I’m a little late with this one since it was announced on April 24. Just in case there are some folks who haven’t heard yet, Google has introduced Google Drive.
You get 5 GB for free and if you want to upgrade to 25 GB it costs $2.49 a month. That’s a lot of space but if it isn’t enough 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month. These are very competitive rates and hopefully they won’t increase them in the near future.
Cloud computing is in and the more you learn to let go of the past and current paranoia about privacy (still a concern for many of us) you can store practically everything. This is good news for genealogists and family historians.
So what does Google Drive do?
You can create and collaborate. If you use Google Docs (a great substitute for the pricey MS Office) is built, so you can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. When you decide to share content with others, you can add and reply to comments on any documentation, such as, PDF, image, video file, and so on. You can also receive notifications when others comment on your shared items.
You can store everything safely and access it anywhere (especially while on the go). You can access your files etc., from anywhere when you’re at the office and, if you’re into mobile devices, when you’re traveling you can your Android phone or tablet. Google is also working on a Drive app for your iOS devices. And, regardless of platform, blind users can access Drive with a screen reader.
You can search everything. Search by keyword and filter by file type, who owns it etc. Google Drive can recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. For example, if you upload a scanned image of an old newspaper clipping or stored historical document, you can perform word search from the text of the actual article. Then there’s image recognition; if you drag and drop photos from your last vacation into Drive, you can search later for (Stirling castle) and photos should pop up. Google did say that the drag and drop technology is still in the early stages, but they expect it to get better over time.
To learn more about it click on Google Drive.