Google Releases Haiti Earthquake Imagery Layer, Tries to Help Victims
Article by George Norman
On 14 Jan 2010
It is a terrible, terrible thing what happened in Haiti. Two days ago, on January 12, Haiti was struck by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake killing and leaving countless without a home. In response to this tragic event the Mountain View-based search engine giant has released a Haiti imagery layer for Google Earth.

“We’ve worked closely with GeoEye throughout the afternoon to make their most recent satellite imagery of Haiti, taken at approximately 10:27am EST today, available as a KML overlay for Google Earth. You can download the KML here and open it in Google Earth, or look at it via the browser plug-in below. You can also open the file in Google Maps. As you'll see, the imagery shows a powerful glimpse into the destruction in Haiti,” commented on behalf of the Google Crisis Response Team, Michael Rubinstein, Christiaan Adams, and Pete Giencke


You only need to download the layer one time – it will be automatically be updated by the Google Earth team as they get their hands on more imagery and data.

Google has also expressed its regret and it willingness to lend a helping hand to the victims. Managing Policy Counsel with Google, Pablo Chavez: “We have been heartbroken by the footage streaming onto YouTube of the devastation caused by [the] 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti and inspired by the generosity people are showing toward relief efforts. Here's a Google site that provides disaster relief information -- including ways to donate to the effort online and through SMS.”

Google is not the only one to show its support. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said that “the atmosphere at Twitter HQ is heavy and based on the Trending Topics an overwhelming number of Twitter users feel the same.” Stone highlighted these ways for you to help:
  • The American Red Cross allows anyone in the US to text HAITI to 90999 as an easy way to donate $10 to the recovery effort. The money is billed to your mobile phone account.
  • Musician Wyclef Jean's Haiti-focused organization, Yele is also accepting text-message donations. To donate $5, text Yele to 501501 or visit the foundation's web site.
  • Oxfam International has also set up an earthquake response fund. You can visit their web site to make a donation to this fund.

Tags: Google, Google Earth, Haiti, Earthquake, Twitter
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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