Web search giant Google has created a centralized search system for tracking down people missing in the Haitian earthquake, the company announced Monday in a blog posting.
The new platform incorporates the major people search services that sprang up in the U.S. media in the days following the devastating temblor. However though news sites like CNN and The Miami Herald and The New York Times all collected similar information, people may not find each other if they’re looking in the wrong places online.
The new service overcomes that problem and is built to easily integrate into other media sites to become the central trove of information about missing people and those looking for them.
Google’s missing people finder — available in English, French and Creole — was developed in under 36 hours by Google engineers “in consultation with the U.S. State Department,” according to details distributed by the company.
The international community was bracing for a possible death toll between 1,50,000 and 2,00,000 from the strong earthquake, according to U.S. Lieutenant General P.K. Keen, who is in command of U.S. military relief efforts.
Google reacted swiftly to the disaster updating its Google Earth application with up-to-date imagery soon after the earthquake struck in order to help aid organizations assess the damage.