Google Person Finder launched in Boston

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Google Person Finder in Boston

Following the attacks on the Boston Marathon, Google Person Finder has been activated to assist those worried about an individual in the area.

Google Person Finder presents visitors with two options, 'I'm looking for someone' and 'I have information on someone'. Users enter the name of an individual as they would perform a regular Google search, presented with any information that may have been entered about that person. If information on a person has been uploaded, the message 'Information has been received that this person is alive' will be displayed.

With mobile phone lines in the area blocked due to the incredibly high number of calls, this service has already proved invaluable for many concerned people. According to information from Google, over 5000 people have been declared safe as a result of the people finding service.

History of Google Person Finder

First introduced in 2010 in the wake of a devastating earthquake in Haiti, the service from the search giant has since been used several times, with this the first since October 2011. Google Person Finder has been deployed on the following occasions:

  • January 2010 - Earthquake in Haiti
  • February 2010 - Earthquake in Chile
  • July 2010 - Floods in Pakistan
  • February 2011 - Earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand
  • March 2011 - Earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku, Japan
  • October 2011 - Earthquake in Van, Turkey
  • April 2013 - Boston Marathon bombings

In addition to these instances, a special Hurricane Sandy Google Map was launched to allow residents of New York to track the progress of the powerful storm.

Adrian Mursec, senior developer at theEword commented: "This project from Google once again shows the power of the internet, and how it can be used for good in the wake of a disastrous event. While Google Person Finder is not a perfect service, it has clearly provided reassurance for many people already, relieving the pressure on the emergency services who may otherwise have been inundated with calls by worried friends or relatives."