Tag Archives: crisis response

Continuing to support hurricane relief efforts

Hurricane Irma has impacted communities throughout the Caribbean and the southeastern United States. Hitting the Caribbean islands the hardest, Irma has left millions of people to rebuild in its wake.

Today, we’re kicking off a matching campaign to support relief and recovery efforts for this deadly storm, part of our overall $5 million hurricane relief effort this month.

Google.org will be matching up to $1 million in donations at https://www.google.org/irma-relief to support the Catholic Relief Service (CRS), UNICEF, and the American Red Cross (ARC).

Each of these organizations is providing critical relief and recovery resources to those in the affected regions:

  • Catholic Relief Services is responding to the most remote places across the Caribbean, fulfilling essential needs such as food, water and shelter.
  • UNICEF is on the ground supporting more than 2.8 million children, and their families, impacted across the Caribbean with emergency supplies and temporary education solutions.
  • American Red Cross is the leading nonprofit responder in the Southeastern United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, working diligently to shelter, feed and support families impacted by the storm. 
In the last two weeks, our total donations include $3 million donated directly by Google.org, as well as $2 million raised so far from Google employees and public donations, for relief efforts in the areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Crisis Response and SOS Alerts

Ensuring people have access to timely, official information in a time of crisis is crucial. To help, ahead of the storm, our Crisis Response team launched an SOS Alert in Search for the Caribbean, Florida and Georgia in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. Now, as people across the region return to their homes and search for information about Hurricane Irma, or related searches, they’ll see:

  • Information on power outages
  • Emergency information contacts
  • Crisis maps in both English and Spanish, providing people with the local news, road closures, tweets, latest traffic and transit information, gas stations with crowdsourced fuel status, and post-Irma satellite and aerial imagery from partners NOAA and Digital Globe (e.g., Key West).
irma response - steph

We hope these features will help people stay safe and informed—and we’ll continue to update with relevant resources in the coming days.

Continuing to support hurricane relief efforts

Update: In less than 24 hours, together we raised $2 million for Hurricane Irma relief and recovery. Thanks to your donations, we have met our goal. However, the crisis isn’t over. Your contributions can still provide critical relief to those in need. Although Google is no longer matching donations, please consider giving directly to these organizations. 

Hurricane Irma has impacted communities throughout the Caribbean and the southeastern United States. Hitting the Caribbean islands the hardest, Irma has left millions of people to rebuild in its wake.

Today, we’re kicking off a matching campaign to support relief and recovery efforts for this deadly storm, part of our overall $5 million hurricane relief effort this month.

Google.org will be matching up to $1 million in donations at https://www.google.org/irma-relief to support the Catholic Relief Service (CRS), UNICEF, and the American Red Cross (ARC).
Irma matching

Each of these organizations is providing critical relief and recovery resources to those in the affected regions:

  • Catholic Relief Services is responding to the most remote places across the Caribbean, fulfilling essential needs such as food, water and shelter.
  • UNICEF is on the ground supporting more than 2.8 million children, and their families, impacted across the Caribbean with emergency supplies and temporary education solutions.
  • American Red Cross is the leading nonprofit responder in the Southeastern United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, working diligently to shelter, feed and support families impacted by the storm. 
In the last two weeks, our total donations include $3 million donated directly by Google.org, as well as $2 million raised so far from Google employees and public donations, for relief efforts in the areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Crisis Response and SOS Alerts

Ensuring people have access to timely, official information in a time of crisis is crucial. To help, ahead of the storm, our Crisis Response team launched an SOS Alert in Search for the Caribbean, Florida and Georgia in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. Now, as people across the region return to their homes and search for information about Hurricane Irma, or related searches, they’ll see:

  • Information on power outages
  • Emergency information contacts
  • Crisis maps in both English and Spanish, providing people with the local news, road closures, tweets, latest traffic and transit information, gas stations with crowdsourced fuel status, and post-Irma satellite and aerial imagery from partners NOAA and Digital Globe (e.g., Key West).
irma response - steph

We hope these features will help people stay safe and informed—and we’ll continue to update with relevant resources in the coming days.

Helping people stay informed and connected in Japan and Ecuador

Over the last few days, Japan and Ecuador have been affected by significant earthquakes. Hundreds have been killed, and many thousands injured or displaced. We’re doing a few things to try to help.
Find and call loved ones
To help people post and search for family or friends affected by the disaster we activated Person Finder in Spanish and Japanese. We’re also offering free calls via Hangouts, Hangouts Dialer or Google Voice to and within Ecuador to help people communicate with loved ones.

Learn more on the ground
For people in and around the affected areas, we have Google Now cards with critical crisis-related information like missing person resources, safety zones, and aftershock safety tips. We’ve made the same information available on search for earthquake-related searches. In Japan, we launched a landing page and crisis map showing accessible roads and places where people can get disaster resources like fresh water. In Ecuador, we updated Waze with more than 90 safe place locations, including local shelter information.

Support for the response
Given the scope of the damage and need in Ecuador, Google.org has committed $250,000 to support relief efforts on the ground. We’re also providing up to $250,000 in Google employee gift-matching for both Japan and Ecuador.

An update on our response to the refugee and migrants crisis

Millions of people around the world want to do what they can to help refugees and migrants caught up in the crisis in Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa. We wanted to give you an update on where things stand as we continue to think about what Google—and all of us—can do to help.

A month ago we invited everyone to make a donation to support the work of organizations providing essential assistance to refugees and migrants. We were amazed that in just over 48 hours people around the world donated €5M ($5.5. million) to support the work of Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. As promised, we then matched your donations with €5M in Google.org grants to support high-impact projects, like offering wireless connectivity solutions in refugee camps, providing emergency cash transfers to refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, and enabling access to education. Googlers around the world also gave, donating more than €1.2M (matched by Google) to charities working on the humanitarian efforts.

These organizations and their staff are doing incredible work in very difficult circumstances, and have the skills and contacts necessary on the ground. With that in mind, we’ve been working with them to better understand how our technology expertise can be put to work, too. One issue identified was the the lack of timely, hyperlocal information for refugees. Working with the International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps, we’ve developed an open source project called “Crisis Info Hub” to disseminate such information in a lightweight, battery-saving way. Already live in Lesvos (with more locations coming online shortly) and being run by our NGO partners, Crisis Info Hub is providing refugees—most of whom carry smartphones—with critical information for their journeys: lodging, transportation, medical facilities, etc. And we’re working to make connectivity in the region more widespread and reliable by partnering with NetHope to deploy robust access solutions where they’re needed most.

Migrant-response.width-972.png

When refugees travel across different countries, they’re confronted with languages they don’t speak, which can make it even more difficult to know where to turn to access the most basic needs. Just this year, we saw a 5X growth in Arabic translations in Germany, which got us thinking about what we could do to make our products work better for Arabic speakers in these places. We’ve since added Arabic as our 28th language for instant visual translation, enabling immediate, offline translation of signs and other printed text from English or German to Arabic. We’re also asking anyone who knows the languages spoken by refugees or the countries they’re traveling through to help us improve translations through Google Translate Community—our goal is 2 million community contributions. Hundreds of thousands of people have helped out already; if you speak Arabic and German, we’d love your help.

Improve Google Translate for Refugees

Improve Google Translate for Refugees

In the coming weeks, we’ll continue to work closely with our partners on the ground to evaluate how else we can bring the best of Google’s resources to help out with this tragic situation. Thank you for all your generosity and support so far.

Source: Translate


An update on our response to the refugee and migrants crisis

Millions of people around the world want to do what they can to help refugees and migrants caught up in the crisis in Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa. We wanted to give you an update on where things stand as we continue to think about what Google—and all of us—can do to help.

A month ago we invited everyone to make a donation to support the work of organizations providing essential assistance to refugees and migrants. We were amazed that in just over 48 hours people around the world donated €5M ($5.5. million) to support the work of Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. As promised, we then matched your donations with €5M in Google.org grants to support high-impact projects, like offering wireless connectivity solutions in refugee camps, providing emergency cash transfers to refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, and enabling access to education. Googlers around the world also gave, donating more than €1.2M (matched by Google) to charities working on the humanitarian efforts.

These organizations and their staff are doing incredible work in very difficult circumstances, and have the skills and contacts necessary on the ground. With that in mind, we’ve been working with them to better understand how our technology expertise can be put to work, too. One issue identified was the the lack of timely, hyperlocal information for refugees. Working with the International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps, we’ve developed an open source project called “Crisis Info Hub” to disseminate such information in a lightweight, battery-saving way. Already live in Lesvos (with more locations coming online shortly) and being run by our NGO partners, Crisis Info Hub is providing refugees—most of whom carry smartphones—with critical information for their journeys: lodging, transportation, medical facilities, etc. And we’re working to make connectivity in the region more widespread and reliable by partnering with NetHope to deploy robust access solutions where they’re needed most.

Migrant-response.width-972.png

When refugees travel across different countries, they’re confronted with languages they don’t speak, which can make it even more difficult to know where to turn to access the most basic needs. Just this year, we saw a 5X growth in Arabic translations in Germany, which got us thinking about what we could do to make our products work better for Arabic speakers in these places. We’ve since added Arabic as our 28th language for instant visual translation, enabling immediate, offline translation of signs and other printed text from English or German to Arabic. We’re also asking anyone who knows the languages spoken by refugees or the countries they’re traveling through to help us improve translations through Google Translate Community—our goal is 2 million community contributions. Hundreds of thousands of people have helped out already; if you speak Arabic and German, we’d love your help.

Improve Google Translate for Refugees

Improve Google Translate for Refugees

In the coming weeks, we’ll continue to work closely with our partners on the ground to evaluate how else we can bring the best of Google’s resources to help out with this tragic situation. Thank you for all your generosity and support so far.

Source: Translate


An update on our response to the refugee and migrants crisis

Millions of people around the world want to do what they can to help refugees and migrants caught up in the crisis in Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa. We wanted to give you an update on where things stand as we continue to think about what Google—and all of us—can do to help.

A month ago we invited everyone to make a donation to support the work of organizations providing essential assistance to refugees and migrants. We were amazed that in just over 48 hours people around the world donated €5M ($5.5. million) to support the work of Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. As promised, we then matched your donations with €5M in Google.org grants to support high-impact projects, like offering wireless connectivity solutions in refugee camps, providing emergency cash transfers to refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, and enabling access to education. Googlers around the world also gave, donating more than €1.2M (matched by Google) to charities working on the humanitarian efforts.

These organizations and their staff are doing incredible work in very difficult circumstances, and have the skills and contacts necessary on the ground. With that in mind, we’ve been working with them to better understand how our technology expertise can be put to work, too. One issue identified was the the lack of timely, hyperlocal information for refugees. Working with the International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps, we’ve developed an open source project called “Crisis Info Hub” to disseminate such information in a lightweight, battery-saving way. Already live in Lesvos (with more locations coming online shortly) and being run by our NGO partners, Crisis Info Hub is providing refugees—most of whom carry smartphones—with critical information for their journeys: lodging, transportation, medical facilities, etc. And we’re working to make connectivity in the region more widespread and reliable by partnering with NetHope to deploy robust access solutions where they’re needed most.

When refugees travel across different countries, they’re confronted with languages they don’t speak, which can make it even more difficult to know where to turn to access the most basic needs. Just this year, we saw a 5X growth in Arabic translations in Germany, which got us thinking about what we could do to make our products work better for Arabic speakers in these places. We’ve since added Arabic as our 28th language for instant visual translation, enabling immediate, offline translation of signs and other printed text from English or German to Arabic. We’re also asking anyone who knows the languages spoken by refugees or the countries they’re traveling through to help us improve translations through Google Translate Community—our goal is 2 million community contributions. Hundreds of thousands of people have helped out already; if you speak Arabic and German, we’d love your help.

Improve Google Translate for Refugees

Improve Google Translate for Refugees

In the coming weeks, we’ll continue to work closely with our partners on the ground to evaluate how else we can bring the best of Google’s resources to help out with this tragic situation. Thank you for all your generosity and support so far.

Source: Translate


Google Earth turns 10 today

When Google Earth was first introduced 10 years ago, it immediately stole my heart. Beyond the freedom to fly anywhere in the world, I was captivated by the ability to paint and visualize geographic data on this incredible global canvas.

Drawn to datasets backed by real human stories, I started making my own maps with KML a few weeks after Earth’s release in 2005. For my master’s degree, I used Google Earth to build a virtual representation of a high-tech biological research reserveVint Cerf saw my work, which eventually led to a job on the Google Earth Outreach team, turning my passion for telling stories with maps into a career.

2005 was the beginning of Google Earth’s evolution, as well. In August of that year, Hurricane Katrina showed us how useful mapping tools like Earth could be for crisis response efforts. Rescue workers compared before and after Satellite imagery in Google Earth to better locate where people were stranded. And in the years after, with more than 2 billion downloads by people in nearly every country in the world, Earth has enabled people to discover new coral reefs, journey to the Moon and into deep space, find long-lost parentsclear landmines and much more.

Katrina.width-1000.jpg
Google Earth images of Gulfport, Mississippi's shoreline before and after Hurricane Katrina

The ability to empower groups as diverse as school children and NASA scientists to learn more about the world is what I love about Google Earth. It has the potential to make the planet a far more connected place, if you take the time to explore, discover and share what you learn. So to celebrate how far Google Earth has come and our leap into the next 10 years, we’ve created a few new ways to help you better see places from around (and above) the world.

Voyager

The world is a big place, and it can be hard to know where to begin your virtual journey. Now you can jump straight to the newest and most interesting imagery around the globe with a new layer, Voyager, available in desktop versions of Google Earth.

Venetian-Arsenal.width-1600_L3AmiIH.jpg
Different imagery types in Voyager are shown by color

In this first edition of Voyager, you’ll find five sections to explore:

  • Street View: highlights from Street View, including the Taj Mahal and the Grand Canyon
  • Earth View: striking landscapes around the globe as seen from space (more below)
  • 3D cities: a showcase of cities and towns available in photorealistic 3D (don’t forget to tilt!)
  • Satellite imagery updates: a map of our most recently published satellite imagery
  • Highlight tour: with thousands of Voyager locations to choose from, take a quick tour of a few to whet your appetite
Gompa.width-1600.png
The Kemgon Gompa—available in the Street View layer—is a Buddhist monastery in Lukla, Nepal

Earth View

Looking at our planet from above is not only a reminder of how interdependent our human and natural ecosystems are—it also lays bare the Earth’s staggering and often surreal beauty.

Hammar-Marshes.width-1280_TlUxzsu.png
The Hammar Marshes of Iran are an uncharacteristic yet beautiful wetland feature in the otherwise arid climate

Earth View is library of some of the most striking and enigmatic landscapes available in Google Earth. It started as a 20 percent project last year by a few Googlers who enjoyed scouring satellite imagery for these gems. These images soon made their way onto Android phones, Chromecast and Chromebooks as a distinctive kind of wallpaper.

Cuba-via-Earth-View.width-1280_wkO6QVZ.png
Islands surrounding Cuba seen in the Earth View Chrome Extension

For Earth's 10th birthday, we're expanding the Earth View collection to 1,500 landscapes from every continent and ocean and making it accessible to even more people. The new imagery is available with an updated version of our Chrome extension and a new web gallery. Download high-resolution wallpapers for your mobile and desktop devices, or better yet, print them up for your walls!

Ningaloo-Earth-View.width-1248_5xAg4hb.png
The coastline near Ningaloo, Australia in the new Earth View web gallery

Thank you for the last 10 years exploring your world with Google Earth. We hope Voyager and Earth View will unlock a new perspective on our planet. We look forward to seeing what the next decade brings!

Source: Google Chrome