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Something wicked this way comes… Whether you’re a trio of witches back from the dead or just a trick-or-treater, chances are you’re hitting the streets (or riding a broom!) on Halloween night. For those looking for an extra fright, take a tour of spooky places from around the world on Google Maps.

Start in 19th century Paris. While cheery guests listen to the beautiful arias at the Opéra Garnier, a dreary lake lies beneath the streets. Floating above the silent water, a phantom lurks. Are your eyes playing tricks on you... or is that a cloaked figure looming in the shadows?



For the holiday, we've also just released some new imagery in Italy, Romania and Slovakia. Start with Italy's premier witchcraft museum, the Museo della Stregoneria di Triora.



Continue onto Slovakia and the Čachtický hrad, a castle where Elizabeth Báthory, a countess from the renowned Báthory family, lived. Stories describe her vampire-like tendencies (most famously the tale that she bathed in the blood of young servant girls who she killed - to retain her youth).



Conclude with the spookiest site of them all in Romania - Dracula's own Bran Castle. The Dracula's Castle was built on the edge of the Bran Pass and nowadays lures guests worldwide who wish to partake in the legend of the Count Dracula.



If these spooky spots whet your appetite for fear, get up close with some of the most frightful locations in Google Maps Gallery and find ghouls and goblins in haunted houses around the world. If you’re looking for a laugh instead of a scream, take a hayride through your local corn maze, find the perfect jack-o-lantern at your neighboring pumpkin patch, and scout the best trick-or-treat routes near you.

Now get your cauldrons bubbling and monsters mashing because after all, this is Halloween!

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Slow Food, founded in 1989 in Italy, has grown into a global, grassroots organization fighting the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions. We agree with its philosophy that everyone should have access to good, clean and fair food and are delighted to help bring its tasty Ark of Taste project online in an exciting new set of Google Cultural Institute exhibitions.

The exhibits tell the story of the endangered foods around the globe, from Brazil’s Babacu fruit to Ethiopia’s Boke black salt to Japan’s Dojo Hachiyagaki dried persimmon fruit. So far, we look at 31 products. Each exhibit uses photos, videos and testimonials to explain the culture behind the food.

At this week’s launch event, Slow Food founder Carlin Petrini emphasized how technology and tradition go well together. “Farmers need to use the new technologies to make themselves and their products known worldwide," he explained, adding that Google and Slow Food share a common vision that “digital networks need human networks and the human networks need digital networks”.



We hope this is just the beginning of a partnership that will help to protect and preserve the heritage of biodiversity in food. In coming months and years, Slow Food plans to add new products to the site. Take a tasty trip and see how technology is protecting our critical gastronomic heritage.

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They threw off the shackles of communism. Now they are grabbing the reigns of the technology revolution. Together with Financial Times, International Visegrad Fund and Res Publica, we announced the New Europe 100 list of innovators from Central and Eastern Europe who are leveraging new technologies to transform the region in business, media, culture, science and politics.


In announcing the project, the Financial Times noted: “central and eastern Europe say the combination of a high level of mathematical education, low overheads and a globalised, westernised young generation makes for a heady and successful mix.” We agree. The New Europe 100 winners show that this former communist region is fast moving away from its old traditional manufacturing industries. They range from “a Hungarian doctor who has created a medical advice website driven by social media, a team of Polish students who have built an award-winning robot that could operate on Mars, and a Slovak inventor of a flying car. “

Check out the whole list at http://ne100.org/ and read more about the project and its laureates in the newest Visegrad Insight. Follow it on Twitter @NewEurope100 and tag as #NE100 elsewhere.

The FT correctly notes that the the region still must overcome obstacles. Research and development activities is about one per cent of the region’s gross domestic product, according to McKinsey, the consultancy - half the rate in the western EU, and even behind 1.5 per cent in the Bric economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Our hope that the New Europe 100 project will help raise the profile of the region’s innovators. Recognition from being included on the list will, we believe, bring the initiatives attention, investor interest - and perhaps even potential business partnerships.

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Earlier this year in our Dublin headquarters, we hosted the launch of an online tool to search the names and biographies of up to 50,000 Irish soldiers who died fighting in the British army during World War I. Today, we travelled with Irish Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltecht Heather Humphries to the site of the Ypres battlefield in Belgium and took two important new steps to increase the project’s impact.

The In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres has joined our Google Cultural Institute and posted an online exhibition about Irish World War I commemoration.
The new Cultural Institute Irish World War I exhibit
We also are joining with the Irish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in creating a new fellowship program to send students from Dublin on internships to Ypres. During its research, the museum discovered that the records were neither fully correct nor complete. So far, the museum has checked 11,060 out of the 49,000 names. Irish students will now come to Belgium to verify and update information on the rest of the list.
Today's presentation in Ypres
Minister Humphreys, right, discovers the new Cultural Insititute exhibtion
This is a big day in Flanders. Belgium is commemorating the centenary of the Battle of Ypres. The Allies stopped the German advance in the battle, and the two sides settled into four years of deadly, protracted trench warfare, with Ypres the site of some of the war’s bitterest and most brutal struggles. A total of 83 countries are participating in the commemorations, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

For some, the Irish role in these hostilities has been controversial because the soldiers fought in the British army, but returned to a changed Ireland following the 1916 uprising. At the project’s Dublin launch,  then Irish Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore T.D., hosted Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. All three spoke movingly about how the project should help heal wounds.

Our idea is to engage the public and increase knowledge about these casualties. If you find an ancestor or locate a long-lost relative in the list send, documents, pictures, letters or any other relevant information, email namenlijst@ieper.be. The information will be verified and added to the website.

Other organizations provided invaluable assistance to make this project come to life. The Irish genealogical history and heritage company Eneclann contributed important images and research. And the Irish Embassy in Belgium led by Ambassador Éamonn Mac Aodha played a crucial role in promoting and facilitating. Google is proud to play a part in this exciting project helping to make sure that the memory of the names of those who died in World War 1 remain alive.

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For 1000 years, Poland was home to the world’s largest Jewish population and the centre of Jewish religious, cultural and political thought. The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, whose core exhibition opens in Warsaw on October 28, highlights this rich history.

We took our StreetView technology inside the museum, which is housed in an award-winning new building directly opposite the memorial to the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising. We are happy to invite you to the first Museum View launch in Poland, available all around the world on the Google Cultural Institute. Enjoy a walk through the corridors.


View Larger Map

The online exhibit "How to make a museum" published by POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews invites you to discover the story of the creation of the museum, from the original idea in 1993 to the inauguration in 2014. You will go behind the scenes of this monumental project and learn about the process of gathering support in Poland and abroad, raising funds, organizing an international architectural competition, preparing the Core Exhibition, and developing the educational and cultural program.


The evening opening event will be live-streamed on YouTube from 7 to 9 p.m. on October 28. Watch it on the museum’s channel. The event, open to the public, will feature concerts by clarinetist David Krakauer and trumpeter Tomasz Stańko as well as a play directed by Andrzej Strzelecki based on Julian Tuwim’s poem „My Żydzi polscy” (“Us Polish Jews”).

The new museum represents an important step in reviving the memory of Poland’s rich, millenium long Jewish history. Developed by an international team of historians, museum experts and Jewish Studies scholars, it shows how Jews both prospered and suffered. As the Economist recently wrote, the exhibit “restores some balance” to the often one-sided debate that often focuses on the community’s destruction in World War II. We’re glad that Google tools can help get across this important message.

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Since September, the Advisory Council to Google on the Right to be Forgotten has held public meetings in Madrid, Rome, Paris, Warsaw, London and Berlin. Council members have heard views on how to implement the European Court’s ruling from more than 45 national experts, as well as from members of the public. On Tuesday 4 November, the Council makes its final stop in Brussels.

A limited number of seats are available for members of the public at the Brussels meeting, and online registration is now open (members of the press, please register here).

As at each previous meeting, the Council will listen to statements from invited experts, ask questions of the experts and discuss matters of law, technology, and ethics. The public portion of the meeting will last around four hours, with a short intermission. The whole meeting will also be live-streamed on the Advisory Council’s website.

During the event, members of the audience can submit questions to the Council and invited experts. The Council also invites members of the public to share their thoughts on the Right to be Forgotten via the form at google.com/advisorycouncil - all contributions will be read. Individuals or organizations with subject matter expertise can submit attachments such as research papers at google.com/advisorycouncil/comments on an ongoing basis.

After the Brussels meeting, Council members will meet privately to deliberate before putting together their report, which will be published in early 2015.

We look forward to seeing you in Brussels.

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Luxembourg is the heart of Europe and boasts an above average number of beautiful sites, from the medieval Grund neighborhood in the capital to the ridges of the Moselle River and the sparkling modern Kirchberg center for European Union buildings. And now, thanks to Street View in Google Maps anyone, anywhere can visit these sites from their desktop computer or mobile device.



Viewers can access images taken at street level in two ways, either by dragging the "Pegman" character, located at the bottom right of the map, onto a place highlighted in blue, or by clicking a spot on the map and selecting Street View in the top left of the display window that pops up.

Street View offers myriad benefits. Check what looks like a restaurant before going there; find a place to park the car before you leave the house to go shopping; arrange a meeting point in an unfamiliar location; or help your kids bring their geography studies to life! If you are interested in buying a home, you can explore the area with a few clicks of a mouse; people in wheelchairs can figure out whether places have sufficient access before making a trip.

Street View is all about making Google Maps more useful, comprehensive and interesting for people, and we’re delighted people can now discover all that Luxembourg has to offer.