In the aftermath of the Boston blasts today, Google has launched its Google Person Finder tool for Boston to help aid people find each other. The helpful tool was first activated during the Haiti earthquake in 2010.
When you log into the page, you will be shown two options. The first says “I’m looking for someone” and will help you find out if there is any information about a loved one you are searching for. If there is any positive information about the person you are searching for, a message that says “Status: Someone has received information that this person is alive” will be shown on screen. You can then click to see where the information came from.
The Google Person Finder page is one of the tools people affected by the Boston Marathon blasts are using to find loved ones
The second button reads, “I have information about someone”. This tool is for people who have the whereabouts of people affected by the blast. Entering information using this button will help people who’re searching for their loved ones co-ordinate information.
At the time of publishing, Google Person Finder was tracking about 5,000 records. Google has disclaimed on the page, though, that all data entered on it is “available to the public and viewable and useable by anyone”. The tech giant has said that it does not review or verify the accuracy of the data entered on this page. The page also provides more resources related to the blasts, including the Boston Mayor’s hotline and the police line for families and witnesses.
It also includes a link to Red Cross Safe and Well set up by the Red Cross Society where you can register yourself as “Safe and Well” or search for registrants. More resources also include a Google Doc for marathoners stranded in the city thanks to flight cancellations. This Google Doc aims to match people who need a place to stay with those who are willing to offer their homes to guests.
The Google Person Finder tool was initially started in 2010 during the Haiti earthquakes in order to help people affected by it. The tool is a project of Google’s not-for-profit arm, Google.org.
The aftermath of the blasts has seen mobile networks suffer greatly (Image Credit: Reuters)
On Monday afternoon at around 3 pm local time, two explosions ripped through the site of the Boston Marathon, killing two and injuring many. The bombs were placed close to the finish line of the marathon, causing chaos as they went off.
The social medium has been extremely helpful in helping police control the situation and help the injured, even as mobile lines died in the area. The Boston Police even tweeted out requests for video of the finish line around the time the blasts took place. It does look like the social media is lending a big hand in not just helping the affected but also aiding police investigations.
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