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Google Maps to give disaster alerts

John Moe Jan 26, 2012

If there’s a hurricane heading toward a given area or if there’s a flood that’s making travel impossible, Google Maps will tell you that and you can plan accordingly. Right now it’s only available in the United States.

From the Google Blog:

If a major weather event is headed for your area, you might go online to search for the information you need: What’s happening? Where and when will it strike? How severe will it be? What resources are available to help?

The Google Crisis Response team works on providing critical emergency information during crises. Our goal is to surface emergency information through the online tools you use everyday, when that information is relevant and useful.

It’s interesting on its own and helpful and all that but what it really brings home is that Google is pushing toward Maps and probably other products being more of a live experience rather than a recording. We’ve already seen some efforts toward live weather overlays. How much longer before we start seeing traffic cameras or even a whole series of live cameras of a given area, especially heavily traveled cities? You want to go to Cleveland, go to Maps and see what the weather is like, how the traffic is, what it looks like where you’re going right now, and also if there is some sort of tornado sweeping through Cleveland.


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