Google’s hidden gems

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Google may have only been around for 10 years, but in that time it has gone from being merely a company name to being the universal word we use to describe the action of conducting an on line search.

In my radio segment on 6PR this week (listen to it here) I discussed some of the lesser known, but still very useful Google tools and applications that have helped it become a household name.

Google news reader –totally personalised news, blogs and information – you choose what you want to read about.

Google alerts –email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

Google trends – Reflects what keywords people are searching for on a daily basis.

Google energy saving calculator – calculate how much energy you’re currently using

Google petrol price phecker – find the cheapest petrol price nearest to you.

Google scholar – Provides a search of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, including theses, books, abstracts and articles

Google knol – aims to include user-written articles on a range of topics to provide first point of reference knowledge – similar to Wikipedia

Google ride finder – search for taxis, limousines and shuttles and make better decisions by seeing the exact location of vehicles in your area (still only American based).

Google transit Get step-by-step transit directions. Find transit stops in your area. View station information and schedules (still only American based).

Google chrome – a browser (think Explorer or Firefox) that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier

Google calculator to use Google’s built-in calculator function, simply enter the calculation you’d like done into the search box and press enter, for a cheat sheet of how to use the calculator best click here

Google currency convertor To use the built-in currency converter, enter the conversion you’d like done into the Google search box and hit “Enter”

Google finance – offers a broad range of information about stocks, mutual funds, public and private companies, great finance related videos and stock watch options.

Google book searchSearch and preview millions of books from libraries and publishers worldwide using Google Book Search

Google frooglePresents photographs of products and links to the stores that sell them online

Google earth – this download program offers maps and satellite images of anywhere on earth

Google moon – A photographic map of the moon with pan and zoom capability, showing locations of the Apollo landings

Google mars View some of the most detailed maps of Mars created by NASA scientists

Google sky – Whether you’re an astronomer or stargazer, Sky brings millions of stars to your desktop

Google maps – Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions

Google calendar – a free web-based calendar which you can use for your own personal activities or to share with others.

IGoogle your personalized Google page. Add news, photos, weather, and stuff from across the web to your page.

Google translateGoogle’s free online language translation service instantly translates text and web pages.

Lively – hang out and chat in 3D.

Google phone Google’s own mobile phone and operating system (android)

Google image search – Picasa is a software download from Google that helps you organize, edit, and share your photos.

Google health – puts you in charge of your health information. It’s safe, secure, and free. Organise your health information all in one place

Notebook – Web clipping application for saving online research. The tool permits users to clip text, images, and links from pages while browsing, save them online, access them from any computer, and share them with others.

Google Sites is a free and easy way to create and share webpages

YouTube – popular free video sharing Web site which lets users upload, view, and share video clips

Google web history – view and search across the full text of the pages you’ve visited, including Google searches, web pages, images, videos and news, it’s a history of where you’ve been on line.

Google labsGoogle’s technology playground. Google labs showcases a few of our favourite ideas that aren’t quite ready for prime time

Google Audio indexing – search what people are saying inside You Tube

Google Suggest as you type your search, Google offers keyword suggestions in real time

Google Docs & Spreadsheets Create, store and share documents and spreadsheets on the web

Google Video search TV programs and videos

To get the local time anywhere in the world, in the search bar type: what time is it in Melbourne

To track a flights arrival and departure time, type the airline and flight number: Qantas QF1

To convert currency, metrics, bytes and more, type in what you want to convert and into what: seconds in a year, or perhaps: teaspoons in a quarter cup, or: 5 USD in Euro, or even: 154679 bytes in kilobytes

To get the local weather type in weather and the postcode: weather 4217.

To define a term, type in “define: your word: define: futurist.

To find out the movie session time for your local cinema type in the movie and your postcode: gone with the wind 6008

The list just goes on, so add your favourite Google ninja tools and applications to this list by leaving a comment below.

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