Cloud Computing: Google Maps Imagery Charts Japanese Earthquake, Tsunami Devastation

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-03-14 Print this article Print
Sendai 2008

Sendai 2008

Here is the coastal town of Arahama in Sendai undisturbed three years ago.
The 8.9 magnitude earthquake that rocked northern Japan March 11 triggered tsunamis that rippled across the Pacific Ocean, causing devastation in Japan and damaging harbor facilities as far away as Hawaii and the coast of California. Google March 11 responded by putting together one of its crisis response centers, including real-time updates for the disaster, a person locator, emergency lines, a disaster bulletin board and train information to help people evacuate. Google over the weekend donated $250,000 to organizations in Japan that are working on relief and recovery efforts and added donation information to the Website. Google March 12 began loading Picasa Web Albums with Google Maps content from satellite imagery providers to show areas affected most by the disaster. "We hope this new updated satellite imagery is valuable for them as well as everyone else following this situation to help illustrate the extent of the damage," the company explained. This eWEEK slide show highlights some of the before and after pictures of areas in Japan most heavily damaged by the earthquake and tsunami.

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