Asia Pacific Blog
Google and the Internet from .in to .au
Finding Asian treasures in The Museum of the World
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
opened its doors in 1759, offering free access to its 70,000 objects to all “students and curious persons.” The Google Cultural Institute has now made 4,500 of the museum’s eight million objects available for students, curious persons or anyone else with an Internet connection to see. For many who live in Asia-Pacific, this is a chance to pore over treasures from their region in far greater detail than even those in the museum can. Here are some of my favorite artifacts from Asia and Oceania:
The Admonitions Scroll
by Gu Kaizhi (China, 6th century)
This 6th century Chinese scroll has been captured in super high-resolution—what we call
—to give you a closer and more intimate view than you could ever get with the naked eye. Due to its fragile nature, it is displayed at the museum for only a few months of of the year; on the Cultural Institute, it can be accessed all year round. It tells the story of an instructress of the imperial court, who guides the ladies of the imperial family about correct behavior.
Gigapixel imagery enables users to experience the Admonitions Scroll in a way they would never be able to offline. The complete work can be seen on the left, and zoomed in detail on the right.
Miniature of Mughal Prince
This miniature painting shows an encounter between a member of the Mughal elite and a holy figure. Measuring just 10.5cm wide and 22cm high, the fine details of this artwork are best seen close up—or by zooming in to the image on the Cultural Institute. You’ll be able to appreciate the incredible detail both in the foreground and background, and rich and subtle colors with a close and accurate depiction of nature.
Zoom in on the Cultural Institute to admire the fine details of this miniature painting.
These colorful porcelain elephants, which stand about one foot high, were made on the island of Kyushu in southern Japan. How did the potters know what they were making, when real elephants would not have been seen in Japan at this time? It’s likely that these were ordered specially by merchants of the Dutch East India Company for export, commissioned by design as ornaments for European mantelpieces.
Zoom in to admire the overglaze coloured enamels decorating these elephants
White, minimalist forms are not a modern invention. These “moon” jars were prized during the Joseon dynasty in Korea, symbolizing the Neo-Confucian ideals of purity and integrity. Play the audio guide to find out the fascinating history behind how this particular moon jar found its way into the British Museum’s collection.
Bark etching of a kangaroo hunt
The British Museum is home to one of the oldest surviving Aboriginal bark etchings. The etching is made of bark from a eucalyptus tree which was blackened by smoke from a fire. Zooming into the artifact, you’ll see that the sooty surface was incised to depict figures armed with boomerangs, spears and clubs hunting a kangaroo.
Carved Wooden Figure Known as A’a
This wooden statue from the island of
in Polynesia was presented to English missionaries in the early 19th century as the local population converted to Christianity. It has inspired several artists of the twentieth century, including the poet William Empson whose
Homage to the British Museum
drew a contrast between the religious power of the figure and its secular surroundings.
There is a supreme God in the ethnological section;
A hollow toad shape, faced with a blank shield.
[...] At the navel, at the points formally stressed, at the organs of sense,
Lice glue themselves, dolls, local deities,
His smooth wood creeps with all the creeds of the world. [...]
Being everything, let us admit that is to be something,
Or give ourselves the benefit of the doubt;
Let us offer our pinch of dust all to this God,
And grant his reign over the entire building.
The British Museum is not only worth a visit for the objects in its collection—it has some impressive architecture too. You can experience the Great Court and a view of the reading room, which was used for research and writing by Sun Yat-Sen, Bram Stoker and Karl Marx.
Go on a private tour of the museum whenever you want! This is the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court. The famous architect Lord Norman Foster transformed the Museum’s inner courtyard into the largest covered public square in Europe.
Through a special
called The Museum of the World, visitors to this virtual gallery can explore and make connections between developments across the world’s cultures.
Clicking on an artifact from India in the 16th century shows connections between related developments across the world’s cultures around the same period in history
The Museum of the World gives visitors a new way to experience the British Museum’s collections, providing a wealth of knowledge about the exhibits with just a few clicks of the mouse. Each artifact on virtual display is accompanied not just by a caption, but also a map identifying where the object hails from, an audio guide, and links to related cultural objects online.
Posted by Piotr Adamczyk, Program Manager, Google Cultural Institute
A pitch-perfect end to Google’s first Launchpad Week in Jakarta
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
It takes a lot to get a business off the ground. Last week, two young entrepreneurs — Dika Maheswara and his business partner Indra Prastha — joined Google’s first
in Jakarta, an opportunity to work with
from around the world to help them kickstart their online shipping service,
Paket ID is one of
13 Indonesian startups
that participated in workshops covering everything from marketing and technology, to UI/UX design and how to pitch a business idea. They — together with
— won over a panel of judges with their pitches, and emerged as the “Top 3 Startups” of Launchpad Week Jakarta.
The “Top 3 Startups” winners at Launchpad Week Jakarta (from left to right): Dika Maheswara and Indra Prastha from Paket ID; Bening Rara from GoArchipelago; Vierda Andriani and Dede Pradana from Rumah Bengkel.
The three winning startups are working on innovative ideas from an online solution for the pick-up, shipment and payment of goods, to socially-minded tourism, and a platform to connect vehicle owners with mechanics. While their approaches to monetization and customer retention vary, they share a vision to improve the way business is done in Indonesia.
Dr. Eunice Sari (left), a UI/UX expert from UXINDO.com, shares her experience with one of the 13 startups participating at Launchpad Week in Jakarta
By working with
Kibar Kreasi Indonesia
to build a local community around Launchpad, we hope we can give these entrepreneurs—any many more in the future—a little boost at the start of their projects. Check out this video to learn more about Launchpad, and if you'd like to take part in future programs, please register your interest
Posted by Erica Hanson, Developer Relations Program Manager, Google
Minimum purchase price for apps reduced on Google Play in Southeast Asia
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Google Play is available in more than 190 countries, making it a truly global platform for developers to build their high quality apps and turn them into successful businesses. A few months ago, we piloted a program in India to help developers make their content more accessible to more consumers by reducing the minimum price of paid apps, games, and in-app products on Google Play. Now this will be rolling out to 17 countries, including five in Southeast Asia.
Starting today, developers can offer their paid apps, games, and in-app products at these new minimum thresholds:
Indonesia: Rp 3,000.00 (was Rp 12,000.00)
Malaysia: RM 1.00 (was RM 3.50)
Philippines: ₱15.00 (was ₱43.00)
Thailand: ฿10.00 (was ฿32.00)
Vietnam: ₫6,000 (was ₫21,000.00)
Developers can go to the
Google Play Developer Console
and click on “Pricing & Distribution” or “In-app Products” to lower the price of your apps and games right away.
We hope this change allows developers from around the world reach more people in Southeast Asia.
Posted by Alistair Pott, Product Manager, Google Play
Three numbers that tell you where Asia’s mobile Internet is going
Monday, November 16, 2015
Is Asia developing towards mobile, or away from it? Three numbers from the
Google-TNS Asia Pacific Mobile App Usage Study
suggest an answer: as it expands, it will move towards mobile, not away from it.
The study asked people from across Asia about how they used their apps, revealing how central mobile has become to Asia’s daily life. And in markets where smartphones are only just becoming mainstream, we can expect that trend to strengthen.
We can sum this up in three numbers and two colors in the following chart:
As is common in these kinds of surveys, Korea emerges as the smartphone paradise: they have the second highest smartphone penetration in Asia, the third-highest proportion of people who consider the smartphone their main device, and they install the most apps on their phone.
What’s interesting is India (IN) and Indonesia (ID). They have the lowest smartphone penetration in the survey and also the fewest number of apps installed on their phones (probably a consequence of having devices with far less memory). And yet, for them, the smartphone is more important to their daily life, not less: more smartphone owners in India and Indonesia consider their smartphone to be their primary device than in Singapore and Korea, even though they have fewer apps installed. Even when and if they do buy second devices like PCs and tablets, all their lessons about how the Internet works will come from that small touchscreen.
The mobile-first world of Asia doesn’t seem likely to be losing its center of gravity any time soon. Of course, each Asian country approaches the mobile Internet differently, and to get a more comprehensive outlook on what’s going on across the region, please read this
as we go through the study’s numbers at Think With Google APAC.
Posted by Masao Kakihara, Senior Research Manager, Market Insights, Google Asia-Pacific
Mobile First World
The view from the future
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
On one of my first international trips since joining Google, it was great to come to Singapore to spend time with colleagues from across the region. It is clear that one of our big possibilities as a company is to help bring the next billion users online. Already, this region has half of the world’s mobile Internet users, and it is estimated that the majority of people who will come online in the next two years will come from Asia.
At Marina Bay, overlooking the Esplanade
In many ways, millions of people in Asia live in the future. They are mobile first, and generally mobile-only, with a completely different way of using the Internet and technology than we're used to in the West. Being here and seeing how people and businesses use mobile and the ways they are innovating is inspiring. There is so much the West can learn -- from rapid mobile adoption, to the extraordinary app development, and the proliferation of messaging apps across Asia-Pacific.
While we have plenty more to do, I am impressed by the progress we have already made. In just the last few weeks, the local teams began collaborating to bring the full Internet to many more people in
. And everyday, they’re helping small businesses reach customers outside their villages, or
encouraging app developers can to find new global audiences
With all that we are doing across Google, we have the potential to improve the lives of billions, bringing connectivity, communication, and improved content to people who have never -- and may never -- have a traditional computer.
Posted by Ruth Porat, SVP and CFO of Google Inc and Alphabet Inc
Mobile First World
Take a walk on the wild side with Street View in New Zealand
Thursday, November 5, 2015
of the Milford Track to the
of the Kepler Track, you can now explore some of the most stunning parts of New Zealand’s wilderness with the launch of seven of the world-renowned ‘
’ on Google Street View. Known for the beauty of their remote multi-day treks, the Great Walks are a favourite destination for hikers around the world, and are now available in 360-degree panoramic imagery right from your smartphone or computer, with Google Maps.
Collected with help from our friends at New Zealand’s Department of Conservation using the
, this new imagery shows off New Zealand’s natural beauty while inspiring hikers around the world to plan a trip.
Our intrepid trekker collector Matt checks the lenses of the Google Trekker at Lake Te Anau on the Kepler Track
Take in the view of Lake Waikaremoana from
, look down at the Hollyford Valley from
, or check out the
tallest waterfall in New Zealand
— all without breaking a sweat.
looks over Lake Waikaremoana which translates to ‘sea of rippling waters’ in
on the Routeburn Track is quite a hike at 1,515 meters. (It’s easier to get to from your phone).
Dropping 580 meters from Lake Quill, the
on the Milford Track are bigger than Eiffel Tower.
Emerging from the
on the Heaphy Track you might not see hobbits, but if you’re very lucky you can sometimes spot
. They’re even more common at
which is a fur seal breeding ground.
Wander through an
on the Heaphy Track. (Eat your heart out, Peter Jackson).
Say hi to
on the Heaphy Track
Even without seals,
knows how to put on a good show.
If you’re enjoying the coast, why not head south to the
on Stewart Island? Once you’ve explored that, you can head north again to the Abel Tasman Track and cross
The Falls River suspension bridge
over the Kohaihai River.
An impressive 47-meter long suspension bridge takes you over
It’s just a hop, step and a
over the Kohaihai River on the Abel Tasman Track
New Zealand’s Great Walks have long been on the bucket list of keen outdoors people from all around the world. We hope by bringing the
tracks to Street View, these images will not only help people who are about to trek them prepare, but give anyone who wants to virtually roam the beauty of the Great Walks an opportunity to do so. And you can view more Street View collections from around New Zealand here.
Posted by Cynthia Wei, Program Manager, Google Street View
Education and research
Mobile First World
Finding Asian treasures in The Museum of the World...
A pitch-perfect end to Google’s first Launchpad We...
Minimum purchase price for apps reduced on Google ...
Three numbers that tell you where Asia’s mobile In...
The view from the future
Take a walk on the wild side with Street View in N...
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