Sunday, March 13, 2011

Google to the Rescue

The recent earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan tore apart the country and shook the entire world. The 8.9 earthquake followed by 10 meter high tsunami and waves took the lives of over 1,000 people, and left so many missing and injured. The waves of the tsunami even affected the coasts of Hawaii and California. As millions of viewers around the world turned their attention toward the traumatic aftermath, a particular company was able to once again employ their technology to contribute to search efforts.

Google's Person Finder technology is a somewhat new software that allows people anywhere in the world to post information and attempt to track missing people. The tracking website is available both in English and Japanese, and has various sections. A blog-like feature allows family, friends, and even complete strangers of missing victims to inquire about news and updates. Another powerful capability is the capacity for people to post information about themselves, their location, and the condition of Japan. Google's People Finder was also used recently in response to the earthquakes in New Zealand, Haiti, and Chile. The ability to communicate with anyone around the world is an amazing and powerful tool.

Google has ultimately created a website for anyone to use to retrieve information about disasters affecting nations and the entire world. Thanks to this website, those curious and the victims of disasters such as this can communicate and interact without needing government involvement or media information. Within the first day of being available online, Google's Person Finder already had over 7,000 records for those missing in Japan. While news agencies can still report on Google's People Finder, this feature is truly amazing because it proves that we no longer need to rely on the media. We do not need the media to inform us about news and the current condition or situation during a state of natural disaster.

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