In a move to support social cause, Google India has launched a new tool called Person Finder, specifically to help in tracking missing people in the flood affected regions in Uttarakhand as most of these areas are highly inaccessible and have intermittent communication.
Google Person Finder is a web application that allows individuals to post and search for the status of their relatives or friends affected by a disaster. All data entered in it is available to the public and is accessible to everyone.
Apart from the common people, the tool will also allow press agencies, non-governmental agencies and others to contribute in the database and receive updates by using the Person Finder API based on the PFIF open standard.
The application is currently available in Hindi and English in India. In addition to these, websites can choose to embed Google Person Finder as a gadget on their own pages.
“We hope Person Finder helps people get the latest information about their near and dear ones in these flood affected areas,” states the Google India blog.
It also allows to subscribe to status updates of a particular person. One can subscribe to status updates by clicking the “Subscribe to updates about this person” button on any record. Whenever the status of the person is updated on the record in Google Person Finder, Google will send email to the subscribers informing about the new status.
Google Person Finder is a project of the Google Crisis Response division of Google.org. It was build in response to the January 2010 Haiti earthquake in order to help those affected by the calamity and to connect them with their loved ones. It is an open source software i.e. any developer can create their own instance of Google Person Finder after a disaster. Person Finder runs on the Google App Engine platform, and it has been launched in over 40 languages all over the world.
For more information about how it works, click here.