Google’s Crisis Map: Can Technology Save Us From Nature?4 min read
A surge of climate-related disasters humanity and wildlife have been witnessing for the last 20 years caused crises in animal and human habitats alike.
In 2020 alone, numerous catastrophes took place on a broad stroke from the USA to the Phillippines, costing people their homes and livelihoods and leaving a mark on the environment in the process.
Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, volcanic activities, and wildfires remain the threats to be carefully addressed in the future, with technology playing an important part in the struggle to provide quicker and more adequate responses to crises around the world.
Google Crisis Map is one of the excellent tools designed to provide support in this regard. Here’s how it works.
Google’s contribution for a safer world
The separate crisis map Google created to tackle the issue of natural disasters represents “a collection of national and regional-scale layers related to weather, hazards, and emergency preparedness and response”. However, this useful tool is only a small part of the work the company does in terms of helping keep people safe.
Google Crisis Response is a team assembled with a mission to make valuable information related to climate-related and humanitarian crises accessible to everyone. To do so, Google has created a vast variety of handy tools, which, besides the Crisis Map, include Google Person Finder, Google Public Alerts, Google Earth, Google Fusion Tables, and more.
Operating under the motto Connecting communities with information and resources in times of crisis, Google Crisis Response also provides opportunities for donation in collaboration with various agencies (UNICEF, Save the Children, and International Medical Corps are just a few on this list).
How does Google Crisis Map work?
Google’s technology and user-friendly design are featured in its Crisis Map, created to make disaster information accessible and easy to share between people and across various devices. The online map includes regularly updated satellite images and data on storms, floods, evacuation routes, shelter locations, power outages, and more.
Google Crisis Map collects information from across the Web and other resources, making all relevant findings and alerts readily available in one place. The map is reliable, quick to load, and capable of handling large numbers of visitors at a single time.
The Crisis Map allows users to learn about current events and share the information, as well as report road closures and send feedback about the crisis sheet. It also supports well-timed alerts related to tropical storms, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires.
The reception of Google Crisis Map
The app’s usability, the relevance of its content, and its ability to become established as a trusted source of information have reached high praise in 2013, the year the app was introduced, and in the years to come. However, some concerns have been voiced in the past, questioning the quality of the information these maps will provide.
Namely, the relevance of Crisis Map data does not depend only on the app’s ability to synthesize information collected from various sources. It also depends on how quickly up-to-date information becomes available in these sources in the first place.
Essay writing service content specialists from Bestessays.com remind that, around the time Crisis Map was launched, certain reservations were also expressed about the efficiency in coordinating and implementing various disaster aspects, such as, for example, the direction of the fire spread, its magnitude, velocity, acceleration, shape, and other relevant data.
Still, Google’s project dedicated to offering a helping hand in cases of natural disasters was perceived as a positive initiative, potentially able to inspire the creation of other digital tools and services with the same mission.
Google’s announcement: Disabling the Crisis Map
Despite the app’s popularity and groundbreaking innovation it has brought, Google has recently announced they plan to scrap the project, taking Google Crisis Map off the Web in March 2021.
The company, however, confirms they’ll continue to invest in crisis response tools, moving away just from the Crisis Map as a stand-alone feature at the given time.
Whether the Google Crisis Response team decides to return to this idea in the future or not, they have undoubtedly provided a solution able to inspire other organizations to take up the baton. Mapping and providing timely information about natural disasters will only get more crucial in the future, as this type of data can help preserve the lives of all living things across the globe.
Justin Osborne is a writer at bestessays.com, he loves to share his thoughts and opinions about education, writing and blogging with other people on different blogs and forums. Currently, he is working as a content marketer at essay writing service.
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