Jinfo BlogNew Google Earth features

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By Penny Crossland

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In February we reported on interesting new features available with Google Earth’s version 5.0 (http://www.vivavip.com/go/e16323), now techcrunch.com (http://digbig.com/4yxcx) has alerted us to a new application which will be useful to business information researchers. A new ‘businesses’ layer has been added to Google Earth on the web and on iPhone (http://digbig.com/4yxcy ), which allows users to search for local businesses such as banks, shops and restaurants. A click on the icons listed against the results provides additional information such as telephone numbers, reviews and opening hours. Google intended this application as a practical search tool for everyday use, however from a researcher’s point of view it could be applied to due diligence and KYC research. It will make checking up on business addresses, verifying their existence and matching them to physical properties that bit easier. Further news on the Google front comes from paidcontent.org (http://digbig.com/4yxcw) which recently reported on how Google News (http://news.google.com/) was experimenting with attaching Wikipedia links to some of its stories. This has opened a debate as to whether news from reliable sources should be combined with user-generated, and thereby less reliable stories from Wikipedia. While some commentators have argued that placing a link to Wikipedia next to a link from the Washington Post, for example, gives it too much credibility, others see the summaries provided by Wikipedia as useful background data to constantly changing news stories. Finally, we can report that the Global Language Monitor (http://www.languagemonitor.com/), billed as the ‘newspaper of Global English’ has announced that the term ‘Web 2.0’ has become the one millionth word in the English language and the only mainstream English word that contains within itself two numerals. This news comes as interest in the term ‘Web 2.0’ is waning, with industry observers looking for new terms to describe the impact and fast-moving nature of web development. John Battelle of Battelle Media (http://battellemedia.com) who coined ‘Web 2.0’ is now suggesting ‘Web Squared’.

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