New Functionality in Google Translate, New 3D Cities in Google Earth
Article by George Norman
On 09 Mar 2009
Google Translate, the feature that allows you efficiently translate text from a wide variety of languages, in and outside your Firefox browser, seems to have been improved upon and consequently it can translate PDF and MS Office documents. Going with the enhancement and feature improvement theme we’ve got going on here, it must also be said that Google Earth will get 2 new 3D cities: Lucerne, Switzerland and Santa Rosa, California.

Even though automated, machine translations are not exactly accurate (visit the BlahblahFish webpage for a long list of examples), I will admit that Google Translate’s functionality comes in handy at times. Traditionally you had to type in the text you needed translated; now you can translate entire MS Office documents or PDF files. The whole thing goes something like this: copy the URL address of a PDF file for example, paste it into Google Translate, click the “Translate” button. In no time at all the service will provide a translation.


A look under the hood reveals the fact that the PDF file has been converted to HTML format by Google Translate, and then the HTML content has been translated into the language of your choice. Another thing that pops out is the fact that translating long documents is limited to the first 9 pages or so.

Moving on, the Google Earth team has announced that the 3D virtual map will get two new cities: Lucerne, Switzerland and Santa Rosa, California. Naureen Kabir, Strategic Partnerships Team explains: “These cities both submitted 3D models of their downtowns to Google via the Cities in 3D Program. In doing so, they joined others who view Google Earth as an effective way to promote their town to virtual tourists, enable potential businesses to evaluate a new site, and help city planners share design proposals with their communities in a way that we all can relate to: in 3D.”

Tags: Google, Google Translate, Google Earth
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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