RealTime IT News

Google Mind Melds With Trekkies

Resistance is futile. You will be compiled.

As part of the 40th anniversary of the legendary science fiction series Star Trek, Google has set up shop in Las Vegas at the 5th Annual Official Star Trek Convention for Trekkies looking to sharpen their programming knowledge.

The Google  booth, which has a starship bridge motif, features Google programmers, engineers and product managers who can discuss a variety of APIs, including Google Earth KML, the Google AJAX Search API, Google Calendar's data API and the Google Gadgets API.

Google Trek
Google lends an ear to the Trekkies paying homage in Las Vegas.
Source: Google

"We know that a lot of the engineers and employees at Google are into Star Trek, so we're hoping a lot of the people here would be interested in the tools we have for developers and webmasters," said Tom Stocky, product manager at Google.

Google did make one news announcement: KML for Google Maps for mobile.

KML (Keyhole Markup Language) is a file format for Google Maps that lets you create 3-D models that can be displayed in Maps, or mark geographic locations.

With KML support for mobile phones, it's now possible to send a friend a bunch of landmarks or places to visit, including directions that appear as Google Maps files on their mobile phones, said Stocky.

Google sent word of this in advance to Trek fans, asking them to provide Star Trek-related submissions.

Google has set up a Web site with user submissions, including maps containing all of the visits to Earth from the show, plus info on KML for mobile.

Trekkies alsosubmitted 3-D models designed in Google SketchUp, making everything from Starfleet buildings to Borg cubes.

All of this can be downloaded from Google's 3D Warehouse.

The convention, in town through Sunday, will feature a huge turnout from former cast members, including the captains. That is, except for Patrick "Jean-Luc Picard" Stewart, who has Shakespearean obligations in England, where he is undoubtedly chewing up the scenery as only he can.