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7 Interesting Experiments in Google Labs

Alyssa Gregory

How often do you explore the projects Google has cooking in their lab? I don’t very often, but I stumbled across it the other day and got caught up in testing out some of the experimental apps. There are quite a few, but here are seven I thought were particularly interesting.


Aardvark is a social search that Google acquired earlier this year and brought into Google Labs. It’s a tool that lets you ask a question (from the web, IM, email, Twitter, or iPhone) and you’ll get a quick, helpful response from someone in your network who (supposedly) has the answer within minutes.

Browser Size

Google Browser Size is a visualization of browser window sizes for people who visit Google so you can ensure that important parts of a page’s user interface are visible by a wide audience. It works best on sites with a fixed layout aligned to the left. For more, go to Craig’s post on the Browser Size tool.


Google Goggles is an Android app that lets users take photos of text, places, landmarks, books, business cards, artwork, and more in order to conduct a Google search right from their mobile device based on the photo.

People Hopper

People Hopper is a fun little app for Orkut that lets you provide two images and it will “hop” across millions of public images to morph your face into a friend’s face. Each face along the path comes from a Orkut user’s public profile image. You click on any of these path images and go to the profile of that person. You need an Orkut account to try People Hopper.

Public Data Explorer

Google’s Public Data Explorer makes large datasets easy to explore visually. You can explore the data Google provides (population, unemployment, mortality, etc.) and create visualizations of the data, then link to or embed them.

News Timeline

Google News Timeline organizes search results from news and other data sources in chronological order on a browsable, graphical timeline. Available data sources include recent and historical news, scanned newspapers and magazines, blog posts, sports scores, and information about various types of media, like music albums and movies.

Related Links

Much like a plug-in in WordPress, Related Links is way to find related pages from your site and show them in a gadget. You can embed the gadget in your page to help your users reach other pages easily. Currently, only invited users can use Related Links, but there’s a demo that’s fun to play around with.