Google Touts Google Maps' Role in Emergency Preparedness
Google recommends that first responders and municipal officials around the world use Maps to visualize information to help prepare for and handle emergencies.Google Maps is working with first responders and municipal officials around the world to help them be better prepared for natural disasters and other emergencies by using map visualizations to track problems and plan recovery scenarios. The flexibility and potential benefits of using Google Maps when disasters strike was raised by Jay Remley, director of Google Maps for Business, in a May 19 post on the Google Enterprise Blog. "Over the thousands of years people have lived in cities, we've developed sophisticated infrastructure to keep things humming," wrote Remley. "Generally, we've gotten pretty good at creating safe places where people can work and live. So when it comes to running cities in the year 2014, what could go wrong? Rolling blackouts, spikes in population, and natural disasters drive home one very important point: We can't control the unexpected. We can, however, plan for it." That's where the use of Google Maps for emergency planning, preparedness and recovery can come into play for communities, disaster workers and first responders, wrote Remley. "Preparedness starts with having a game plan everyone understands and can implement quickly. Today, corporations, small businesses, and municipal governments have access to practical map solutions that can ease their day-to-day operations and help them run better. We can't control the weather or prevent every single crisis, but we can take measures to plan for the unexpected."
That's the approach being used today in Brazil, where local officials are preparing for the 2014 World Cup events starting in June and the Summer Olympics in 2016, wrote Remley. Pedro Junqueira, the CEO and chief operating officer of the Center of Operations (COR) in Rio de Janeiro, "heads a team of 400 people who constantly monitor the city's activities—while integrating the efforts of nearly 90,000 employees from 30 agencies, including the Mayor's Office and the Municipal Guard," wrote Remley. "With all of these different teams working together to minimize public risk, it's crucial that communication be efficient. To gain a complete real-time picture of what's happening, Pedro and his team are implementing maps to visualize information from various organizations and present it on a screen in the command center."