Google offers person finder tools for Japanese natural disaster victims

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Google is interested in helping those affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. As such, the search giant is offering two tools to help victims reunite with their loved ones: the Google Person Finder and the YouTube Person Finder. The former has been used by the company in previous times of need while the latter appears to be a new endeavor.

The first Person Finder service acts as a directory and message board so people can look for lost individuals or post a note saying they are safe. It is embeddable; meaning that you can include it on your website. The service has already logged thousands of records and is still growing.

The second Person Finder service is a channel that aggregates video messages shot at the shelters by TBS, a major TV station in Japan. Google is trying to increase the number of videos by adding more content from other TV stations and news networks, as well as videos shot by the individuals impacted themselves. Users can search for videos via the search box within the module in Kanji, Katakana, or Hiragana letters: enter the names of a missing person, the name of the place they lived, or the name of the shelter location.

"Our hope is that this channel will help victims and their families to establish each other's safety, and that the video messages will reach many viewers and motivate them to contribute to the recovery and restoration of the disaster-stricken areas," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. "Please watch the message videos and pray for their safety and reunion of families and friends involved in the disaster."


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