Google News, Earth Evaluated After Earthquake

    February 27, 2008

In emergencies’ aftermaths, various Google services have become go-to resources.  Following an earthquake in the UK, Google Earth and Google News seem to be getting mixed reviews.

We’ll start with the less-than-good stuff.  At the moment, a search for "earthquake london" on the American version of Google News yields links to 1,306 articles without even necessitating a scroll.  But when Kathryn Greenhill searched for the same phrase earlier (perhaps from Google News Australia), she got only a handful of stories, the most visible of which was about the likelihood of earthquakes in Israel.

Impressed?  Well, neither was Greenhill.  And Patrick Altoft ran into a similar problem, writing, "There are only 2 news results on related to this earthquake and none of the natural search results are related to it."

Thankfully, though, the earthquake caused no deaths, and injuries and serious damage were rare, so Google News didn’t miss too enormous a story.

Also, it seems that Google Earth (and its fans) didn’t overlook the story at all.  As Frank Taylor noted on the Google Earth Blog, the USGS earthquake-monitoring tool worked perfectly.  Furthermore, using both Google Earth and Google Maps, people like Daniel Bennett have begun putting together representations of the event.