use their data effectively.The most successful news and media companies use audience data to drive innovation across editorial products and revenue strategies, but many still struggle to prioritize data investment over other competing business needs. In its report, "Digital transformation through data: how news and media companies to drive value with data," Deloitte placed each organization into one of four categories.Deloitte’s data maturity scale:Nascent: For these media companies, the data journey has barely begun. While they've been collecting basic information such as page views for some time, digital initiatives are not a priority for top management, and they have so far failed to make adequate investments in essential tools and technologies.Developing: These news organizations have garnered some success from utilizing data but still struggle to implement new tools and processes into their workflows.Mature: Data-driven decisions are second nature to mature media companies across much of their operations, but there are still instances where data takes a back seat to gut instinct and old ways of doing business.Leading: These media organizations see data as the key to their future success and have adopted a culture of continuous experimentation and innovation. Increasingly, these organizations think of themselves as technology companies that generate news products.Where does your media organization fall on the maturity scale?The first step on your journey to becoming a data-informed organization is to understand where you are, as well as where you need to be. Our interactive Data Maturity Benchmarking Tool can help you figure it out. After taking your self assessment, download the data activation guide to see what steps you can take to improve your data maturity. This guide outlines the top nine publisher use cases for data to drive user engagement and monetization.  In it, you’ll also find the four key organizational foundations you'll need to execute any of the use cases.


A library’s next chapter: digital skills with help from Google

Editor's note: It's National Library Week, and to recognize the impact of libraries of local communities, we'll hear from Robyn Jonston of the Memphis Public Libraries. To share how libraries have affected your life, use the #MyLibraryStory hashtag.Local libraries are essential community hubs and one of the few places that are free and open to anyone. An important part of a library’s mission is providing free access to information and opportunities, a goal we have in common with Google. Our Memphis Public Libraries and libraries across the U.S. are partnering with Grow with Google to make digital skills even more accessible to more people. Technology has changed the way people live, and in response, libraries have changed the way we fulfill our mission. We’ve taken the lead in helping people learn the skills they need to be successful in finding jobs.At the Memphis Public Library, it’s so important to us to help people learn skills and find jobs that we’ve taken our efforts outside of the library’s walls. In 2018, we launched JobLINC, a 38-foot bus with 10 computer stations for job seekers and a station for employers to come on board and recruit. The bus travels throughout the city, reaching people who don’t have access to technology or transportation. With help from librarians, people can work on their resumes, search for jobs and practice interviewing. We serve more than 6,000 people in Memphis on this bus each year.The program helps us reach people like Wanda Gray, who worked as a letter carrier for 20 years before being laid off. She didn’t have access to technology or a smartphone, so she turned to JobLINC to build her digital skills, get help with her resume and learn about interviewing for jobs. Now, Wanda has a new job as a receptionist.We’re not alone in this important work at the Memphis Public Library. 90 percent of libraries help members of their communities learn basic digital skills. And thousands of librarians across the country are dedicated to making free resources and training available to everyone. In the U.S., Grow with Google hosts in-person workshops that help people learn new skills, like creating resumes and growing their businesses online. Together, we’re helping people grow their skills and businesses, find new jobs and get ahead.I’m humbled to share my library story and the stories of Googlers whose lives were impacted by their local libraries. Show your support for librarians during National Library Week by sharing a story about what your local library means to you, using the #MyLibraryMyStory hashtag.


New types of answers from your Google Assistant on Android

We’ve been working to make the Assistant even better on the device that’s with you wherever you go: your phone. Last fall, we launched a visual refresh to the Assistant on phones, and today, we’re bringing a new update to Android phones that will provide better visual responses and more complete information at a glance.This update includes answers with cards that clearly present the key information you’re looking for. In addition to a new interface for categories like events, you’ll also get access to useful tools like the tip calculator, metronome music pacer and bubble level. Ask your Assistant for “Events in Mountain View” or “Why is grass green?” to check out some of these new responses.For some questions, the most helpful response might be showing you links to a variety of sources from across the web to learn more. In these cases, you’ll see the full set of search results from the web. When relevant, these results may include the existing ads that you’d see on Search today.Here are some examples of the rich answers you’ll see when you ask the Assistant a question on your Android phone:CatsStocksEventsKareemDogCalculatorThis new experience is rolling out now on Android phones, making it easier to use the Assistant on the go to find the answers you’re looking for.


An ultramarathoner running so others can “rise”

Editor’s note: Passion Projects is a new Keyword series highlighting Googlers with unexpected interests outside the office.If you had asked Zanele Hlatshwayo several years ago if she’d ever go on a run for 10 days straight, she’d probably laugh. But these days, that’s exactly what she’s training for—and she changed her mind about running for a deeply personal reason.Zanele, an ad sales specialist based in Google’s Johannesburg office, turned to running to cope after a tragedy in her family. In 2010, her father committed suicide, and she needed to find a way to deal with her grief. She already went to the gym to work out, but one day she decided to check out the running track there, and that changed everything. Even though she used to hate running, the sport became a crucial outlet for her. Pushing through the pain of a long run taught her she could overcome anything.“I got tired of feeling sorry for myself and crying and trying to make sense of the reason why he actually committed suicide,” she says. “Running became my sacred space, so to speak, a space where I could really clear my mind.” She started to run races with a few former colleagues, and she was hooked.The self-described “adrenaline junkie” wasn’t content with just some 5Ks, though. She tried half marathons, then tried full marathons, and then entered the Comrades ultramarathon, which was a whopping 90 kilometers (55.9 miles). At that point, she was running to test her own limits, but wanted to do more. “There’s no point for me in running all these races and just running for medals,” she says. “I wanted to actually run for a purpose.”Inspired by her father’s legacy, and also by a friend who was going through depression, Zanele decided to start a campaign called Rise 18 last year. In 2018, she ran 18 races to raise money for a suicide prevention help line, the only one of its kind in South Africa.Zanele says there’s a major stigma around depression and suicide, not just in South Africa but around the world. “It’s really a state of emergency at the moment, because there aren’t enough resources to assist people who may be struggling,” she says. “And people are too scared to speak out because they don’t want to be made to feel as if there’s something wrong with them.”The longest, and final, race of Rise 18 was 100 miles long, and took 26 hours to complete. She showed up to the race injured from her previous long-distance runs, and never stopped to sleep the entire race, but she was still determined to finish. For her, the race was mental, not just physical.Zanele running the Washie 100 Miler ultramarathon.“The sun rises while you’re still on the road, the sun sets while you’re still on the road, and that takes a lot of mental preparation,” she says. “For me, what really kept me going was the goal I had made to myself, and the commitment I made to myself. I don’t want somebody else to go through what my father did."She finished that race, and went above and beyond her campaign’s goal. Her initial aim was to raise R 180,000 ($12,716) to support the help line, but she exceeded that, ultimately raising R 210,000 ($14,575). When she donated the money to the charity, they told her that money would fund 11,000 calls to the hotline, which is entirely run by volunteers. “That’s 11,000 lives,” she says. “It’s truly, truly amazing.”An experience like that makes you realize how powerful the human mind and the human body is.Now that Rise 18 has completed, Zanele is setting her sights on even bigger goals. She’s working on building an app to connect South Africans to therapists, and plans to raise funds for the project through her next set of races, which will include an Ironman triathlon. (You can find out more on her campaign page.)But her biggest challenge is still ahead of her: a 10-day run from Johannesburg to Cape Town this May. She’ll travel with a group of 12, who will take day or night shifts on the road, for the Ocal Global Journey for Change. And through it all, she’ll have her larger mission in mind: The group is raising funds to help provide wheelchairs to children with disabilities.“An experience like that makes you realize how powerful the human mind and the human body is. We’re able to take so much pain,” she says. “And for me, when I’m running, the pain I go through really signifies the pain people go through when they have challenges in their lives. That small pain I feel does not amount to the challenges those people have to face on a daily basis.”If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the U.S. at 1-800-273-TALK(8255), or, in South Africa, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group’s Suicide Crisis Line at 0800 567 567.


Kansas City is buzzing: explore it with Google Arts & Culture

In January 17, 1920, under the terms of the Eighteenth Amendment, Prohibition began in America. As the rest of the U.S. started drying out, Kansas City, Missouri filled its glass and earned the nickname “Paris of the Plains.” Thanks to political boss Tom Pendergast, who laid down the law in KC, the booze continued to flow. When asked how he was able to justify ignoring Prohibition, Pendergast simply explained, “the people are thirsty.”Journalist Edward Morrow quipped at the time, “if you want to see some sin, forget about Paris and go to Kansas City.”  If you’re parched for more historical information about this Midwestern metropolis, here are seven things you can now discover on Google Arts & Culture—no speakeasy password required for entry. Today, Kansas City is a place where BBQ smoke rings meet finer things, where contemporary creatives cross cultural icons and where architectural treasures are housed in vibrant neighborhoods.Unidentified female singer with nine member jazz bandRead about the unique style of jazz that flourished in Kansas City and the rise and fall of political boss Tom Pendergast’s power in online stories from the Kansas City Public Library.Burnt Ends from Scott's KitchenBurnt ends, the smoky, crispy-yet-juicy dish cut from the brisket tip, has been a KC BBQ staple since Arthur Bryant’s started passing pieces out for free while customers waited in line.View from the Liberty MemorialSee KC in 360 degrees: catch a panoramic view of the skyline from the top of the Liberty Memorial Tower at National WWI Museum and Memorial.I Want You for U.S. Army - WWI PosterIn World War I, the poster, previously the successful medium of commercial advertising, was recognized as a means of spreading national propaganda with near unlimited possibilities. Explore iconic posters at the National WWI Museum and Memorial.Exterior shot of the Kauffman Center of the Performing ArtsMoshe Safdie, architect for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, wanted the viewer to see music and movement in every angle.Kansas City Monarchs baseball teamThe Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) celebrates and honors the history of African American Baseball. The Kansas City Monarchs were the longest-running franchise in the history of baseball's Negro Leagues. Jackie Robinson was among their star players.Postcard of Kansas City's Coney IslandDubbed “Kansas City’s Coney Island,” Electric Park became the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Disney World.1. Time travel back to the Roaring Twenties: Want to know how the city earned its reputation as a wide-open town? Read about the unique style of jazz that flourished and the rise and fall of one Pendergast’s power in online stories from the Kansas City Public Library. From there, you can keep getting your history fix by checking out early footage of KC from the Kansas City Museum. Get to know the Man from Missouri—President Harry S. Truman—in 360 degree imagery, from his personal home at the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site to a replica of his Oval Office at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum.2. Check out KC’s culinary chronicles: We’d be remiss to not brag about the place where burnt ends were born - get the inside scoop with Visit KC. Or go beyond BBQ and get Jenny Vergara’s take on the thriving local culinary scene.3. See KC in 360 degrees: Tour of some of Kansas City’smost beloved neighborhoods, from West Bottoms to Westport.  Continue your virtual tour with sites ranging from a former storage building (now the National Archives at Kansas City) to a panoramic view of the skyline from the top of the Liberty Memorial Tower at National WWI Museum and Memorial.4. Marvel at the masterpieces of Missouri: Zoom into ultra high resolution images of artworks from The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (including Missouri’s own George Caleb Bingham), get to know some of the renowned alumni of the Kansas City Art Institute and discover cutting edge contemporary artists from the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.5. Admire the local architectural: While KC is said to have been built with more boulevards than Paris, more fountains than Rome, the city today stands full of architectural gems. Explore including the renowned Kauffman Center for Performing Arts and the City of Fountains on Google Earth.6. Stand at the intersection of where the blues meets baseball: Get to know the 18th and Vine neighborhood with a historical overview from the Black Archives of Mid-America, experience neon signs of jazz clubs past in virtual reality at the American Jazz Museum. Take a swing at learning more about the team Jackie Robinson represented, the Kansas City Monarchs, thanks to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.7. Find inspiration from KC’s creatives: The city has served as the inspiration for a broad range of creatives, from Bob Dylan to Norman Rockwell. Get to know a few of the inventions we have Kansas Citians to thank for, the park that inspired Walt Disney World with the Jackson County Historical Society and the songs, TV shows, and movies that portray the city.The vivacious spirit that once flowed through KC during the Prohibition era is more present than ever today. And now, anyone, anywhere can experience Kansas City by visiting g.co/kansascity, downloading the Android or iOS app or visiting Google Arts & Culture.


Take a walk through Kakadu on Google Street View

In Australia’s Top End, you will find the country’s largest national park: Kakadu National Park. Covering almost 20,000 square kilometers (about half the size of Switzerland) and with terrain encompassing wetlands, rivers and sandstone escarpments, it’s home to the world’s oldest living culture with more than a dozen Indigenous groups. One-third of Australia’s bird species, an estimated 10,000 crocodiles and approximately 2,000 plant species can also be found in the Park.Today, on its 40th anniversary, we're inviting people across the world to visit Kakadu National Park on Google Street View—to walk through ancient “stone country”, stare at spectacular waterfalls and discover ancient rock art.Google Street View Trekker taking in the panoramas at Nawurlandja. Considered a living cultural landscape, Kakadu National Park’s geological history spans more than two billion years. The Park is a place that boasts extraordinary archaeological sites that record the skills and ways of life of the region’s Aboriginal people, whose culture stretches back more than 65,000 years. The Street View journey captures a glimpse of this world, uncovering rock art galleries and stunning vistas across eight sites.Anja Toms from Kakadu National Park explains the significance of rock art at Burrungkuy (Nourlangie).Viewers can journey to Ubirr for incredible 360-degree views, or to take a look at rock art galleries that record animal life in the region going back thousands of years. This includes a painting of a thylacine—or Tasmanian Tiger—depicted before they became extinct on the mainland around 2,000 years ago.Sean Nadji and Fred Hunter, Kakadu National Park Rangers, look out over Ubirr.You can also meander through towering sandstone pillars at Bardedjilidji, travel to Nawurlandja for world-class panoramas across Anbangbang Billabong and the Arnhem Land escarpment, and toward Burrungkuy (Nourlangie) where you can view rock art galleries, before cooling off in the pristine plunge pools at Maguk or Gunlom (one of the most popular sites for travellers looking to take a refreshing dip), then diving into Kakadu’s big waterfalls: Twin Falls and Jim Jim Falls.Street View Trekker at UbirrThe Google Street View Trekker witnessing the wonders of Kakadu National Park.Rainbow over Kakadu National ParkA Rainbow tries to steal the spotlight—looking  across Anbangbang Billabong and the Arnhem Land escarpment, and toward Burrungkuy (Nourlangie).Google Street View Trekker taking in rock artThe Google Street View Trekker captures rock art in Kakadu National Park.Rock art in Kakadu National ParkRock art galleries record animal life in the region going back thousands of years.Street View Trekker in Kakadu National ParkWetlands, waterfalls. rivers and “stone country”, the Google Street View Trekker discovers it all in Kakadu National Park. This journey through Kakadu National Park is a continuation of our work with Traditional Owners, Tourism Northern Territory and Parks Australia to record and share sacred sites, and instill greater value and respect for the land—which began in 2017 with Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park.Visit Kakadu National Park, dual-listed by UNESCO World Heritage for both its natural and cultural significance, on Google Street View to learn more about the world’s oldest living culture and their connection with the land.


Cloud Covered: What was new with Google Cloud in March

March came in with a roar here at Google Cloud, with the start of the NCAA’s annual college basketball tournament and an exciting Pi Day. We’re looking forward to cloud’s annual conference next week: Google Cloud Next, where thousands of attendees will come to San Francisco to discuss all things cloud, learn new skills, and network with peers. Read on for more of what was new last month in Google Cloud.Try a slice of 𝛑, made fresh in the cloud.Every year on March 14, mathematicians (and those of us who love pie) celebrate Pi Day, marking the first three digits of 𝛑, or 3.14, the number that goes on forever. This might sound familiar from elementary school math classes, but calculating pi digits is still alive and well. One Google Cloud developer, Emma Haruka Iwao, fulfilled her longtime dream on March 14, 2019 and calculated 31.4 trillion digits of pi, earning a Guinness World Record in the process. It was also the first time the world record was broken using cloud computing, which allowed the complex calculations to run continuously and reliably over several months. Using the power of Google Cloud to calculate pi also means the results are now publicly accessible to developers worldwide (unlike in pre-cloud days, when results had to be shipped on physical hard drives). You can explore more here. And at the Google Cloud Next conference, Emma will give a technical deep-dive on the details of how the record was broken.Cloud shoots, and scores, with NCAA historical data.Wrangling huge amounts of data is at the heart of what Google Cloud Platform (GCP) does. So our ongoing NCAA partnership makes a lot of sense considering their collected 80-plus years worth of basketball data. Last year, we made real-time predictions and insights during the games using GCP to analyze data, and this year we’ll invite student developers to join in. For this year’s tournament, we added new online classes to help developers explore NCAA data using our data analysis and machine learning tools.Google Cloud powers gamers around the world.At this year's Game Developers Conference, Google Cloud unveiled how it is helping power some of the world's largest AAA games, including Apex Legends and Tom Clancy's The Division 2. Our global infrastructure helps ensure that players across the world connect and enjoy low-latency online game experiences together.Climb every region, till you find your cloud.Our newest GCP region opened last month in Zurich, Switzerland—there are now six GCP regions in Europe and 19 in total. A region is a Google Cloud geographic location where customers can store data and run applications using GCP. Having a region nearby with three zones means businesses gain faster access to data and higher availability.Make your cloud knowledge official at Next ‘19.The rate of change in technology is accelerating, and this is especially true of cloud technology. As a result, training has become essential to keep IT teams abreast of the latest technologies so they can build products for users. As cloud grows in popularity and complexity, cloud certifications have emerged, including GCP certifications, as a benchmark to identify skilled cloud architects, data engineers, cloud developers, security engineers and more. This year’s Google Cloud Next conference will offer six certification exam options.That’s a wrap for this month. Keep up-to-date on Google Cloud news on the blog.