Write better knols with object embedding and PicApp

During the past couple months, the Knol team has been steadily adding improved tools to help you create better knols. Most notably, we've greatly expanded the number of embeddable objects to help you make your knols more graphical and interactive. We've been excited by the many uses we're seeing, and today we have one more to add to the list: PicApp.

We think it's important for a publishing platform like knol to provide people with the best possible tools for expression, so we've quietly added a large number of new embeddable objects for maps, docs, spreadsheets, forms, slideshows, presentations, videos, gadgets and more. Embeddable objects help you make better knols. For example, our equation object helps you add richly formatted mathematical expressions right in your knols. We really liked the cleanly embedded equations in this knol from the Public Library of Science. Similarly, our calendar object enables you to easily share details about upcoming dates, like swing dance lessons in Oregon.

Even with all these embeddable objects, there's still more to do. For example, one frequent complaint is that it is still difficult today to find appropriately licensed, high-quality imagery to include in your articles. To help solve this problem, we've worked with PicApp to add 10 million high quality stock images via our improved picture picker. The new picker enables you to search for creative and editorial images from PicApp's comprehensive, high-quality stock imagery repositories such as Getty Images. The service and use of the images is free.

Below is a snapshot of a sample search using the PicApp search API.

The feature just launched last month, and several authors have already made use of this new capability to strengthen their writings. For example, this knol about Gary McKinnon uses images found via PicApp, along with embedded videos, and even a feedback form to get input from the audience.

We hope you enjoy the image picker and other new embeddable objects. As always, you can read our release notes for a full list of new features.