Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Top Ten Google Apps

Now that I am in the mode of thinking about top ten stuff, I decided I needed to list my top ten Google Apps or Products or whatever they are called. Google lists a few across the top of the Classic Google search screen, such as Search, Images, Maps etc. But the last item is "More" that has a drop-down list of additional Apps. Then at the bottom of that drop-down list there is a link to "Even More." Currently, Google lists a total of 47 Apps or Products (including those in the other menus).

Some of these are of tremendous use for genealogists. Hence, I list my top ten favorites. If the truth be known, some of these programs are more useful than other full blown Apps or websites. So here we go with the list:

1. Google Maps. This is my hands down favorite. I use this almost every day (or did until Apple and Google got in a tiff over Apple adding its own map app for the iPhone). I could spend a good hour or more just explaining the details of how this program works and all its features, like personalized maps, for example. Come to think of it, maybe I will in a future post.

2. Google Earth. While I am on the subject of Google Maps, I guess that leads me to its counterpart, Google Earth. Since I spend a lot of time contributing 360 degree panoramas to Google Earth, this is obviously one of my top choices. But, this program also has some fabulous tools for genealogists, such as the overlay link to the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection, for one.

3. Google Books. Now, I could have put this first, but then I would have to put the maps second and that didn't work. Can you imagine having millions (and I mean millions) of genealogy books at your beck and call? To get an idea of the scope of this App, do a Google Books search on the term "genealogy." Now, granted, not all of those books are directly about our type of genealogy, but a whole lot of them are.

4. Web Search. Of course, this was supposed to be number one also. But then we can't all be number one, can we? Where would I be without Google Search? The answer is high school.

5. Blogger. You might not be reading this without Blogger. I realize there are other ways to post a blog, but this is clearly the easiest and most convenient one to use. Believe me, I have tried others.

6. Reader. The can't-live-without companion to Blogger is Reader. This App gives me the ability to tame the huge influx of information from following hundreds of blogs.

7. Gmail. Despite its failings, I find Gmail to be convenient and workable. I suppose I could try some other program, but I haven't had the incentive to do so. I do have several unused other accounts that I can switch to in a moment if Google fails.

8. Picasa. This program is a real program. It is the answer to having thousands of photos on your computer's hard drive. There are better programs, such as Adobe Bridge, but then again free is nice.

9. YouTube. Why do I always end up watching a video on YouTube? Because they are there. This App has changed the world. Literally.

10. Last but certainly not least, is Translate. It wasn't all that great when it started, but it is a very fast and easy way to understanding foreign websites.

Well, that's the list folks. Have fun with the rest of the Apps also.

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