Google has added to the services it’s offering to help those looking for aid and missing loved ones in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
In addition to its Google Person Finder, which now has over 161,000 entries, the search giant has started a new initiative to quickly share the names of the thousands of Japanese living in shelters.
The search engine has set up a Picasa album, which you can access at goog.gl/ganbare, where people can send cameraphone pictures of rolls listing the names of those in the shelters. (“Ganbare” is a Japanese expression of encouragement. ) Users can e-mail the pictures to email@example.com to upload the pictures to the site. The Google team is adding the names from those rolls into its person finder by hand.
The Person Finder is now also available in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean and Portuguese to better serve those looking for missing persons.
In cooperation with Honda, Google has also put up a Japanese-only map providing information on the roads that have been accessible in the past 24 hours. Jamie Yood of Google’s Global Communications and Affairs has said this map may prove useful for those looking to transport supplies or to volunteer.
The company has also put up a series of before and after photos showing the incomprehensible damage.