Tag Archives: Japan

Google launches Relief Efforts to help Japan

From the Ascentive:

In reaction to the devastation caused by the recent earthquake in Japan, Google and Googlers worldwide have collaborated to perform a commendable job to improve information flow. Below are some of the tools created by Google to help with the rescue efforts:

Centralized information

Google’s Crisis Response page in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean organizes all of Google’s efforts, with links to emergency hotlines, Person Finder, blackout schedules, maps and links to relief organizations receiving donations. Google has also optimized this Crisis Response page to make it more readable for those who do not have smartphones.

Person Finder

Google’s Person Finder allows people to enter the names of those they’re looking for or have found. You can also search by entering mobile phone numbers to see if they match any listings. Person finder has also been optimized for non-smartphone usage. Google is also asking people in shelters to take photos of the handwritten lists of names of current residents and email them to Google for inclusion in a public Picasa Web Album.

Satellite images

The company is also working with satellite partners GeoEye and DigitalGlobe to provide frequent updates to imagery of the hardest-hit areas to first responders as well as the general public. You can view this imagery in this Google Earth KML, browse it online through Google Maps or look through their Picasa album of before-and-after images of such places as Minamisanriku and Kesennuma.


Developments on the ground are viewable by looking at several maps that track changing developments such as mapped rolling blackouts for areas that are affected by power outages. Data provided by Honda allows viewers to see which roads have been recently passable on this map or on a recent user-made Google Earth mashup with new satellite imagery. Google is also constantly updating a master map in Japanese and English with other data such as epicenter locations and evacuation shelters, and has also published a partial list of shelters.


Google has released an early experimental version of Google Translate for Android to help non-Japanese speakers in affected areas, in addition to  Google Translate, which provides translations for Japanese and 56 other languages.


In addition to donating $250,000 to help the people of Japan recover, Google has posted a Crisis Response resource page to find opportunities to donate. When you donate to Japan relief efforts through Google Checkout, the company absorbs your processing fees—so 100% of your donation goes to the organizations.


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