July 3rd, 2010 // 6:25 am
This week I was in the UK visiting some clients and business partners in Leicestershire and Kent, and then on to London. On Wednesday I had the opportunity to visit the Google offices in London, take lunch in the canteen and take a tour of the offices.
As you enter from the street is is a fairly standard London office building that is shared between several companies with Google occuping 3 or so floors. Not much to signify that it is Google apart from a small unmaned Google kiosk close to the lifts and the Google sign on the wall behind reception. On entering you register and head up to the Google reception. There you sign in and the super friendly receptioists then tell you to help yourself ot a drink from the fridge.
The reception was pretty cool, all in the Google primary colours and a football set up due to the world cup. There is a rack of yellow `Google servers and a giant Google 'G' with computer in that you can operate from a standing division.
Next to the Google canteen. This is what you would expect, a great variety of foods, Sushi, English favourites, salad bar etc. The Google staff can get breakfast, lunch and dinner so no reason to ever leave the office
Walking through the office it was fairly standard office layout, low division walls between desks, but a lot more flags, personal stuff etc than you would see in a standard London office. The London office, despite being the European headquarters is largely Marketing and Sales staff, with a lot of the tech guys based in Zurich.
We stopped for a coffee in one of the 'chillout' areas, complete with English deckchairs in an atrium, there is a fully stocked kitchen and a hardware support 'drop in' area next to it where you can take your laptop to be fixed.
One amazing thing I had a demo on was a stand up Google Earth simulator which was completely amazing. You stand up, almost surrounded by head high screens filling your whole field of vision and with a joystick like controller in the middle of the screens you can fly around the world and drop in to cities. Once there it takes a few seconds to render but it uses the Google street view to build up a 3D picture of the city. We tried this for Prague where I live and the result was mind blowing. I since read that you can fly to the moon using this and even go under the sea!
Posted via email from cloudsource’s posterous
Category : Blog