Internet search giant Google Inc. unveiled a new service via its Google Maps platform dedicated to tracking the path of hurricanes and other natural disasters - including hurricane Irene that hit the eastern coast of the US this weekend.
This new service, which can be found at crisislanding.appspot.com, was developed by the Google Crisis Response wing which supplies online applications to aid in the relief efforts that follow a natural disaster or other major crisis that affects a large number of people.
In the case of hurricane Irene, the map not only showed 3-5 days of forecasts regarding Irene’s possible paths, but also displayed evacuation routes as well as a detailed coverage of which areas in the east coast were likely to come under Irene's wrath. This information helped people along the coast prepare for the impending storm.
Apart from the maps. the Google team has also developed a bunch of online tools such as the Person Finder, which could play a crucial role in locating and reuniting thousands of victims of natural disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes when mobile phone service and other communication forms are unavailable.