Google Crisis Map and India’s Cyclone -a great application of GIS /Spatial Data

Google Crisis Map is a good example of how technology can be used for the good of making people live, even though it originally was derived from other applications.

Screenshot from 2013-10-12 18:22:55

Mandatory Screenshot

Screenshot from 2013-10-12 17:23:01Boingo Mobile’s Hotspot locator is a great example of a way of making GIS make money without being evil.



Google releases new R package for Big Data #rstats

From the Google Open Source Blog

HistogramTools is a new R package I have released that uses RProtoBuf to read in a compact protocol buffer representation of binned data and includes a number of helpful functions for manipulating, plotting, and measuring the statistical information loss due to the binning. In addition to protocol buffers, it also supports importing aggregate performance data directly from DTrace output.

We rely on several open source tools to make our work easier. The most common tool we use for statistical analysis of the performance, availability, and resource needs of our internal systems is the R programming language.

Nice job!

Screenshot from 2013-10-10 21:28:17
With  Revolution Analytics being supported and funded by Microsoft and Intel and RStudio being founded by an ex-Microsoftie, I think Google does need to step up their R game though. They take and take from the open source community yet barely fund the minimum back to projects like FOAS or R-Core (
Come on Google – share more  stuff with open source R than you do with the NSA!!!

Ajay- What are the major alliances that REvolution has in the industry.

David- We have a number of industry partners. Microsoft and Intel, in particular, provide financial and technical support allowing us to really strengthen and optimize R on Windows, a platform that has been somewhat underserved by the open-source community.

After the sale of his company, Allaire became frustrated at the difficulty of keeping track of research he was doing using Google. To address this problem, he co-founded Onfolio in 2004 with Adam Berrey, former Allaire co-founder and VP of Marketing at Macromedia.
On March 8, 2006, Onfolio was acquired by Microsoft where many of the features of the original product are being incorporated into the Windows Live Toolbar.On August 13, 2006, Microsoft released the public beta of a new desktop blogging client called Windows Live Writer that was created by Allaire's team at Microsoft.

Google Drive connects Apps in a few clicks includes Markdown,Notepad Apps

I really liked the work done here- this is both great design and great code.

You can simply connect a whole lot of Google Drive Apps in just a click.

Some examples you can now do in Google Drive-

Fusion Tables, Edit Pictures, Design T Shirts, Write Notepad .

Check out the screen shots and see it your self,

1) Go to

2) Click Create – Red Button-Top Left

3) Connect More Apps

Screenshot from 2013-10-04 16:16:32

4) Select Your App

Screenshot from 2013-10-04 16:17:08


5) Create  a new App type (like  a new T shirt design or Text Document)


Examples here are Notepad, and a Markdown Editor

Screenshot from 2013-10-04 16:25:35


Screenshot from 2013-10-04 16:25:30. That’s right

I counted some 150+ apps. Especially liked AutoCad, Markdown, Docusign, Zoho, Notepad  and even the Music Player that can be connected. Also some new templates that I am yet to check – esp for PPTs.

Does give some permissions to be clicked  though! Now if they could only connect Google Plus to Google Drive so we can work collobratively that would be a ++

Screenshot from 2013-10-04 16:28:32



Google introduces Analytics Academy for e-learning

I really liked this and promptly signed up at

I of course passed the test some 2 years back-Google Web Analytics IQ test (but its only valid for 18 months)

Digital Analytics Fundamentals

This three-week course provides a foundation for marketers and analysts seeking to understand the core principles of digital analytics and to improve business performance through better digital measurement.

Course highlights include:

  • An overview of today’s digital measurement landscape
  • Guidance on how to build an effective measurement plan
  • Best practices for collecting actionable data
  • Descriptions of key digital measurement concepts, terminology and analysis techniques
  • Deep-dives into Google Analytics reports with specific examples for evaluating your digital marketing performance
  • View lessons from experts

    Watch or read lessons from digital analytics advocate Justin Cutroni, all at your own pace.

  • Test your knowledge

    Apply what you learn in the course by completing short quizzes and practice exercises.

  • Join the learning community

    Engage with other course participants and analytics experts in the course forum and on Google+.

Understanding the Google Cloud

Google has a lot of services, so I really like this simple explanation of them. Though I may want a clickable , one more level of detail to make it interactive (esp Google cloud SQL vs Google Big Query- love in a tech documentation??)

google cloud


I wish technical documentation had more examples of lucid , infographic like explanations.


Dashboard Design: Google Activity

I quite like Google’s monthly email on account activity. It is the Google way to offer free services, as well as treat users as special, that continues to command loyalty despite occasional exasperation with corporate thingies.

See this dashboard-

1Notice the use of Bigger Font for overall number of emails as well as smaller bar plots- I would say they are almost spark lines or spark bar plots if you excuse my Tufte.

The medium range font shows persons sent/from statistics, and the color shades are done to empahsize or de-emphasize the metric

Colors used are black/grey, green and blue coincident with the Corporate Logo.

However some of the JS for visualizations need to be tweaked. Clearly the hover script ( an  integral part of Dashboard design ) needs better elucidiation or formatting)


I would also venture my neck and suggest that rather than just monthly snapshots, atleast some way of comparing snapshots across periods or even the total time period be enabled- rather than be in seperate views.  This may give the user a bit more analytical value.

Overall, a nice and simple dashboard which may be of some use to the business user who makes or views a lot of reports on online properties. Minimal and effective- and in keeping with Open Data- Data Liberation Principles. I guess Google is secure in the knowledge that users do not view time spent on Google services as a total waste , unlike some of the other more social 😉 websites they spend time on.