Cloud Computing: Google Maps Alabama Tornado Devastation in Tuscaloosa, Jefferson County

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-05-02 Print this article Print
Jefferson County Before

Jefferson County Before

Here is a tranquil Jefferson County in 2010.
Google Maps April 30 partnered with satellite imagery provider GeoEye to show pictures of the destruction wrought by more than 100 tornadoes that raked across the southern United States last week. Tuscaloosa and Jefferson County were struck particularly hard. Google offered before-and-after comparisons in this Picasa Web album, and is culling data about Red Cross shelter locations and tornado touchdown reports. Google has provided similar imagery on its Crisis Response Website for the tsunami in Japan; earthquakes in Haiti, China and Chile; and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Danny Sullivan, who offers a breakdown of the Alabama tornado coverage on Search Engine Land, discovered that when Google Maps users search for some areas impacted by tornadoes, Google surfaces a special alert that leads to maps of where tornadoes touched down and Red Cross shelters. This eWEEK slide show lays out Google's imagery of the tornado devastation in Tuscaloosa and Jefferson County, Ala.

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