Google Street View Documenting Japan's Nuke Evacuation Area

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2013-03-09 Print this article Print

In a related move, Google has announced that it now offers Google Public Alerts in Japan to help with emergency preparedness due to the ongoing risks of earthquakes and tsunamis in the region.

"With nearly 5,000 earthquakes a year, it's important for people in Japan to have crisis preparedness and response information available at their fingertips," Yu Chen, partner technology manager at Google Maps, wrote in a March 6 post on the Google Maps Blog. "And from our own research, we know that when a disaster strikes, people turn to the Internet for more information about what is happening."

The new Google public alerts service in Japan is the first such offering outside the United States, where Google has been offering alerts since January 2012. The alerts aim to provide accurate and relevant emergency notifications when and where people are searching for information online.

"Relevant earthquake and tsunami warnings for Japan will now appear on Google Search, Google Maps and Google Now when you search online during a time of crisis," the post explained. "If a major earthquake alert is issued in Kanagawa Prefecture, for example, the alert information will appear on your desktop and mobile screens when you search for relevant information on Google Search and Google Maps."

Users in Japan will also be able to access the alerts on their mobile devices when they use Google Now on their Android devices.

The Japan alerts are being created in conjunction with the Japan Meteorological Agency, which provides critical real-time data to alert the public, the post said.

"We hope our technology, including Public Alerts, will help people better prepare for future crises and create more far-reaching support for crisis recovery," wrote Yu Chen. "This is why in Japan, Google has newly partnered with 14 Japanese prefectures and cities, including seven from the Tōhoku region, to make their government data available online and more easily accessible to users, both during a time of crisis and after."

Google is planning to expand its Google Public Alerts to additional countries around the world in the future.


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