Last few weeks have been nightmare for many people in India who were struck in Uttarakhand floods and not able to connect with their families. Though Social Media sprung quick into action to help by sharing photos and names of person missing , helping to connect with their families ,the information is spread out in disparate sources.
Individual agencies,NGOs’ ,local authorities and Governments are maintaining their own database of information on people missing or found that it becomes increasingly difficult to check all these disparate sources for information.
Added to these , news agencies started requesting for information and it becomes a nightmare for anxious families to keep track of the number of sources in which they have to constantly monitor for updates.
Consider Google People Finder – one place to report and track
Google Person Finder was launched by Google to solve these type of problem. In this web application , people can register any information about missing person or can update status of a person who was recently rescued.
Google started with this service in 2010 during Japan disaster. It would be prudent for all different agencies to collect their available information from various social media platforms and update it here so that it will reduced the chaos to great extent.Even government can recommend this to people .
Here is a report on how Google Person Finder has helped in tracking victims from Uttarakhand floods.
Popularizing Google People Finder
While many of us have not heard about this tool before , Google should promote this application. Every one of us use Google search on a daily basis and hence this people finder application should be made prominent and visible in the home page of search engine in the country where the disaster have caused havoc.This is will make people aware and spread the information to others.
In addition to People Finder ,Google has also launched Crisis Map to help in locating and understanding the impacted areas and relief centers.