Google revolutionized the Internet by making the global brain easily searchable by anyone. In addition to search, Google has created (or acquired) all kinds of different tools like Google Maps, Gmail, Analytics, Android and Apps that many of us use every day.
One of the reasons why Google has consistently released new innovative project is because of their 20% time policy, which gives some of its employees one day a week to experiment with new concepts and ideas.
In this post, I want to show you some of the most fascinating websites and innovative projects that Google employees have created and how you can use them as educational tools.
Tap into the visual intelligence of the global brain by visualizing search trends as they are happening right now in every country in the world. I recommend downloading the free Google Trends Visualizer screensaver so you can observe real-time trends anytime.
Explore the ancient and modern wonders of the world like Angor Wat, the Pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge and the Great Barrier Reef in high-res photos and 3D Street View style imagery. It will surely inspire you to learn more about these mysterious and beautiful places.
3. X Company
Formerly Google X, the X Company is what Google calls a “moonshot factory” for solving big problems. These Google innovation projects include delivery drones, Internet balloons, smart glasses, energy kites, seawater fuel, learning robots, and self-driving cars.
Previously they also had a TED-like platform called Solve For X discussing radical technology ideas for solving global problems, challenging people to think bigger and to speculate about technological “moonshots” that could change the world.
Search through databases from around the world, including the World Bank, OECD, Eurostat, and the U.S. Census Bureau. After you find what you want, filter through categories to make graphs with the axes you want.
Explore the evolution of the technologies that power the World Wide Web. You can even look at how webpages and technologies like web browsers used to look like if you want to be reminded of how far we have come in such a short time.
Google’s intriguing augmented reality mobile game for iPhone and Android. Discover interesting places where you live in this urban exploration game.
7. Google Sky
I’m sure you’ve explored Google Earth, but did you know that you can fly through space with Google Sky? In addition to exploring our solar system and distant constellations, you can also check out the awe-inspiring topography of Google Moon and Google Mars.
Now you can build with LEGO bricks using Google Maps as your baseplate in Chrome. Google and LEGO have built an excellent creative academy that shows you how to build your own LEGO cities and LEGO-fied versions of popular landmarks.
Browse super hi-res photos of artwork from over 400 of the world’s greatest art museums. You can take virtual gallery tours with audio and video guidance, zoom in on individual artwork masterpieces and even create your own virtual collections.
Google’s Creative Sandbox is a guide to ideas that blend creativity with technology. It shows you how to use new technology to solve problems for businesses and organizations and ties together with their excellent educational resources Think With Google and Our Mobile Planet.
I’m sure you’ve probably already heard of Google Earth but if you haven’t used it in the last year, you’ll be amazed at the 3D detail in the latest version. Zoom in on the 3D ridgelines of mountaintops and between skyscrapers in major cities. To activate the awesome flight simulator download Google Earth and press CTRL + Option + A.
12. Killed By Google
Innovation is a messy business. Here is a compilation of the different Google projects that the company has killed off over the years.
If I missed any of your favorite creative projects from Google then feel free to share them with everyone in the comments.