Monday, July 28, 2014

Introducing Google Imagery + Maps Coordinate Price Change

Some great news coming from Google Enterprise recently on Maps products. Google announced with its aerial imaging program that it will be offering up for sale 6-inch resolution imagery at a very competitive price rate. This follows on from the story of Google acquiring Skybox Imaging to integrate imagery for the future, and if your business wants to invest in Google Maps for Business to utilize this high resolution imagery, you can contact us here at Dito to assist your business need.

You can also learn more on how this can be used to your business's advantage in our upcoming Hangout on Air on Google Maps Engine this Thursday at 3pm EST: Register here!

Also announced, Two Maps for Business products will also be combined into one product:

Maps Engine Pro gives businesses and individual users an easy-to-use tool for collaborative map creation. With Maps Engine Pro, you can create rich, multi-layered maps, share information with stakeholders and make decisions more collaboratively. 

Maps Engine Pro users will now also have access to Google Maps Coordinate, a mobile and web app that lets teams assign jobs and share their locations with each other in real-time. The new offering combines dynamic data visualization with location-based communication using Google Maps.

With the same $5 per user per month subscription to Maps Engine Pro, organizations will have access to this powerful suite of productivity tools.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July Pro Tip: Suggested Edits

Everyone’s favorite part about Google Docs is that it’s so easy to collaborate with others. This avoids multiple versions of the same document floating around. In the past, if you still wanted a collaborator’s opinion, but did not want them to make the edits, you would give them Can comment permissions in the document’s sharing settings. With this new update to Google Docs, you are able to let your commenters edit, and you can accept or reject their changes later. This new feature is available for anyone with commenting access in Google Docs on the web. In this month’s Pro Tip we will show you how to use Suggested Edits.

To get started, share a document out and give your collaborator commenting access.
When the commenter joins the document, they will see they are suggesting edits (indicated in the top right).
Any edits they make will appear as comments on the side that the owner of the document can reply to, accept, or decline. When they click on the comment, the suggested edit appears directly on the document.
Editors can also suggest edits by clicking the button in the upper right and switching from Editing to Suggesting.
While in Suggesting mode, any changes that editors make will appear as suggestions. You or other editors can then accept, decline, or reply to their suggestion as indicated in the steps above.
Now you can share out your document and give your commenters more power, without letting them have free reign over your document. This feature will soon be available for mobile users as well! Be sure to keep this great feature in mind the next time you are collaborating on a document. If you enjoyed this post, please +1 or share with others who may find it useful. Feel free to also add your questions or comments below.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Google I/O 2014: Geo Highlights

Google’s yearly developer conference had very impressive displays of all of its technologies. Of particular interest in this blog post is developer presentations unique to Google Geo Products. Below are the sessions related to Google's Geo products with Google's descriptions of each presentation.

I/O Bytes (Short Sessions):

“Map Up Your Apps!” with Googler Megan Boundey (5 minutes 47 seconds)

Interested in adding Google Maps to your mobile apps but needing inspiration? Did you know that you can now add Street View to your apps too? Come and see how incorporating maps into your app can delight your users! We'll show you some exciting uses of the Google Maps Mobile APIs and describe the functionality available in the APIs as we go.

“Building location-based apps with the Places API” with Googler Justin Chu (5 minutes and 29 seconds)

Google Maps is powered by a global database of places, from the Moscone Center in San Francisco to the Potala Palace in Tibet. We'll show you how to build these places into your apps, including reviews, ratings, photos, opening hours, and more.

“Maps Made Easier: GeoJSON in the Maps API” with Googler Jen Kovnats (6 minutes and 3 seconds)

GeoJSON has become the lingua franca of geographic data on the web. Let us show you how to turn GeoJSON into rich and engaging spatial visualiztions with a few lines of code, using the Google Maps Data Layer.

Full I/O Sessions:

“Views from Everywhere: Bringing developers the world's largest geo photo library” with Googlers Evan Rapoport and Luc Vincent (38 minutes 26 seconds)

Google Maps is creating the world's most comprehensive geolocated photo library through Street View. We're also empowering anyone to contribute photos and 360-degree panoramas to Google Maps via products like Trekker, Business View, Views, and Photo Sphere. In this talk, we'll show how developers can integrate billions of panoramas into their projects. We'll also show how anyone can quickly publish imagery of places they care about, then easily access them via our APIs and viewers. This session is relevant to developers creating experiences that include location and imagery.
Android Auto: Developers, start your engines!” with Googlers Andy Brenner, Gabriel Peal, Nick Pelly (50 minutes and 16 seconds)

This is a developer-focused session that goes “under the hood” on the just-announced Android Auto SDK. The session will go into depth on our API set, including coding examples, and also more detail on the Android Auto technology solution. Learn what it takes to car-enable your audio or messaging app now so you're ready for the launch of Android Auto later this year!

“Maps for good: Saving trees and saving lives with petapixel-scale computing” with Googler Rebecca Moore (47 minutes and 34 seconds)

Satellites have been systematically collecting imagery of our changing planet for more than 40 years, yet until recently this treasure trove of “big data” has not been online and available for high-performance data mining. This session will cover the new Google Earth Engine technology and experimental API for massively-parallel geospatial analysis on daily-updating global datasets such as Landsat satellite imagery. Scientists and other domain experts are developing new EE-powered applications which map, measure and monitor our changing planet in unprecedented detail, for the benefit of people and the environment. Applications include tracking and reducing global deforestation; mapping and mitigating the risks of earthquakes and extreme weather events such as floods and drought; and even creating new kinds of geo-visualizations such as the 2014 Webby award-winning “Timelapse” - a zoomable, browsable HTML5 video animation of the entire Earth from 1984-2012, built from nearly a petabyte of Landsat data. These early results merely hint at what’s now possible.
“Redesigning Google Maps” with Googlers Jonah Jones and Annette Leong (41 minutes and 57 seconds)

How do you redesign a product used by a billion people? The Google Maps team recently launched their biggest redesign since the product was introduced 8 years ago. The lead designers will take you through the journey, illustrating three lessons learned that can apply to any design and product development process.
“How 20% engineers built Santa Tracker” with Googlers Chris Broadfoot and Ankur Kotwal (32 minutes and 31 seconds)

Built on Google’s developer platform, Santa Tracker lets millions of children and adults track Santa in 34 languages as he delivers presents across the world. The project’s technical leads go behind the scenes to provide insight into the challenges of building a cohesive Google developer platform experience across mobile/desktop web, Android, Chromecast, Maps and Search; all powered by a Go AppEngine backend.

As a Google Maps Authorized Reseller, Dito can assist your business with implementing Google Maps, and help your business integrate the capabilities shown at this year's I/O into your application. To learn more about Google Maps products for Business, click here.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Announcing Google Drive for Work

On Wednesday, Google announced a significant addition to it's enterprise applications: Google Drive for Work.

Google Drive for Work is accessible via all platforms and on all major mobile devices. It includes the ability to preview, create, edit and and collaborate with any number of files. You can work in native applications such as Docs and Sheets or even make changes to Office documents. You can also easily work with your co-workers upstairs or across the world, all in real-time. It is by far the best collaborative storage platform the cloud is offering to date.

And Google's storage size is simple: it's unlimited. You can share files up to 5TB in size. And all for about $10 per person, per month.

As you might expect, you'll never experience any issue getting to Google Drive. Google offers 99.99% uptime in their SLA along with no scheduled downtime, meaning you'll always be able to access your information wherever you are. Your data is also secure since it's encrypted when transferred and at rest.

Administrators will like the ease in managing users and groups as well as the ability to audit activity, monitor and track files being shared within and outside the company.

Google Drive for Work also includes Google Vault, so content stored is available for archiving and discovery.

There are number of companies that offer file sharing and online storage solutions. But Google Drive for Work is the one and only true collaborative solution for your business.

Over the next few days, we'll be highlighting a number of features and benefits. We'll even do a bit of comparison between some of the other products available. If you can't wait and would like to have a conversation about Google Drive for Work, let us know.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Pro Tip: Making Phone Calls from Google Hangouts

Back in April we gave you 10 great tips for using Google Hangouts. In this month’s Pro Tip, we want to expand on that and show you how to make calls directly from Google Hangouts. You can place calls to landlines and mobile phones. Calls to the US and Canada for free! Other calls may be made at a low cost.

Why use your cell phone and minutes, when you are already on your computer? Follow the steps below to start your first call right now.

Open Hangouts in Gmail or Google+ and then click the magnifying glass.

Next, click the telephone icon.

Type in the number you wish to call, and hit Enter on your keyboard.

A Hangout window will open and begin calling the number you entered. Click the phone icon to hang up once you are done with the call.

Not only can you dial a number to start a Hangout voice call, but you can also dial a number when you are already in a Hangout. To add a number to your existing Hangout, select the add a person icon, and then click + Add telephone.

Enter in the number you wish to call, and select call.

Hangouts will now call the number entered. Click the phone icon to hang up, as we reviewed in earlier steps shown above.

As you can see, Hangouts is a convenient way to connect with people. Not only can you make phone calls right from your computer, but you can even video chat face-to-face with your friends, family or colleagues without leaving your browser. Be sure to keep this great feature in mind for your next meeting. If you enjoyed this post, please +1 or share others who may find it useful. Feel free to also add your questions or comments below.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Sky is the Limit for Google Maps + Skybox Imaging

Google announced this week that it has entered into an agreement to buy Skybox Imaging for $500 million.

What does this mean for the future of Google Maps? Potentially, access to sub-meter resolution satellite imagery and high-definition video of global operations, which would result in satellite imagery on Google Maps and Earth being updated more regularly. 

Skybox Imaging started as a business plan written as part of a Stanford graduate entrepreneurship course in 2009. Since then, the company has innovated within the satellite imaging industry by building and launching low-cost, high-resolution imaging satellites.

Skybox Imaging has developed analytics for the following applications:
  • Agriculture Health Monitoring: monitoring crop health and projecting yields
  • Humanitarian Aid: tracking refugee movement and development of infrastructure
  • Insurance Modeling: informing risk exposure models and monitoring high value assets
  • Oil Storage Monitoring: monitoring oil storage containers and changes in volumes
  • Natural Disaster Response: helping first responders in rescue efforts
  • Oil & Gas Infrastructure Monitoring: detecting unsafe property and infrastructure
  • Financial Trading Intelligence: analyzing metrics like the number of cars in a retailer’s parking lot or the size of stockpiles of natural resources in ports
  • Mining Operations Monitoring: identifying rock topologies and geological structures for evacuation planning
  • Carbon Monitoring: improving land cover maps and creating reliable carbon stock calculations
  • Maritime Monitoring: optimizing supply chain decisions and analyzing container activity in ports

The acquisition of Skybox by Google is exciting for the future of Google Maps and Earth. As a Google Maps Authorized Reseller, Dito can assist your business with implementing Google Maps, and setting the stage for the future. To learn more about Google Maps products for Business, click here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Google Chromebox for Meetings Review

Sometimes communicating with your colleagues and customers is more effective when you can connect face-to-face. If this personal approach is important to your business and ideal for your employees, shouldn't your video conferencing system facilitate the process of connecting instantly and collaborating with others? If your current solution is complicated, unreliable, and inaccessible for most of your organization, it may be time to evaluate Chromebox for Meetings.

Released earlier this year, Chromebox for Meetings adds to Google's Chrome-based hardware offerings, bringing high-definition video conferencing within the means of nearly all businesses. In a nutshell, it's a complete video conferencing system that integrates with Google Apps and eliminates the need for using complex and expensive legacy video conferencing equipment. The cost for Chromebox for Meetings is only $999, which includes an annual $250/year licensing fee and the following equipment:
  • Chromebox unit (Asus or HP Chromebox)
  • HD webcam with 1080p that automatically adjusts the resolution based on bandwidth, has an auto-focusing lens, and automatic low-light adjustment
  • Microphone/Speaker unit that optimizes for speech clarity and noise filtering
  • Wireless remote control
Setup and ongoing management of Chromebox for Meetings requires little effort, especially for existing Google Apps customers. Chromebox for Meetings integrates with Google Calendar and offers the familiar screen-sharing and collaborative features of Google Hangouts video calls, making implementation a breeze for organizations already using Google Apps. 

Unlike consumer video chat solutions that are designed for 1-on-1 meetings, Chromebox for Meetings allows up to 15 locations to participate in a video meeting. Users can start, schedule and invite others to video meetings from inside the Chromebox for Meetings room, or from outside the meeting room on their mobile device, laptop or desktop. Participants can join by clicking the video call URL in the calendar invitation, and users within the organization have the added convenience of joining a video call from their web browser at

Still not convinced that Chromebox for Meetings can help streamline and simplify video conferencing for your organization? Click here to register for Google's upcoming Hangout on Air and learn how other companies have driven innovation and improved collaboration with Chromebox for Meetings.