After a huge disaster in Japan , Google has launched a very useful service for the people of Japan to search for their missing beloved ones.
The tool is available in English and Japanese. Users can click on the “I’m looking for someone” link or the “I have information about someone” link and enter what they know. Search by name or parts of a name, or – if you have information – enter the family or given name to create an entry.
Google stressed that all data entered is available to the public and viewable and usable by anyone. The search giant also does not review or verify the data entered into the system; after the immediate crisis has passed, Google archives the data. At this point, the system is currently tracking about 7,200 records.
After 2005’s Hurricane Katrina in the U.S., a variety of organizations created missing person registries, making it difficult to keep track. As a result, Google Person Finder accepts data from other registries using a common format known as PFIF, which was established by volunteers of the Katrina People Finder Project. Google engineers built the first Google Person Finder after the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
The program has an API, which lets press agencies, non-governmental agencies and others contribute to the database and receive updates. Web sites can also embed Google Person Finder as a gadget on their own pages.
By the way, following are useful links if you want to stay updated on Japan Earthquake / tsunami
- BBC’s live Blog and TV Feed – covering the Earthquake
- CNN’s Live Blog
- Reuter’s Live Blog
- Tokyo Broadcasting System Live streaming their earthquake coverage on YouTube (in Japanese)