Googles Crisis Map shows Hurricane Isaacs path

first_imgGoogle Maps can do pretty much everything these days. It lets you check the streets outside your new college dorm before you leave home, it lets you see the frozen surfaces of Antarctica, and it even lets you snoop around different neighborhoods to see if you can catch someone in a candid position. For the time being, though, it is serving another, much more important purpose.Google has launched a “Crisis Map” that allows viewers to see live satellite images of Hurricane Isaac as well as its projected path from the National Hurricane Center. It is essentially an overlay that exists on top of the standard Google Maps interface with which everyone is already intimately familiar.Users can zoom in and out to get a better sense of exactly how wide of an impact the storm is going to have. To the right of the page, users are presented with public alerts, evacuation information, and links to essential local government websites.Users can also seamlessly find firsthand videos from the storm that have been posted to YouTube, and Google also provides a link to a PDF file showing the New Orleans Levee System. It is Isaac’s potential threat to New Orleans – exactly seven years after Hurricane Katrina – that has drawn most of the fervent interest with this storm.It is of course also affecting the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, as politicians walk the line from playing party politics to expressing concern for fellow Americans. At one point, Isaac had its eyes set on Tampa but then headed west. In any event, Google’s ability to streamline all the pertinent information in one user-friendly website shows how its powerful online tools can come into play in serious events like this.Last year, Hurricane Irene‘s rare track into the New York City area led to it being quite possibly the most socially-conscious hurricane to date in the era of Facebook and Twitter. Isaac’s ability to evoke memories of Hurricane Katrina is leading to the same kind of fervor and piqued interest from all facets of online media.Check out Google’s Hurricane Isaac Maplast_img

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