Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Latvian wish-list for Google

Kristaps Kaupe, a erudite (meaning I sometimes don't understand WTF he is writing about :) ) blogger on IT matters, sports and politics (alas, on the wacko side of radical nationalism but then, my oldest son, about Kristap's age, has taken up with some Swedish loonie-zoonie socialist - as in the great economic disaster of the 20th century - party, and we must respect the choices of young adults :) )...anyway, Kristaps in his Latvian language blog has taken note of Google's intention to localize many of its services.
Kristaps then makes a wish list that will be pretty hard for Google to meet, not only in Latvia, but in a lot of small countries with little-known languages. Here is what he would like:

Google Maps that knows Latvian towns, villages and ponds (Google Earth actually thinks it does, and I spotted some bizarre stuff :) )
Google Adsense with Latvian language ads (I think you have to make Latvian advertisers aware of the medium, there are ads in other languages, I would guess)
BookSearch that includes Latvian books from Latvian libraries (as digitization/scanning proceeds, this may be possible and maybe Google can help speed things along)
Google SMS to reach Latvian mobile operators. (Latvian mobile operators, are you listening?)
And finally, this is the real tough one -- Google Translate to translate texts from Japanese to Latvian. Seems that Kristaps has been doing some searches that lead him to Japanese pages he has no idea what they say...

So there it is, the essence of the Google Everywhere challenge - an ordinary, smart 20-something user in a small country with potential decades of Google use and loyalty ahead of him if Google can at least fulfill some of his wish list. Can it....?

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