Google’s Japan Earthquake People Finder

Google has deployed its people finder again, this time for the Japan earthquake that occurred earlier today. The massive quake not only unleashed devastating primary damage to buildings and infrastructure, but also spawned a tsunami that inundated low-lying areas. Even the United States’ West Coast was affected by the tsunami, causing some damage.

Google’s People Finder has been deployed after large disasters in the past, and within hours, the site was being used to report people’s locations.  The ability for such a large organization to do something good for humanity in general is a great example for businesses to follow, and a reminder that technology is increasingly becoming a part of disaster response, preparedness, and mitigation.

Within ten minutes of the earthquake, a tsunami warning had been sent out, and the Pacific region had been notified.  Hawaii had hours to prepare for the incoming wave, and the limited damage is a testament to how important these warnings can be.  After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami killed 200,000 people, largely in areas with no warning, these early warning systems are showing their importance, even if the wave that hit Hawaii was small in comparison.

Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by this disaster.  Google’s People Finder is embedded below.

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Steven Michaels

Steven Michaels specializes in PHP web applications utilizing MediaWiki, WordPress, Yii Framework and others. He is an open source contributor and leads development for both of Hollow Developers' internal projects, HollowGame and SpeechEase.

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