A Brief Tour of Google's Master Plan in Pictures

By Steve Bryant  |  Posted 2006-12-04 Print this article Print

Google plans to buy Mars, acquire NASA and index all the sheep in the universe.

Those to-do items are all part of the the most entertaining part of Google's offices: the whiteboard.

Googlers have long held a tradition of mapping out plans, both real and imagined, on whiteboards on their office walls. Throughout the year Googlers doodle on the board, and it accretes a fabulous array of product ideas that are truly Pynchon-esque in their scope: develop levitation, create a child care kinderplex, remake Babylon 5. And then, according to my guide during a recent Googleplex Manhattan tour,  the whiteboards are ceremoniously erased once every 365 days and the process begins again.

The largest of these whiteboards is in Mountain View. A complete, zoomable map of that board, which was apparently erased a few months ago, is viewable here. You can check out all photos tagged Google and whiteboard on Flickr, and there's a non-zoomable version of the long whiteboard here. Phil Lenssen transcribed Google's plans here. When I was in the Gotham Googleplex earlier this year, I snapped this shot of the Google death ray, this shot of Google AdSense for Cheese, and this shot of Google Galaxy.

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