Google’s Role in Earthquake-hit Japan

As previous posts have already pointed out, social networking is playing a key role in helping the people who have been hit by the earthquake and tsunami that wiped out the northern coast of Japan on March,11th . Since phone networks went down, many Japanese, who have always had wide access to the most updated technological devices, had to stay in line waiting for their turn to call their families at the public telephones in various stations across the country. Meanwhile, Google has stepped in.

In fact, Google has set up a series of tools to help Japanese authorities find missing people and offer families an online space to put up names or look through the missing’s lists based on one’s address or phone number. One of such tools is called Person Finder which is available in both Japanese and English: http://japan.person-finder.appspot.com/?lang=en .  Google has also suggested refugees to take pictures of the endless lists of the missing  hung at the refugee centers and to send them via email. The company has also advanced Google Earth adding new satellite pictures in addition to reports of where the closest refugee centers are located. Following is a CNN video summarizing the role of Google in these days.

posted by Chiara De Luca

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