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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Opened in Sydney today & now headhunting.....:)

Google sets up shop in Australia
AAP May 16, 2006 - 4:39PM

Global internet search engine Google has set up shop in Australia with big plans to stem the country's brain-drain problem.

Google Australia staff will soon hit university campuses across the country in an attempt to snap up the best IT graduates for its new Sydney engineering centre.

The company will also launch an internship program so university students can work on a number of projects at the new Sydney "Googleplex" during their summer holidays.

Google Australia head of engineering Lars Rasmussen said there was a huge pool of talented software engineers and computer scientists to tap into in Australia, many of whom lacked exciting work opportunities.

Google hoped it could help stop the drift of talented Australians overseas, he said.

"I'd like to think that," Mr Rasmussen told AAP.

"In fact, part of our recruitment program here is actually to look for Australians in the US, for example, who would have preferred working here had they known there was an exciting opportunity here.

"We have, of course, Australians working for Google in California and we know that at least some of them would have probably worked for Google here had we had an office when they joined Google."

Google plans to launch its university internship programs initially with universities in Sydney and Melbourne this summer.

The company has always had close links with universities around the world, given its American founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin met while completing doctorates in computer sciences at Stanford University in the mid-1990s.

Communications Minister Helen Coonan officially opened Google's new Sydney office, which comes complete with the company's famously funky decor, pool tables, laid back staff dressed in T-shirts and stunning water views.

While small compared to the company's massive headquarters in Silicon Valley, California, Google Australia expects to grow quickly.

The new centre's main focus is on research and development as well as the Google Maps operation, which originated from a business Mr Rasmussen set up with his brother and two Australian friends and sold to Google in 2004.

Top of Google's employee wanted list are people with experience in computer engineering, sales and business development.

"We are not just here to localise Google's many services," Mr Rasmussen said.

"About 10 or 20 per cent of our resources here will go in that direction but the lion's share of our engineering efforts here will be to conduct original research and development that will benefit tens if not hundreds of millions of Google users around the world."

Senator Coonan, who recently visited Google's Silicon Valley headquarters, said it was a compliment that an innovative company like Google had opened an office in Australia.

"Attracting companies like Google will in itself generate many more opportunities for software engineers and other ICT professionals," she said.

"But industry also needs to help create opportunity and interest in the ICT profession."

652 Posts
I wonder if this influenced the decision?!

ABC News on Tuesday said:
A new search engine has been developed at the University of New South Wales, and has been bought by American internet giant Google.

A PhD student at the university, Ori Allon, spent six months crunching the numbers, and he came up with a new algorithm that will significantly speed up the search process.
You can read the rest of the article at

692 Posts
If this means we get Google street mapping sooner rather than later I'm all for it (They've got most of Europe now, it's awesome).

That Ori Allon guy sold his thesis for several million bucks. Not a bad graduation present.

skyscraper connoisseur
6,217 Posts
UNSW is nationally renowned to have the best enginnering faculty. Remember that UNSW used to be a school for engineering back in the 50s. Used to be called Sydney Technical College which was est. in 1878. Started with a class of 30 pupils and made big headlines around the world pioneering in new technologies. Very good records as well. Developing the best and efficient solar panels. See here:

7,794 Posts
Well you read it here first :)

Google finally puts Australia on the map

By Louisa Hearn
May 19, 2006 - 10:20AM

Google overnight sneaked out much anticipated street mapping data for Australia and New Zealand cities within Google Maps in a move that is likely to spur a frenzy of mapping mash-up activity.

While the Google Earth application has captured the imagination of the world with its 3D satellite images, Google Maps offers businesses a means of overlaying their own data or statistics over detailed street maps on their web site.

An obvious application is in real estate where available properties can be plotted onto a map for the benefit of house hunters.

A "mash-up" typically mixes different types of data such as geographic data overlayed on an interactive map. In countries where Google street map data is available, more mash-ups have sprung up each day and range from the quirky to the very practical.

Dig to the Centre of the Earth will tell you where you would end up if you dug right through to the other side of the planet and the Da Vinci Tour tracks all the landmarks from the Dan Brown novel.

On the less frivolous side is the Dublin Commuter Map which provides links into realtime GPS data linked to trains to give accurate timetable information.

Until now, Australians have only had access to satellite data and maps on Google Maps which excluded place names, roads and streets.

While the addition of city street names does not yet add up to a full local Google Maps service, the company said it served as an initial step in bringing Australian data to Google Maps.

"With this enhancement, developers in Australia can also begin using the Google Maps API to integrate the product with their website," Google said.

Mike Pegg, who maintains the Google Maps Mania blog said he expected a lot of mash-up activity in Australia given the enthusiastic uptake so far.

He said some existing Australian Google Maps mash-ups had already laid their data over basic satellite imagery while others had begun to turn to alternative mapping sources to substitute the lack of street maps from Google.

"Of all countries in the world that didn't yet have street maps there were already a lot of mash-ups being created in Australia, so I am anticipating really great mash-ups from there and I think it will transform a lot of industries," he said.

Local developers who have been holding out for the more detailed Google city street map data will now be able to start mashing up creations using the Google Maps API - a free toolkit for building an overlay map for location-based data sources.

For those without developer skills to work with the APIs, online tools such as and offer an alternative method of overlaying data onto the maps.

Google first launched Google Maps early last year, which included street maps in USA and Canada. Soon after it introduced street maps for Ireland and Japan and more recently expanded it across Europe.
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