In a bid to help the ongoing rescue operations for one of the most devastating earthquakes ever, Google has launched a “person finder” tool on Saturday to help users find loved ones affected by the earthquake that devastated the Himalayan Nation of Nepal. Here’s a quick link for your help.
While most of the communications to the region have been badly affected by the 7.8 magnitude quake, Google’s person Finder can collate information from emergency responders and allows individuals to post details about relatives missing or found. The result is a searchable, online database. The current earthquake has left buildings flattened and more than 750 people are feared dead.
Within hours of the devastating disaster hitting Kathmandu and its surrounding area just before noon, 200 names had been uploaded.
The Person Finder website allows anyone to list a person missing and to search the database for names. The interface is very simple to use. There are two options to choose from, If you have any information about someone, go to the right (blue) box and enter the details. And if you are looking for someone, go to the left (green) box, enter the person’s name or parts of the name to know the status about him. You can also create a new record for the missing person.
All data entered are available to the public and viewable and usable by anyone. Google does not review or verify the accuracy of this data.It also offers emergency workers and crisis response organisations the opportunity to add their own databases – by using what programmers refer to as an API key, essentially a means of ensuring that only accredited groups can send information to the online database.
Google Person Finder, a project by the Google Crisis Response division of Google.org, was built by Google engineers in response to the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti to help those affected by the earthquake connect with their loved ones. The tool has become a regular feature of recent disasters, when reliable information is needed rapidly.
Google Person Finder can also accept data from other similar registries and display them together at one place.
This article has been intentionally linked to Google’s Person Finder multiple times, in order to help our friends in Nepal/India.