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This article was published on February 20, 2013

Just in time for the Oscars, Google unveils its Academy Awards site and a 2012 Year in Film movie

Just in time for the Oscars, Google unveils its Academy Awards site and a 2012 Year in Film movie
Ken Yeung
Story by

Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startup Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startups, parties, and interesting people. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and Google+.

This Sunday is the 85th Academy Awards celebrating the best movies of the year and Google is playing a part in making sure that everyone is a part of the experience. In doing so, the company has partnered with the award organizers to pull out all the stops to help you “get more of the Oscars” with its destination website.

With this website, Google hopes that movie fans will find it to be a resource leading up to the ceremony. It tells us that it’s the first time the company has done something for the awards, although Google has created other sites for events before, including last year’s US election hub. This time, the site incorporates a little bit of everything, including its Knowledge Graph, YouTube, Google Maps, and even Google+ Hangouts.

To kick off the days leading up to the Oscars, Google has put together a Year in Film homage to the best movies that made it to the theaters in 2012. Similar to its Zeitgeist 2012: Year in Review movie, what the company did for the Oscars showcases some really great moments, including those from Argo, Prometheus, Les Miserables, Skyfall, Spider Man, Lincoln, Life of Pi, The Dark Knight Rises, Django Unchained, The Hobbit, and others.

With Google’s Oscar destination site, there are several features to keep movie fans entertained. One of those is the company’s guess at which film would win an award based on its search volume. While it’s quite easy to try and guess, one must wonder if there’s any correlation in what people are searching for that could predict the outcome. It did something similar last year. Google has limited this to a specific selection of awards, but you’ll be able to look at the search engine’s prediction on Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and a couple others.

For those nominated films that fans are unfamiliar with, the site features movie trailers to help get them acquainted. Once they’ve been viewed, a sample ballot is available so that those at home will feel like they are part of the action.

Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 1.44.46 PM

Google tells us that the search volume parameters are based on how many queries were run two weeks prior to the film being released and up to three months after. It did not explore sentiment of the search, nor was it a factor in its winner predictions.

Additionally, Google’s site offers fans information about the film itself and gives the option to not only watch the trailer, but also purchase it right from the Google Play store. A customized Google Map is also featured that shows where the nominated movies were filmed and where the nominees were born. And to really capture the moment, Google+ has a new effect with its Hangouts that allows anyone to film their own acceptance speech to their friends.

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To give fans the virtual experience that they’re on the famous red carpet, Google Maps has gone to the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, CA and photographed the insides of the venue. Similar to how the company did the home stadium of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts last week, this Friday, Google Maps will feature panoramic photos of what the Oscars looks like for the hundreds of celebrities and movie industry personnel experience first-hand — just search for “Dolby Theatre” on a browser or smartphone.

And speaking of phones, it appears that Google is also trying to push the official Oscar’s Android app as well through its Google Play store. Through this app, fans can watch the telecast right from their mobile and tablet device cast their ballots, and view more information and trailers about each nominated film. This extension of the experience makes sense since that will tie up things nicely as now all the major parts of Google are involved with the Oscars.

Google’s Oscar destination site

Photo credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

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