Why giving blood matters, and how you can helpWhy giving blood matters, and how you can help

My father’s journey has made me passionate about ensuring that people like him have access to blood when they need it. Although 45 percent of Americans have been personally affected by blood donation, only 3 percent of Americans regularly donate blood.

I’m personally unable to donate blood, but I’ve found another way to give back to the cause: organizing blood drives at Google. Through my work organizing 20 blood drives, I’ve encountered countless others who have personal ties to blood donation, including Googlers like Daniel Otts, who regularly donates blood in memory of his son Ferris who required plasma infusions after being born prematurely. Losing Ferris forever changed Daniel’s outlook on blood donation. “I remember how thankful I was that someone, an anonymous stranger, had given of themselves so unselfishly for the benefit of someone else, quite possibly in a life or death situation,” Daniel told me.

Through these drives, we’ve collected thousands of pints of blood. And through Google’s partnership with the American Red Cross, which uses Google Maps Platform to help people find a blood drive near them, we’ve reached thousands more people across the U.S.

This technology also helped Temie Giwa-Tubosun, a Nigerian native and founder of LifeBank, an app that uses Google Maps Platform to connect blood banks with drivers, hospitals, and patients in need. To date, Temie’s app has drastically cut delivery time of blood from 24 hours to less than 45 minutes and helped save more than 4,000 lives.

Updates in Maps and Search to help during times of crisisUpdates in Maps and Search to help during times of crisis

SOS alerts help you quickly access authoritative, real-time information during times of crisis. Today, we’re improving SOS alerts by adding visual information about natural disasters and a new navigation warning system on Google Maps so you can more reliably know where a disaster is and anticipate where it’s headed. Read on to learn about what’s changing, along with three ways to help you stay connected and informed during times of emergency.

Hurricane forecast cones, earthquake shakemaps and flood forecasts

With SOS alerts, you can already see important crisis information—a summary of what’s happening, relevant news stories, emergency phone numbers and websites, Twitter updates from local authorities, and tips to help you find your way to safety. Now, you’ll also be able to see detailed visualizations about hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods to give you a better understanding of the situation on the ground.

In the days leading up to a hurricane, you’ll see a crisis notification card on Google Maps that automatically appears if you’re near the impacted area. This card will direct you to a hurricane forecast cone, which shows the prediction of the storm’s trajectory along with information about what time it’s likely to hit certain areas, so you can use this information to plan how to react.

After an earthquake strikes, tapping on the crisis card will display the earthquake’s shakemap—a visualization that shows you its epicenter, its magnitude, along with color coding to indicate how intense the shaking was in surrounding areas. This information can help you quickly assess the reach of the earthquake and and identify areas likely to have experienced the highest impact.  And in India, where over 20 percent of global flood-related fatalities occur, you’ll now be able to see flood forecasts that show you where flooding is likely to occur in addition to the expected severity in different areas.

Working to map the air everywhere and help #BeatAirPollutionWorking to map the air everywhere and help #BeatAirPollution

How Project Air View can help us understand more about ground-level air quality

Air quality is an important issue and can be difficult to map on hyperlocal level, which is why we’ve taken time to make sure we get it right. We’ve made a lot of progress. After launching air quality maps for Oakland, CA with Aclima and EDF, we expanded to other regions of the state. More recently, we have worked with our research partners to add other U.S. cities like Houston and Salt Lake City, as well as Copenhagen, London, and Amsterdam in Europe.

And today, we’re publishing a new batch of air quality data—the measurements we’ve made with Aclima between 2017 and 2018. Scientists can request access to the data via this form. This new mapping data supplements our previously released hyperlocal air quality data, which includes measurements in the San Francisco Bay Area and the northern San Joaquin Valley. The combined datasets now contain 140,000 miles and 7,000 hours of driving from 2016 through 2018. The data captures over three years of air quality moments and insights, big and small.

What’s next?

By the end of this year, we’ll equip 50 more Street View cars with the mobile-friendly Aclima Mobile Sensor Node, and hit the road in cities in Asia, Africa and South America. We’ll continue using tools like BigQuery and platforms like the Air Quality Data Commons to share this data with researchers whose work helps policymakers, businesses, and utilities make better decisions around air quality in their cities.

In the future, we hope existing fleets of vehicles can be used in cities around the world for air quality measurement. We’re already seeing this happen. EDF and Houston’s Public Health Department worked together to equip a few vehicles in their city fleet with air sensors. EDF and the connected vehicle company, GeoTab, published a report showing how cities can determine if they can do the same. And recently, Aclima and Google Cloud have partnered to make this a reality in partnership with cities and counties across the U.S. and around the world. They’re launching in the County of San Mateo, and aim are bringing continuous hyperlocal air quality mapping to more than 100 municipalities and 10 million people in California by early next year.

Research like this can spread awareness about air pollution, drive new science, and help people take action. If cities around the world join in the effort to measure air pollution, it will be one giant step toward achieving the lofty goal to #BeatAirPollution.

Stonewall Forever: Honoring LGBTQ+ history through a living monumentStonewall Forever: Honoring LGBTQ+ history through a living monument

Many people have shaped my life—my parents who brought me into the world; Miss Moran, my fifth grade teacher, who pushed me to be a better student; my late mentor Bill McCarthy who helped guide my career early in my professional life. But perhaps the most meaningful people in my life are my husband, whom I have been with for nearly 30 years, and my son, who gives me more joy (and a fair amount of frustration) than I could have ever imagined. For them, I owe thanks in large part to a valiant handful of New Yorkers whom I’ve never me. Their act of defiance ultimately enabled me to live, love and be who I am.

It was early in the morning on Saturday, June 28, 1969, when the police raided the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street, one of the few places at the time where LGBTQ people could gather openly. New Yorkers fought back. This altercation, known as the Stonewall Riots, led to angry protests that lasted for days and sparked the modern fight for LGBTQ rights around the world.

In 2016, President Obama designated Christopher Park, the small triangle of green that sits in front of the Stonewall Inn, as the first national monument dedicated to telling the story of this community’s struggle. The Stonewall National Monument serves as a reminder of the continuing fight for civil and human rights.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. To recognize this pivotal moment in history, the LGBT Community Center of New York City (The Center) spearheaded the creation of Stonewall Forever, an interactive “living monument” to 50 years of Pride. Google provided support in the form of a $1.5 million grant from Google.org, and volunteers from Google Creative Lab helped bring the experience to life.

Stonewall Forever connects diverse voices from the Stonewall era to the millions of voices in today’s LGBTQ community. The monument is made up of countless colorful pieces that contain digitized historical artifacts, oral histories capturing the early days of the movement, interviews with new voices of LGBTQ equality, and photos and messages added by people around the world.

Anyone can visit Stonewall Forever on the web, and through an augmented reality app that allows you to experience the Stonewall National Monument in New York’s Christopher Park. Explore the past, present and future of Pride and then add your own piece to the ever-growing monument. You can dive deeper by watching a short documentary, directed by Ro Haber, featuring an inclusive array of activists, from across generations, each giving their own interpretation of the Stonewall legacy.

Beyond our support of Stonewall Forever, we’re launching Pride Forever, a campaign honoring the past, present, and future of the LGBTQ+ community. This theme is rooted in sharing the past 50 years of global LGBTQ+ history with our users. Today’s interactive Google Doodle celebrates 50 years of Pride by taking us through its evolution over the decades, with animated illustrations by Doodler Nate Swinehart.  

Google Arts & Culture is also preserving even more archives and stories from LGBTQ history, in partnership with The Center, GLBT Historical Society of San Francisco, the National Park Service’s Stonewall Monument, and Cyark. The collection includes never-before-seen photos and videos, 3D models of the Stonewall monuments, and a virtual walking tour of LGBTQ sites in the Village.

Here are a few other ways we’re helping people celebrate Pride.

  • Like past years, we’ll identify major Pride parade routes on Google Maps.
  • Later this month, check out Google Play for apps, movies, books, and audiobooks to help the LGBTQ+ community share stories and also learn more about the history of LGBTQ+ rights.
  • And through Google My Business, business owners can mark their businesses as “LGBTQ-friendly” and as a “Transgender Safe Space” on their Google listing to let customers know they’re always welcome. As of today, more than 190,000 businesses have enabled these attributes on their business listing.

Today, Stonewall lives on in images, histories and monuments—old and new. It also lives on in the LGBTQ community and its supporters. The past paves the way for the future, and Stonewall Forever reminds us that alone we’re strong, but together we’re unstoppable. Pride is forever.

Pick up the pace with three fitness apps, powered by Google MapsPick up the pace with three fitness apps, powered by Google Maps

Training with real-world imagery and conditions

When I’m not running outdoors, I’m logging miles on my NordicTrack treadmill before my kids wake up. Although treadmillers seem impervious to that particular flavor of boredom, running indoors doesn’t mean staring at a blank wall anymore.

NordicTrack, a treadmill made by ICON Health & Fitness, the world’s largest fitness equipment manufacturer, lets you trace a route anywhere in the world and run that route using Google Street View. So when temperatures hit triple digits or dip anywhere below 50 degrees (which is Texan for “freezing”), I can do a loop around my favorite neighborhood in Paris, or run up to one of Mount Everest’s base camps without leaving the house.

I can also run several marathon courses right on the treadmill. Using information from Google Maps Platform, NordicTrack automatically accounts for real-world conditions. When training for the Boston Marathon this year, I was able to simulate the infamous Heartbreak Hill (worth preparing for both physically and mentally!). And when doing a coached workout, the speed automatically increases during intervals, allowing me to focus on my workout without having to make manual adjustments.

Google Maps adds dish-covery to the menuGoogle Maps adds dish-covery to the menu

When you’re trying out a new restaurant, Google Maps already shows you how to get there, photos, reviews and ratings. But as you scan the menu, you’re probably wondering, “What’s good?” Now Google Maps is making it easy to “dish-cover” a restaurant’s most crowd-pleasing meals with a new popular dishes feature.

Popular dishes from down the street and around the planet

Whether you’re craving a tea cocktail in Brooklyn or sampling Pacific Rim cuisine in London, Google Maps now highlights a restaurant’s most popular items on the menu, so you can place your order with confidence.

The popular dishes feature is powered by a machine learning algorithm that matches dish names, provided by Google Maps users, with relevant photos and reviews. This creates a handy arrangement of a restaurant’s most popular meals right at your fingertips in Google Maps.

Simply pull up a restaurant on Google Maps to find its popular dishes in the overview tab. Feeling extra peckish? Dive into the menu tab to scroll through all the most-talked about meals, and tap on a popular dish to explore reviews and photos. In a country where you can’t read the language? Maps will also translate the reviews for you too.  

What’s for dinner? Order it with GoogleWhat’s for dinner? Order it with Google

French fries, lettuce wraps, massaman curry, chicken wings, cupcakes—I could go on. When I was pregnant with my son last year, my cravings were completely overpowering. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to jump into the car and go to my favorite restaurants to get my fill—food delivery services saved my bacon on more occasions than I’d be comfortable admitting to the world.

Ever since then, I’ve counted myself as one of the millions of people who regularly order food for home delivery. Starting today, we’re making it even easier to get food delivered to your doorstep.

Find food and order faster
Now you can use Google Search, Maps or the Assistant to order food from services like DoorDash, Postmates, Delivery.com, Slice, and ChowNow, with Zuppler and others coming soon. Look out for the “Order Online” button in Search and Maps when you search for a restaurant or type of cuisine. For participating restaurants, you can make your selections with just a few taps, view delivery or pickup times, and check out with Google Pay.  

Let the Google Assistant handle dinner
To use the Assistant on your phone to get your food fix, simply say, “Hey Google, order food from [restaurant].” You can also quickly reorder your go-to meal with some of our delivery partners by saying, “Hey Google, reorder food from [restaurant].” The Assistant pulls up your past orders, and in just a few seconds, you can select your usual dish.

Make the most of Mother’s Day with MapsMake the most of Mother’s Day with Maps

Whether you still live with mom or are a roadtrip away, Google Maps can help you get things done so you can make the most of Mother’s Day (less than two weeks away!). Here are a few helpful features in Maps to try out to make that second Sunday in May a real mom-pleaser.  

Mother’s Day brunch, without the wait

Mother’s Day brunch has always been a thing. And lately, brunch every weekend has become an even bigger thing. Standing in line for hours for those delicious eggs benny you promised your mom could really put a damper on the day. With Google Maps, you can add yourself to a participating restaurant’s waitlist and get a text when your table’s ready. Instead of waiting in line, use the time instead to stroll around a nearby park and get mum caught up on your new hobbies (or maybe even your love life). If you’re more of a planner, you can always book a reservation in advance from a restaurant’s Business Profile in Maps and Search, too.

Bring out her inner kid

If you were a lucky kid, your mom probably spent a good chunk of her free time planning fun and educational outings to help your little mind expand. This Mother’s Day, show your mom how thankful you are for all of those excursions by bringing her back to the places she used to take you. Just find the aquarium, zoo, or any other place that brings back fond memories and tap the “buy tickets” button to make it happen.

Take a walk down memory lane

If mom is the nostalgic type, you can create a list in Maps highlighting all the favorite places you’ve visited together over the years. Create a custom scavenger hunt to guide her to each place, or just visit a few of them during the day to remember all the fun you had and make new memories. Even if you don’t get to all of the spots on Mother’s Day, you can share the list with her directly from Maps, so you can pick up where you left off next time you’re together.


Even though Mother’s Day comes only once a year, don’t forget to add a label to mom’s address in Maps, so you can easily get real-time ETA and directions every time you head home for a visit.

Introducing auto-delete controls for your Location History and activity dataIntroducing auto-delete controls for your Location History and activity data

Whether you’re looking for the latest news or the quickest driving route, we aim to make our products helpful for everyone. And when you turn on settings like Location History or Web & App Activity, the data can make Google products more useful for you—like recommending a restaurant that you might enjoy, or helping you pick up where you left off on a previous search. We work to keep your data private and secure, and we’ve heard your feedback that we need to provide simpler ways for you to manage or delete it.

You can already use your Google Account to access simple on/off controls for Location History and Web & App Activity, and if you choose—to delete all or part of that data manually. In addition to these options, we’re announcing auto-delete controls that make it even easier to manage your data. Here’s how they’ll work:

Finding a place to charge your EV is easy with Google MapsFinding a place to charge your EV is easy with Google Maps

If you’ve ever driven to an electric vehicle (EV) charging station only to find that all ports are occupied, you know that you could end up waiting in line for anywhere between minutes to hours—which can really put a damper on your day when you have places to go and things to do.

Starting today, you can see the real time availability of charging ports in the U.S. and U.K, right from Google Maps–so you can know if chargers are available before you head to a station. Simply search for “ev charging stations” to see up to date information from networks like Chargemaster, EVgo, SemaConnect and soon, Chargepoint. You’ll then see how many ports are currently available, along with other helpful details, like the business where the station is located, port types and charging speeds. You’ll also see information about the station from other drivers, including photos, ratings, reviews and questions.