Saturday, January 1, 2011

Google unveils new interactive Christmas Doodle Festival

In its most ambitious holiday doodle project yet, Google has unveiled 17 illustrated portraits as its new Christmas doodle on its home page. It will remain on the site for two and half days.

The new doodle displays a collection of festive scenes of people, places and cuisines across the world that seen in summation approximately joins to spell out the company's logo.

Google has, over the years kept its doodles, the illustrations that occasionally adorn the search engine's logo, relatively simple.

The logo, which is hidden in the set of pictures, is interactive. Hovering over the icons enlarges the images to let viewers see details of the design. Clicking on a scene opens a Google search page that reveals the origin of the paintings.

The scenes display drawings of St. Basil's Cathedral in Russia, Buche de Noel, a Christmas dessert served in different countries, Santa Claus and his reindeer atop a roof depicting "Up on the Housetop," a Christmas song created in 1860 and Indian classical dances, among others.

Google doodles have gained immense popularity over the past few years and the Google team has put out commemorative doodles on events ranging from news events, civic milestones, birthdays, death anniversaries and important dates in history.

Doodles have celebrated the Fourth of July, the Olympics, and John Lennon's 70th birthday.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Micheal Lopez, in charge of the Google Inc. doodle team, as saying that creating this year's holiday doodle took five artists about 250 hours.

It will be opened by hundreds of millions of people.

Google estimates it has created more than 900 doodles since 1998, with 270 of them running in 2010. Some appear globally, and others are tailored for local markets outside the US, such as Kenya Independence Day, according to WSJ.

Lopez's concept for the doodle is a representation of the Google logo through 17 interactive portraits of holiday scenes from around the world.

The 17 portraits are St. Basil's Cathedral, Acropolis, Buche de Noel, Pierogi, Great Wall of China, Mt. Fuji, Indian dance styles, Sahara desert, chili pepper, oud, Sydney Harbour, Venice gondolas, Nepal, Chilean vineyards, African kanga, Henna lamp, and the carol Up on the Housetop.