In the immediate aftermath of a 7.0 earthquake that caused an unbelievable amount of destruction to Haiti's capital, Google has been asked by relief organizations and users to show images of what's actually happening on the ground.
In partnership with geospatial imagery company GeoEye, Google has just released a new layer for Google Earth showing post-earthquake devastation. Haiti was first added to Google Map Maker in response to hurricanes that wreaked havoc on the country more than a year ago. Read on for before-after pictures and details.
The Red Cross has stated that as many as 3 million Haitians have been affected by the earthquake, with as many as 100,000 deaths likely, according to Haiti's prime minister. Since the quake's epicenter was right off the capital city, Port-au-Prince, most of the official buildings, from government officials' residences to jails and hospitals, have been significantly damaged or completely leveled. Google's imagery shows exactly that:
You'll have to install the Google Earth plugin if you haven't already to see this layer.
In a post just published by Googlers Dylan Lorimer and Jessica Pfund, they write, "We hope that Google Map Maker can also play a role in disaster relief efforts...Today, we have made this Map Maker data for Haiti available to the UN in its raw form for the earthquake relief efforts. If you have any local knowledge to share, please help us continue to build a better map of Haiti with Google Map Maker."
For a list of ways you can donate money to help suffering Haitians and stay informed on Haiti-related breaking news, check out this post we published earlier today on resources, charitable organizations and news outlets.