Google Is Making More Friends In Japan After Earthquake
Google is the most popular search engine in many countries, except in Japan where Yahoo is the most used search engine. However, Google is getting more users after the earthquake due to their quick action in assisting local residents to find their missing relatives or friends using Person Finder.
Person Finder was originally created after January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. In less than two hours after the earthquake in Japan Google went live with its online Person Finder Service. With Person Finder, users with information about a missing person can create an entry that other users can search. An entry can also be created to look for people. Victims are able to access the website via Internet provided at the evacuation centers.
One of the victims of the earthquake, Ms. Kobayashi was directed to Person Finder by a stranger when she was posting query for her Koto (Japanese musical instrument) classmate on other websites. Then, she learned that her friend was alive there. “Thank you!” Ms. Kobayashi posted. “Now I can look forward to practicing Koto together with her again.”
In addition, Google is also using its Street View technology in Kesennuma to make a records of the disaster while tracking reconstruction efforts. They have equipped some cars with nine cameras creating 360-degree panoramic digital images of the disaster zone to archive damage.
Japan, with 99 million users of Internet-ready 3G phones and $9.6 billion of advertising market in 2010, it is definitely a place where Google want to acquire more users.