Late last week Google announced a few new features to help you track the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing including a mobile web interface for following the events. Other features include special search results for various events and a Google Maps Mashup to keep track of medals by country. Here’s a quick guide on how to use these tools to follow your favorite events.
Google Olympics Search Results
The special search results that Google Search will return works on both the web and on your handset by simply typing in the name of the event. Then Google will return the schedule for that event and/or the results. Also, a search for “olympics” will return the current medal count by country.
Here’s and example of the results that it would return for swimming pre-event:
Google Mobile Web Site for the Olympics
Next let’s check out the mobile interface for checking out all of the events. It’s basically a listing of all the events that you can thumb through to find the event that you’re interested in. The link is somewhat atrociously hard to remember though: http://www.google.com/m/messageboard?mb=08bj. If you do a search on “olympics” then pick ‘More Results’ it will get you there, though a well named permalink to the site would be in order. I also wish there was a calendar view to check out the schedule of events for the whole games rather than having to click through to each event individually, but it might have been too much info for one mobile page.
Overall Grade: B-
While I appreciate the effort of making this feature, I think we have all generally come to expect more from Google in terms of ease of use and elegance of their interfaces.
Google Maps Olympic Standings Mashup
Last but not least, we have the Olympics Standing Google Maps Mashup. This one is actually pretty cool, with the medal count for each country listed on a map. It’s simple but effective. And they made it so that you can embed it anywhere. That’s smart- good simple representation of data that they’re giving away for distribution across the web. That’s much more like it.Similar Stories:
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