Google People Finder, Ushahidi Crisis Mapping Software Launched for Japan Earthquake Earthquake in Japan: Help Google and Ushahidi Rescue Trapped Citizens and Reunite Families

Here's how you can help find missing people, or let the world know someone is safe through Google and Ushahidi's crisis maps.

The most urgent need in the aftermath of the earthquake off the coast of Japan is to find people who are trapped, and connect citizens who are safe with their worrying family, friends, and loved ones. As Japan mobilizes a massive emergency relief and aid response to the 8.9 magnitude earthquake, technology companies are springing into action, applying lessons from the earthquake in Haiti. Google's People Finder and Ushahidi's crisis map are two critical online tools that can, respectively, help reunite loved ones and save lives of citizens who are still trapped.

Google has launched a "People Finder" app they hastily created created after the Haiti earthquake. You enter the name of a person who is missing—in either English or Japanese—or the name of a person you have information about. So, if you hear someone is safe who might be hard for their loved ones to reach, enter their name here to calm some anxious minds. If you have a website here's the code to embed in your site or adapt as you can so more people know this is an option.

As of 5am Pacific Time, People Finder was getting a couple hundred new updates every 10 minutes or so and climbing fast from 4500 records.

The original crisis mapping tool, Ushahidi, has already launched a local Japanese platform. Anyone on the ground can text in the location of a trapped person, and these locations are then collected on a map. You can also text in where to find aid, a pop-up hospital or a precarious building that should be avoided.

This tool also launched incredibly fast after the Haiti earthquake.Volunteers mobilized to translate all the French and Creole texts to help aid workers find victims in an impressive proof of the power of crowd-sourced technology aid from afar. Here's a video about that worth watching.

Fast Company lists a few other technologies mobilizing to assist the victims.

Spread the word, these databases only work if everyone knows about them.

Image: USGS.


When former Pittsburgh Steelers' center Mike Webster committed suicide in 2002, his death began to raise awareness of the brain damage experienced by NFL football players. A 2017 study found that 99% of deceased NFL players had a degenerative brain disease known as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). Only one out of 111 former football players had no sign of CTE. It turns out, some of the risks of traumatic brain injury experienced by heavily padded adults playing at a professional level also exist for kids with developing brains playing at a recreational level. The dangers might not be as intense as what the adults go through, but it can have some major life-long consequences.

A new PSA put out by the Concussion Legacy Foundation raises awareness of the dangers of tackle football on developing brains, comparing it to smoking. "Tackle football is like smoking. The younger I start, the longer I am exposed to danger. You wouldn't let me smoke. When should I start tackling?" a child's voice can be heard saying in the PSA as a mother lights up a cigarette for her young son.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

On Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted about some favorable economic numbers, claiming that annual household income is up, unemployment is low, and housing prices are high.

Now, just imagine how much better those numbers would be if the country wasn't mired in an economy-killing trade war with China, bleeding out trillion-dollar-a-year debts, and didn't suffer from chaotic leadership in the Oval Office?

At the end of tweet, came an odd sentence, "Impeach the Pres."

Keep Reading Show less

October is domestic violence awareness month and when most people think of domestic violence, they imagine mostly female victims. However, abuse of men happens as well – in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. But some are taking it upon themselves to change all that.

Keep Reading Show less

At this point most reasonable people agree that climate change is a serious problem. And while a lot of good people are working on solutions, and we're all chipping in by using fewer plastic bags, it's also helpful to understand where the leading causes of the issue stem from. The list of 20 leading emitters of carbon dioxide by The Guardian newspaper does just that.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via International Labour Organization / Flickr and Michael Moore / Facebook

Before the release of "The Joker" there was a glut of stories in the media about the film's potential to incite violence.

The FBI issued a warning, saying the film may inspire violence from a group known as the Clowncels, a subgroup of the involuntarily celibate or Incel community.

Incels an online subculture who believe they are unable to attract a sexual partner. The American nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center describes them as "part of the online male supremacist ecosystem" that is included in its list of hate groups.

Keep Reading Show less