Next week marks the 91st anniversary of the Great Kanto earthquake which devastated Tokyo and surrounding areas.

Working with data from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, we’ve just made a crisis preparedness map available that we hope will help residents prepare for crises in the future.

With this new map, inhabitants of Japan’s largest city can now easily view information about their community’s vulnerability to risks like building collapse and fire hazard resulting from earthquakes. The data also shows the level of difficulty of conducting emergency response operations in certain communities based on existing roadway networks.

Map includes evacuation areas, safe zones, building collapse risk, fire risk and risk level related to the ease or difficulty of conducting emergency response operations

You can learn more about this and our other crisis response tools for Japan at:

Posted by Hideto Kazawa, Senior Engineering Manager, Google Japan

Three years ago, I stepped off a plane in Seoul, hoping to learn about the local startup community and understand how Google could better foster innovation in Korea. At the time, the city had only a few accelerators and a relatively small startup ecosystem.

Today is a different story. Korean innovators and entrepreneurs are some of the best in Asia and Korean startups are making headlines around the world, especially in the mobile space. We want to support this booming community of entrepreneurs. So it’s with great excitement that we announce that Campus is coming to Seoul!
Sundar helped us announce the new space, saying: "We hope
Campus Seoul can add a bit more jet fuel to a startup ecosystem that is already taking off."
Campuses are Google's spaces for entrepreneurs to learn, connect and build companies that will change the world. At Campus, entrepreneurs get unparalleled access to mentorship and trainings led by their local startup community, experienced entrepreneurs, and teams from Google. Campus Seoul will be home to many new programs, including Campus for Moms, CampusEDU and Office Hours with Googler mentors. Entrepreneurs at Campus Seoul will also have access to global opportunities, including an exchange program to other Campus locations.

Simon Lee, the co-founder of Flitto, spoke about his experience as a Korean startup: "Doing a startup is lonely. It’s like being left naked in the Alaskan tundra, with no grass or warmth in sight, and nobody to tell you where to get them. You need a place where someone can point the way to survive and accompany you on your journey."
As our first such space in Asia, Campus Seoul will be joining a global network including Campus London, Campus Tel Aviv, and the recently announced Campus Warsaw and Campus Sao Paulo. It will also join the Google for Entrepreneurs network of dozens of startup communities which will now offer Korean entrepreneurs connections to major startup hubs globally.

This is the next big step in our growing investment in the future of Korea. Through the Google for Entrepreneurs program, we’ve helped young Korean companies through a host of programs and partnerships including the annual Global K-Startup program, KStartup Accelerator, Startup Weekend, Startup Grind and this November, Startup Nations. We are excited to continue to collaborate with great organizations locally and internationally to further the new economic future of Korea, surely to be lead by great entrepreneurs!

Google began as a startup in garage, so supporting startups is part of our DNA. Our hope is that Campus Seoul will supercharge tech entrepreneurs, strengthen the startup ecosystem and encourage even more innovation in Korea. We’re busy working on the space now, but will share more details soon. We look forward to opening our doors next year and filling Campus Seoul with startups!

Posted by Bridgette Beam, Senior Partnership and Program Manager, Google for Entrepreneurs

The summer holidays may be coming to an end in many parts of the world, but there’s still enough time for one last trip. Let Street View take you on an adventure to Indonesia and Cambodia, with new panoramic imagery from a handful of cities and many more attractions in these two countries. Whether you’re an urbanite, a nature lover or a culture vulture, there’s something on Google Maps for you to explore.

Starting today, you can explore street-level views of Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar and Bogor. So why not go on a traffic-free stroll past the iconic Hotel Indonesia roundabout in central Jakarta?

Bunderan H.I., Central Jakarta, Indonesia

You can also walk through the stunning rice terraces on the island of Bali:
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, Bali, Indonesia

Or dive into the waters at Komodo Island National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and swim through the new underwater Street View imagery collected by the Catlin Seaview Survey team using their 360-degree panoramic SVII cameras:
Underwater at the Komodo National Park Reefs, Indonesia

At the click of a mouse, Google Maps will transport you to Cambodia where you can explore new panoramic views of the capital city Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and more than 10 other provinces.
Wat Phnom.png
Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh

You can also roam some of the country’s most beautiful waterfalls, beaches and mountain-top pagodas right on Google Maps and on Google Views.
Tatai Waterfall.png
Tatai Waterfall - Koh Kong Province, Cambodia

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 4.48.22 PM.png
Outer Koh Kong, Koh Kong Province, Cambodia
Sampow Pram Pagoda Bokor Kampot.png
Sampow Pram Pagoda on Bokor Mountain, Kampot Province, Cambodia

Indonesia and Cambodia are home to rich cultural history and ever-changing landscapes, and we hope this new Street View imagery can help you more easily discover these countries. So go on, enjoy the last few days of summer and explore a corner of the world you haven’t been to before!

Posted by Andrew McGlinchey, Product Manager, Google Southeast Asia

Technology has the power to change the world for the better, but today far too few have access to the education or encouragement they need to become creators, not just consumers. That’s why Google offers the RISE Awards -- grants of US$15,000 to $50,000 -- to organizations across the globe working to promote access to Computer Science education for girls and underrepresented minorities. Applications for the 2015 RISE Awards are open now, so get yours in by September 30, 2014.

Our RISE partners are changemakers: they engage, educate, and excite students about computing through extracurricular outreach. In 2014, 42 organizations received RISE Awards, including two in Asia Pacific — namely Engineers Without Borders in Australia and Life is Tech! in Japan. In April, we brought all of our partners together for a Global Summit that sparked resource sharing and collaboration amongst organizations.

If you know of an organization that promotes Computer Science (CS) education, and runs initiatives that reach girls, underrepresented minorities, and students facing socio-economic barriers under age 18, encourage them to visit the RISE Awards website to find out more.

Posted by Roxana Shirkhoda, K12/Pre-University Education Outreach, Google

The Google Teacher Academy is coming to South East Asia for the first time this October. Open to all primary and secondary school teachers in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, the program is designed to help educators get the most out of new technologies in the classroom. If you like to innovate in your classroom using Google’s tools and more, this is the right program for you. Submissions are open until August 29, so get your applications in now.

The Academy will take place in Manila on October 2 and 3. Over these two days, you’ll get hands-on experience with Google’s free tools, learn about innovative instructional strategies and receive resources to share with colleagues.
Snapshots from previous GTAs around the world, including in New York and Sydney
Teachers like JR Ginex-Orinion say the best thing about GTA is becoming part of a global community of 2,000 educators who share the same passion for using technology in the classroom. He continues to lean on the network for advice and materials to help make it easier to get kids to adopt new, tech-based approaches to education. GTA has showed him how much more room there is for tech in learning, and inspired him to further develop his teaching style, enabling him to evolve professionally.

We look forward to meeting more like-minded teachers at the first South East Asian Academy!

Posted by Aileen Apolo, Education Outreach Program Manager, Google South East Asia

Japan is famous for its many colorful matsuri, or festivals. Among them, Awa Odori stands out as one of the largest dance festivals in the country, attracting over 1.3 million people a year. Over the next four days, visitors to the Tokushima Prefecture on the southern island of Shikoku will find groups of up to two hundred dancers dressed in traditional costumes making their way through the streets, chanting to the sound of drums, flutes and bells.

What makes Awa Odori unique is the different choreography followed by men and women. Today’s doodle on captures the women in their conical hats and restrictive kimonos which only allow them to take very small steps forward on the tips of their geta, or wooden sandals. While the women dance with their hands held high and very straight posture, the men dance in a low crouch.
Awa Odori can be traced back nearly 400 years. It became popular in Tokushima in the 16th century to mark the opening of the feudal ruler’s castle. Since then, these are some of the lyrics that have been sung year in and year out: The dancers are fools, The watchers are fools, Both are fools alike so, Why not dance?

For those of you who can’t travel to Tokushima today, you can also check out festival imagery on Street View:

Posted by Shun Ikeda, Associate Product Marketing Manager, Google Japan

This post is part of our regular series of interviews with people across Asia-Pacific who’ve caught our eye, using the Internet to create, connect and grow. This week, we’re featuring a mash-up of two online content creators — EatYourKimchi and TalkToMeInKorean — who have come together to collaborate in the offline world.

How would you describe your YouTube channels in one sentence?
EatYourKimchi (EYK): Simon and Martina: Canada, Korea and beyond.
TalkToMeInKorean (TTMIK): We help people around the world learn Korean.

On the face of it, you don’t seem to have much in common. So what brings you together?
TTMIK: We both went online—onto YouTube in particular—because we realized that it offered a better way to connect with friends, family and other viewers. Initially we published our audio lessons through our podcast feed, but thought it would be great if we could also make videos lessons which people could share more easily with their friends. Now it feels like we’re talking to our students around the world in a virtual online classroom, rather than having a one-way conversation.
EYK: We wanted to show our families what our life was like in Korea and video made that possible, especially as most of today’s real-time video chat apps weren’t around then. We thought we’d just shoot some videos and put them online for our families to see. It just turns out that our family got a lot…bigger!

You’re building a coffee shop together. Why did you decide to collaborate offline?
EYK: It’s the next logical step given where our businesses are growing, and they just so happen to converge in all the right areas. We both have very strong online communities, but we don’t have many effective ways to meet them offline. TTMIK has language meet-ups at other people’s coffee shops, and we keep on doing events and meet-ups in different places around the world. Why not have our own place where we can meet each other at once? We’d also love to have other YouTubers use our space to meet their audiences as well!
TTMIK: Many of our 5 million students who’ve learned Korean through our channel dream of coming to Korea for a visit or to live here for a while. And when they finally get here, they tell us they wish they had a place where they could practice their language skills and meet their online teachers. So, really, building a bricks-and-mortar cafe is a natural extension of what we do online.
Opening day at You Are Here cafe
What do you think offline entrepreneurs can learn from online entrepreneurs?
EYK: What we see with a lot of offline businesses is a “if you build it they will come” approach, in which restaurants and other businesses open up and just sit and hope that people will come. To us, it looks like many offline businesses are putting the cart before the horse in building a place and developing a following afterwards. We’re taking a safer approach, I think: we’ve developed a relationship with our audience, and we want to build a place for them.

Posted by Simon Stawski of EatYourKimchi and Hyunwoo Sun of TalkToMeInKorean