Discovering Public Google Calendars – Gone!

One of the great features about having a Google Calendar was the ability to make a calendar public. This meant that if I wanted to have the 2009 F1 schedule, instead of manually typing it out myself I could search for “F1” and it would return ready made calendars. There were some small issues with the public calendars. For example the times would be set to various different time zones making them a bit pointless for me, or the author would insist on using CAPS FOR EVERYTHING, so on the odd (read that as most) occasions I would end up creating my own, but then making them public to the world.

Yesterday, after the World Cup draw I sat down and copied and pasted the fixtures using the BBC and FIFA as source reference. Two hours of work have resulted in a nice calendar in a format that I want. I mentioned on Twitter that I would share it, and got some requests back. What I was surprised to find when testing the “share” feature on the netbook logged in under Heathers account was that there was no longer an option to Search Public Calendars. Assuming I was missing something, I looked all over the Google Calendar page, still nothing. Next stop was the Help pages, a quick search for Public resulted in this The “Search Public Calendars” button is missing from my Google Calendar. All I have is “Search My Calendars”. It has 172 posts, no official reply from Google and it started back in February!

Turns out Google have a help page explaining why they removed the service

Removing public calendar search and the public calendar gallery
We’ve decided to discontinue public calendar search and the public calendar gallery. These were specialized U.S. English-only features that weren’t used as extensively as we would have liked, and proved difficult to maintain over time. We’re looking at ways to make it easier to search and browse public calendars, but for now we’ve removed the gallery and public calendar search function.

“Difficult to maintain”, were not talking about an undergrad with a project that suddenly exploded, we are talking about Google, the guys who index over a trillion webpages and ensure the search results are returned in under a second.

So for the time being if you wish to share my Google Calendar for the World Cup (all times UK based), click on the following link, and in the bottom corner click on this icon + Google Calendar. Alternativly past the Calendar ID: rp57smf89rsb1hgo09abvq1mhg@group.calendar.google.com into the box which says “Add a friend’s Calendar” when you are in Google Calendar.

ps. My three year old Arsenal Calendar, which is updated as soon as I’m informed of fixture changes has the ID: 2fg9ab1h7b36kp037cp6qjol3k@group.calendar.google.com

2 thoughts on “Discovering Public Google Calendars – Gone!

  1. i made one for myself before i ended up here.i could have saved myself some time by using your calendar.why google? why? why would u do something like this? btw do u know anymore interesting calendars that are shared?

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