Google Crisis Response Map and Google’s Person Finder will come in handy during the Phailin, the cyclonic storm in south India. It will help with the crisis information in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
Google’s Person Finder is open source software – developers can create their instances of the program following a disaster, where people can search as well as post the status of their friends or relatives. The data available in the Google’s Person Finder is accessible to the public and can be searched by anyone.
The web site in question is http://google.org/personfinder/2013-phailin/ and you can visit it for more information. Here you will find two options – “I have information on someone” and “I am looking for someone”. From here, you can add details in the database.
The Google Crisis Response Map has crowd-sourced maps where volunteers are ready to offer any possible help to people in need. This help is offered in both the Indian states of AP and Odisha. If you click on red cross or shelter, more information on hospitals and shelter in that particular area will be visible.
Another great thing about these maps is that it highlights the force of the cyclone at various points. It must be mentioned that the data on the maps are crowdsourced from Wikipedia, social media, forums, blogs, etc.
The netizens who have set these maps up are known as “digital humanitarian volunteers” also known as CrisisMappers. NGOs, press agencies and who contribute to the database can use the program. The same can also be used by web sites and can embed Google Person Finder in the form of a gadget.