Google Resources Help With Myanmar Cyclone Relief

    May 9, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

The company organized some of its resources to assist the humanitarian efforts going on in Myanmar, where thousands have died or are missing after a cyclone tore through the country.

Although the military rulership of Myanmar, still called Burma by many countries, isn’t the most open of governments, their borders are as open as any to satellites.

Fortunately for relief efforts in the wake of the Myanmar cyclone disaster, the government’s continued refusal to grant visas to relief workers isn’t hindering Google from trying to help. The search advertising company showed on its LatLong blog a new layer for Google Earth that shows where to find all of the known healthcare centers (as of a 2002 survey) in the country.

The new layer, developed by Direct Relief International, may be downloaded by any Google Earth client:

We color-coded the sites by the capacity of the facility so that you can visually differentiate between larger hospitals, specialized medical units, and clinics/rural health centers.

By combining layers showing the governmental and nongovernmental health facilities that we work with, and the physical impact, we can focus our response on those points of access to healthcare that are serving the most affected communities. Using this geospatial information in conjunction with situation reports from the field enables us to more efficiently target our assistance.

Google also set up a cyclone relief donations page, backed by its Checkout service. Visitors may donate to Direct Relief International and to Unicef from the page to help relief efforts.