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Goodbye Google Labs – 16 Google Labs Experiments You Should Know before They are Gone

Updated on by in Web Tools

According to Google Blog, Google has decided to wind down their Google Labs – A place where Google engineers previewed and let us test out their crazy ideas for web tools and Android apps. With this announcement, most of the Labs products and technologies will be ended soon and the remaining ones will be incorporated into different product areas. The good news is many of the Labs products that are Android apps today will continue to be available on Android Market.


Will you miss Google Labs? In today’s posts, we would like to list out 16 Google Labs experiments that worth your attention before they’re gone.

Web Tools and Applications

Google Squared
Google Squared is an experimental tool that takes a category (like US presidents, roller coasters, or digital cameras) and attempts to create a starter “square” of information, automatically fetching and organizing facts from across the web. You can modify your square by removing rows and columns you don’t like–or by adding new rows and columns and having Google Squared attempt to fetch the relevant facts. Verify and correct the facts in your square by exploring the original sources and investigating other possible values. If you’re happy with your square you can save it and come back to it later. Google Squared does the grunt work for you, making research fast and easy.

Google Public Data Explorer
The Google Public Data Explorer makes large datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate. As the charts and maps animate over time, the changes in the world become easier to understand. You don’t have to be a data expert to navigate between different views, make your own comparisons, and share your findings. Students, journalists, policy makers and everyone else can play with the tool to create visualizations of public data, link to them, or embed them in their own webpages. Embedded charts and links can update automatically so you’re always sharing the latest available data.

Google Image Swirl
Google Image Swirl organizes image search results into groups and sub-groups, based on their visual and semantic similarity and presents them in an intuitive exploratory interface. Try this tool to resolve an ambiguous query visually (apple, jaguar, beetle) or to explore a concept from different visual perspectives (Eiffel Tower, beach, impressionism).

Google Art Project
Explore museums from around the world, discover and view hundreds of artworks at incredible zoom levels, and even create and share your own collection of masterpieces.

Ask questions, get *live* answers from your network! Aardvark finds the perfect person to answer any question in real-time.

Google Body
Google Body is a detailed 3D model of the human body. You can peel back anatomical layers, zoom in, and navigate to parts that interest you. Click to identify anatomy, or search for muscles, organs, bones and more. You can also share the exact scene you are viewing by copying and pasting the corresponding URL. You will need a web browser that supports WebGL, such as Google Chrome.

Google Mars
Google Mars allows you to view some of the most detailed maps of Mars created by NASA scientists. Explore the Red Planet’s surface, keep track of orbiters and see the ‘face’ in the planet’s surface.

Google Fast Flip
Google Fast Flip is a web application that lets users discover and share news articles. It combines qualities of print and the Web, with the ability to “flip” through pages online as quickly as flipping through a magazine. It also enables users to follow friends and topics, discover new content and create their own custom magazines around searches.

Google News Timeline
Google News Timeline is a web application that organizes information chronologically. It allows users to view news and other data sources on a zoomable, graphical timeline. You can navigate through time by dragging the timeline, setting the “granularity” to weeks, months, years, or decades, or just including a time period in your query (ie. “1977”). Available data sources include recent and historical news, scanned newspapers and magazines, blog posts and Twitter status messages, sports scores and various types of media like music albums and movies.

Google Scribe
Write high-quality documents quickly. Supports text completion, correction, automatic link text and faster formatting features.

Google Transliteration
Google Transliteration allows you to type phonetically using Roman characters. Simply type a word the way it sounds in English and Google Transliteration will convert it to its local script. It currently supports 24 languages: Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Serbian, Sinhalese, Tamil, Telugu, Tigrinya and Urdu.

Google Shared Spaces
Google Shared Spaces allows you to easily create a space with a collaborative gadget and a chat box in it. The gadgets are based on the Wave gadgets technology, so there are already more than 50 gadgets across different categories, like games, productivity, and event planning. Anybody can create a new space by going to the gallery and clicking on one of the featured gadgets. Spaces can easily be shared by just pasting the URL into a chat window, an email or a content sharing platform like Google Buzz or Twitter. And if you know a little Javascript, it is easy to get started building your own real-time, collaborative gadgets and create new spaces based on those.

Android Apps:

Google Goggles
Google Goggles lets you search Google using pictures from your camera phones. It takes an image as input, and using several image recognition backends (object recognition, place matching, OCR, etc) to return relevant search results.

Google Shopper
Google Shopper is a native shopping app for Android featuring:

  • Recognition of books, CDs, DVDs, and video games by their cover art
  • Also search by barcode, voice, and text
  • Product photos, descriptions, prices, reviews, and specs
  • Full history and list of starred items
  • Offline viewing of products you’ve previously seen
  • Did we mention it’s really fast?

Google Gesture Search
Google Gesture Search lets you search your Android-powered device running Android 2.0 or above in the US by drawing alphabet gestures on the touch screen. It allows you to quickly find a contact, a bookmark, an application, or a music track from hundreds or thousands of items, all in one place. Gesture Search continuously updates search results as you add each letter, and improves search quality by learning from your search history. If needed, you can also erase a query by crossing it horizontally and then rewriting it. Gesture Search makes use of the entire screen for drawing. That is often easier than typing on small keys.

Google Listen
Google Listen is a research Android app providing a personalized audio news-magazine loaded with fresh and interesting content whenever it is turned on. Start with directed search and streaming and then sit back or multi-task and listen to content matching your favorite programs and queries like “ABC Nightline,” “Bernanke,” and “Fantasy Baseball.” Currently they are indexing audio files from thousands of English-only RSS feeds but they plan to index all web audio, talking head videos, and short personalized text-to-speech segments in the future.


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