Earthquake In China Unnoticed By Google?

    May 14, 2008

This article was going to be a quick roundup of Google’s response to the earthquake in China – mention a donations page here, a map there, done.  As it turns out, though, the company didn’t provide much material.

This isn’t to say it should have – Google is a for-profit corporation based in America, and is in no way obligated to take note of natural disasters overseas.  Still, following its response to the cyclone in Myanmar, Google’s reaction to the earthquake seems rather weak.

Google China
Google China After Earthquake

Posts documenting the cyclone and/or soliciting aid for Myanmar’s civilians showed up on the Official Google Blog, the LatLong Blog, the Google Checkout Blog, and the Google Grants Blog.  A "donate" link was put on, and donation-matching is also taking place.

In contrast, there doesn’t yet appear to be anything in English relating to the earthquake.  Philipp Lenssen only writes, "The homepage of Google China links to a special map showing [earthquake] information.  Auto-translating the homepage text results in: ‘New! Google launched an emergency situation in the earthquake map, view the latest situation in earthquake relief.’"

Again, we’re not pointing fingers.  The situation is odd, though, especially given Google’s presence in China.