Google Launching SOS Alerts In Search Results And Maps

Google has completed yet another useful feature SOS to its search results and Google maps, the new feature will provide information about natural disasters, terrorist acts and other crisis incidents on its search and map tools.

Visitors on Google maps and search engine would be able to see updates about the recent catastrophic or terrorism incidents from various news articles, authorities, emergency phone numbers and other useful information in one place.

Users would be able to enable mobile notifications for SOS alerts to those people near the affected areas. During the initial roll out the feature would be available to only a handful of countries.

Google has used the platform of US based firm which specializes in early emergency response, person finder and crisis map tools.

When the feature is activated the maps tool will reveal the information on the nearby areas that are affected and should be avoided.

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The data acquired from the Firm’s crowd-sourced Waze mapping platform, allow users to see traffic jams, accidents and other crisis reported by the public. The level of information is dependent on the user’s location, if the user is closer to the place where the incident happened, it will provide more information for the user.

The level of details shown within the Search tool depends on whether the person carrying out the query is close to the incident. Information like official alerts, tweets, and useful short phrases in the local language will be disseminated to the people who are close enough.

People who are searching for the disaster from distance are provided with fewer details until they click for more information. Google still have to decide what level of information would be available to all users using the firm’s platform.

While talking to BBC, Yossi Matias said, “In the crisis the need for information becomes paramount. People need to know what’s going on and what type of precautionary measures they need to take.”

Google has joined other organizations such as Red Cross, Weather Forecasting, and other disaster management organizations to roll out SOS alerts in 12 countries including US, Australia, Japan, Canada and Philippines.

The United Kingdom and other EU nations are not in the picture yet, but Google plans to cover them soon afterwards.