The British Museum 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 gigapixel imagery—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 (India, 1610)

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.

Kakiemon elephants (Japan, 1650-1699)

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

Moon jar (Korea, 1600-1800)

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 (Australia, 1800-1899)

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 (Rurutu, 1700-1850)

This wooden statue from the island of Rurutu 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 microsite 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

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 Launchpad Week in Jakarta, an opportunity to work with mentors from around the world to help them kickstart their online shipping service, Paket ID.

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 GoArchipelago and Rumah Bengkel — won over a panel of judges with their pitches, and emerged as the “Top 3 Startups” of Launchpad Week Jakarta.

Pitch winners.jpg
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.

Pitch practice.JPG
 Dr. Eunice Sari (left), a UI/UX expert from, 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. If you’d like to take part in future Launchpad programs, please register your interest here.

Posted by Erica Hanson, Developer Relations Program Manager, Google

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

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:
Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 14.08.08.png
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 article 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

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 India and in Indonesia. 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

From the lush waterfalls of the Milford Track to the alpine peaks 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 ‘Great Walks’ 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 Google Trekker, 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 Panekire Bluff, look down at the Hollyford Valley from Conical Hill, or check out the tallest waterfall in New Zealand — all without breaking a sweat.
Panekire Bluff looks over Lake Waikaremoana which translates to ‘sea of rippling waters’ in te reo.

Conical Hill 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 Sutherland Falls on the Milford Track are bigger than Eiffel Tower.

Emerging from the Enchanted Forest on the Heaphy Track you might not see hobbits, but if you’re very lucky you can sometimes spot baby seals. They’re even more common at Separation Point which is a fur seal breeding ground.

Wander through an Enchanted Forest on the Heaphy Track. (Eat your heart out, Peter Jackson).

Say hi to baby seals on the Heaphy Track

Even without seals, Separation Point knows how to put on a good show.

If you’re enjoying the coast, why not head south to the Golden Beaches 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 or the Swing Bridge over the Kohaihai River.

An impressive 47-meter long suspension bridge takes you over Falls River

It’s just a hop, step and a swing bridge 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 Milford, Kepler, Abel Tasman, Lake Waikaremoana, Heaphy, Routeburn and Rakiura / Stewart Island 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.

Today we opened the doors to the Kids Maker Studio, which we announced earlier this year, in Korea’s largest science museum, the Gwacheon National Science Museum.

It is our aspiration that this space and the accompanying outdoor Science Playground opening in the spring – both made possible through a partnership wih the Gwacheon National Science Museum and a grant from – will encourage more kids in Korea to ask audacious questions, seek out new challenges and set out to come up with previously unthought of solutions.

Our Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, was on hand to open the space…and help a few kids with their creative projects

The Kids Maker Studio will offer kids — and their parents – a wide range of workshops throughout the year. Upcoming sessions include everything from creating a stethoscope that can measure and convert electric resistance of various objects to sound, to making a model of a friend’s face using black strip resistor and LED lights.

Here are some pictures of the kids experimenting in the studio:

Over the past year, we have had an incredible opportunity to be involved in major initiatives that support Korea’s insatiable spirit for creativity and innovation. Through our partnership with the National Hangeul Museum, we opened an interactive space for kids to learn about the Korean alphabet. Earlier this year, we opened Campus Seoul, our first community space for startups in Asia. And next Spring, as mentioned, we will open the 2,000 square meter outdoor Science Playground at the Gwacheon National Science Museum.

We are so excited to see what the kids who come through these spaces create.

Posted by John Lee, Country Director, Google Korea

Malaysia’s most eastern state of Sabah sits just south of a typhoon belt. Seafarers used to call it the "Land Below The Wind," as it provided refuge from the raging storms of the north. From today you too can catch your breath, in awe, at the beauty of Sabah with the launch of new Street View imagery from 23 islands and nature reserves from the area.

Sabah is home to the highest mountain in Malaysia, so you can now scale the Mount Kinabalu peak from the couch. A UNESCO world heritage site, Mount Kinabalu sits in Kinabalu Park which teems with unique flora and fauna — including the gigantic Rafflesia plant and orangutans.

Scaling the Mount Kinabalu peak is even tougher with an 18kg Trekker on your back

Or take a quiet cruise down the Kinabatangan River. The longest river in Sabah, Kinabatangan winds through a forest-covered floodplain which is home to Proboscis monkeys, Sumatran rhinos and Asian elephants. If you like wildlife, try and catch a glimpse of the orangutans at Sepilok Orang Utan Reserve:

Two orangutans having a tête-à-tête at the Sepilok Orang Utan Reserve

Once you’ve explored the jungle, why not go island hopping and visit Mabul or Mataking? The clear turquoise waters of the Celebes Sea are teeming with sea life and gentle sloping reefs which makes them diving hotspots.

Take a virtual dip at Mabul Island

The tiny Mataking Island can be walked around in an hour. We bet you could go even faster with Street View.

Sabah is home to incredibly unique natural diversity. We hope you enjoy scaling the peaks of Kinabalu, going deep into the jungle, or lazing around on the many island beaches with this new Street View collection.

Posted by Nhazlisham Hamdan, Street View Operations Lead Malaysia, Indonesia & Thailand

Baca turun ke bawah agar dapat melihat postingan ini dalam Bahasa Indonesia

In Indonesia today, only about 1 out of every 3 people are connected to the Internet. And even though most of their connections are painfully slow, they’re doing some pretty incredible things. Startups like motorcycle delivery service Go-Jek are building impressive adaptations to Indonesia’s unique challenges, while small businesses like fashionable hijab shop HiJup are using the web to redefine marketplaces.

Still, a majority of Indonesians don’t have access to the educational, cultural, and economic opportunities of the Internet. That’s why we’re pleased to announce that Indonesia’s top three mobile network operators—Indosat, Telkomsel, and XL Axiata—have agreed to begin testing Project Loon balloon-powered Internet over Indonesia in 2016. These tests represent an important step toward bringing all of Indonesia online.

From left to right: Ririek Adriansyah, CEO of Telkomsel; Dian Siswarini, CEO of XL Axiata; Alexander Rusli, CEO of Indosat; Mike Cassidy, VP of Project Loon; Sergey Brin, President, Alphabet Inc

Loon balloons act like floating mobile phone towers; flying on the stratospheric winds at altitudes twice as high as commercial planes, each balloon beams an Internet connection down to the ground, and as one drifts out of range, another moves in to take its place. Loon can help telecommunications companies extend their networks; high in the sky, we can help overcome the difficulties of spreading equipment across an archipelago of 17,000 islands of jungles and mountains, providing connectivity to even the most remote islands.

Project Loon balloons travel approximately 20 km above the Earth’s surface in the stratosphere. Winds in the stratosphere are stratified, and each layer of wind varies in speed and direction. By moving with the wind, the balloons can be arranged to form one large communications network.

Over the next few years, we’re hoping Loon can partner with local providers to put high-speed LTE Internet connections within reach of more than 100 million currently unconnected peoplethat’s enough speed to read websites, watch videos, or make purchases. From Sabang all the way to Merauke, many of these people live in areas without any existing Internet infrastructure, so we hope balloon-powered Internet could someday help give them access to the information and opportunity of the web.

But it’s not the only step Google is taking toward making the Internet both accessible and useful for people in Indonesia. Android One phones are helping to make high-quality smartphones more accessible in a country where most people first access the Internet on a mobile device. And along with that, we’re working to ease the use of data with features sure as Search Lite, which streamlines search so pages load more quickly, or by optimizing web pages so that they require less data to load. Indonesia is also one of the first countries where YouTube users can take videos offline to watch later during periods of low or no Internet connectivity.

We’re also doing what we can to ensure that language isn’t a barrier to the opportunities of the web. Google Translate was introduced for Bahasa in 2008, and more recently we’ve expanded it to Sundanese, a language that’s spoken by nearly 40 million people living on the island of Java.

Soon we hope many more millions of people in Indonesia will be able to use the full Internet to bring their culture and businesses online and explore the world even without leaving home. And for those of you who’ve never been to this country of rich culture and natural beauty, we invite you to head over to Google Street View to explore the famous temples at Borobudur and Prambanan.

Posted by Mike Cassidy, Vice President, Project Loon


Menghadirkan akses internet ke 100 juta penduduk Indonesia dari ketinggian 20 km di atas Bumi

Saat ini, perbandingan jumlah penduduk Indonesia yang bisa mengakses internet adalah satu banding tiga. Dan sebagian besar koneksi Internetnya pun sangat lambat, namun, mereka tetap dapat melakukan berbagai hal mengagumkan. Perusahaan startup seperti Go-Jek berhasil menyesuaikan diri dengan tantangan unik yang ada di Indonesia, dan perusahaan kecil yang bergerak pada bidang busana hijab seperti HiJup juga menggunakan Internet untuk mendefinisikan kembali pangsa pasarnya.

Bagaimana pun, mayoritas penduduk Indonesia masih belum memiliki akses Internet terutama kesempatan di bidang pendidikan, budaya, dan ekonomi. Itulah mengapa kami bangga mengumumkan bahwa tiga operator seluler di Indonesia—Indosat, Telkomsel, and XL Axiata—telah menyepakati memulai pengujian Project Loon - Internet bertenaga balon di Indonesia pada tahun 2016. Pelaksanaan pengujian ini adalah sebuah langkah penting membawa seluruh Indonesia menjadi online.

From left to right: Ririek Adriansyah, CEO of Telkomsel; Dian Siswarini, CEO of XL Axiata; Alexander Rusli, CEO of Indosat;
Mike Cassidy, VP of Project Loon; Sergey Brin, President, Alphabet Inc

Balon Loon berfungsi sebagai menara telepon seluler terbang, mengangkasa dengan angin stratosferik di ketinggian dua kali daripada pesawat komersial, masing-masing balon ini memancarkan koneksi Internet turun ke permukaan, dan bila salah satu balon ini keluar jalur, yang baru akan menggantikannya. Project Loon dapat membantu perusahaan telekomunikasi melebarkan jaringannya, jauh tinggi di angkasa, dengan mengatasi tantangan dalam hal penyebaran peralatan dalam menyediakan konektivitas ke penjuru paling ujung sekalipun ke seluruh Nusantara, yang merupakan kepulauan sebanyak 17.000, yang terdiri dari hutan dan pegunungan.

Dalam waktu beberapa tahun ke depan, kami berharap Project Loon dapat bermitra dengan penyedia lokal untuk membangun koneksi Internet berkecepatan tinggi berbasis LTE agar dapat menghubungkan lebih dari 100 juta penduduk yang belum terhubungikecepatan ini baik untuk situs-web, menonton video, dan melakukan pembelian online. Dari Sabang sampai Merauke, banyak dari masyarakat ini tinggal di wilayah tanpa infrastruktur Internet yang sudah ada saat ini, jadi kami berharap Internet bertenaga-balon ini dapat suatu saat nanti membantu mereka agar memiliki akses informasi dan kesempatan yang ada di Internet.

Namun, ini bukanlah satu-satunya langkah yang dilakukan Google untuk menjadikan Internet dapat diakses dan berguna bagi masyarakat di Indonesia. Perangkat telepon Android One membantu ponsel pintar bermutu tinggi agar lebih mudah diakses di negara yang kebanyakan masyarakatnya memiliki akses pertama Internetnya di perangkat seluler. Bersamaan dengan ini, kami juga sedang bekerja untuk memudahkan penggunaan data dengan fitur seperti Search Lite, yang mempersingkat penelusuran sehingga memuat laman lebih cepat, atau dengan pengoptimalan laman Internet agar data lebih sedikit ketika ada pemuatan laman. Indonesia juga merupakan salah satu negara pertama terkait para pengguna YouTube yang dapat memutar video dalam keadaan offline agar dapat ditonton di waktu kemudian saat konektivitas Internet sedang rendah atau tidak ada koneksi sama sekali.

Kami juga melakukan segala sesuatu yang dapat dilakukan untuk memastikan bahwa bahasa bukanlah rintangan yang menghalangi kesempatan yang ada di Internet. Google Translate diperkenalkan untuk Bahasa Indonesia pada tahun 2008, dan belum lama kami melebarkannya ke Bahasa Sunda, sebuah bahasa yang dipakai oleh lebih dari 40 juta orang yang tinggal di pulau Jawa.

Tidak lama lagi, kami berharap jutaan masyarakat Indonesia akan dapat menggunakan Internet secara utuh sehingga dapat membawa budaya dan bisnis mereka secara online dan mengeksplorasi dunia tanpa meninggalkan kediamannya. Dan, bagi mereka yang belum menginjakkan kakinya di negeri yang kaya budaya dan keindahan alam ini, kami mengundang Anda menggunakan Google Street View agar dapat mengeksplorasi candi-candi seperti Borobudur dan Prambanan yang sangat terkenal.

Diposting oleh Mike Cassidy, Vice President, Project Loon

For one brief moment in the world of Google searches last night, Chopin beat shopping. And that’s largely thanks to Asia.

The International Chopin Piano Competition draws a larger crowd than you might think. Here’s the chart of search interest in the competition, the composer and online shopping. As the finals were livestreamed online, people rushed to check out the performances and see who won.

Poland hosts the competition every five years in honor of one of its most famous composers and Poland generates the most search interest in the competition. But then Japan and Korea show the most search interest in the world behind Poland, far above the U.S. or France.

Within Korea, search interest in the competition even beat out K-Pop boy band Exo.

And no wonder: check out the winning performance from Korea’s Seong-Jin Cho at the 17-minute mark in the video below.

You can watch all the performances on the Chopin Institute’s YouTube channel and dive into the history of the competition and into Fryderyk Chopin’s history via two online exhibitions on the Google Cultural Institute.

Detail of gigapixel image of Fantaisie-Impromptu cis-moll [Opus 66] (1833 - 1834), Fryderyk Chopin’s autograph composition dated 1835 (collection: Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina)

Tune in for the broadcast of the winners’ performances on October 21, starting at 7pm Central European Time.